Magpas Air Ambulance’s small fundraising team works year round to ensure they raise the £5.5million needed to keep the charity’s helicopter flying, rapid response vehicles on the road and medical team saving lives 24/7 365 days a year. This month they were recognised for their outstanding work during the last 12 months.
In 2020, like many charities, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Magpas Air Ambulance faced their most challenging year in half a decade which saw the majority of their fundraising activity grind to a halt. The fundraising team quickly needed to raise vital funds in order for their frontline medical team to continue providing Cambridgeshire and surrounding counties with emergency medical care, and looked to transform their bi-annual newsletter, Flying High, into a series of emergency appeals.
Traditionally the Magpas Air Ambulance newsletter aimed to keep supporters up to date with the charity and show them how their donations were being used. The organisation wanted to be able to continue this during the pandemic but also provide an opportunity to support some of the additional costs and COVID-specific work the charity was undertaking. The combination of the appeal alongside the stories within the newsletter clearly resonated with their community as the response exceeded all expectations. By using this approach, Magpas Air Ambulance managed to more than double the response, raising over £120,000 in the first 6 months of the pandemic.
The success of this campaign during such a trying time was recently acknowledged by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising East Anglia, who awarded Magpas Air Ambulance and their Flying High Emergency Appeal ‘Campaign of the Year’ in their annual award ceremony, which was held virtually this year.
Magpas Air Ambulance’s Director of Fundraising, Lucy Chapman, said “Magpas Air Ambulance relies on fundraising to save lives so as soon as the pandemic hit we knew we had to do things differently. Our small fundraising team worked across the organisation, to write and produce the appeals and newsletter, pulling together to create communications that ultimately brought the charity and our supporters closer and raise vital funds at an extremely difficult time. I’m thrilled that the campaign has been recognised and so proud of the team for all their hard work over the last 18 months.”
“However, it’s our fantastic supporters we really have to thank for making the appeals such a success, we are truly grateful for their support which allowed the Magpas clinicians to play a key role supporting the NHS with the transfer of COVID positive patients as well as maintaining our primary service and saving hundreds of lives throughout the pandemic.”
To read Magpas Air Ambulance’s Flying High newsletters and find out more about the charity’s response to the pandemic, visit: www.magpas.org.uk/our-newsletter/