The Magpas Air Ambulance fundraising team

In the last few years, the Magpas Air Ambulance fundraising team have had their work cut out.

The emergency medical charity, based in Huntingdon, was busier than ever during the pandemic. It was one of only three air ambulances in the country to carry out COVID-19 patient transfers by air, launched a new road-based service in Bedfordshire and commenced construction of a new airbase and headquarters at Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire.

The service, which has been operating for over 50 years, relies on donations to continue its lifesaving work. Hence, the fundraising team had a huge task ahead of them—raising the additional funds needed to develop the service against the backdrop of the impact of the pandemic and a looming cost of living crisis.

Despite the challenges, the Magpas Air Ambulance fundraising and marketing team worked together to raise the highest amount the charity has ever raised in a year and has now been shortlisted for ‘Team of the Year’ at the national Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence.

As a result of their engaging communications, improving ways to donate and the generosity of their supporters the team were able to increase income in all areas of fundraising. They also had to adapt quickly to a new world of fundraising following the pandemic and launched the service’s first-ever virtual event; Run a Mile a Day in May. This was a hit in the community, with hundreds of people from Cambridgeshire and far beyond donning their charity T-shirts and running to raise money for Magpas Air Ambulance. The team also launched their first large-scale event in the form of Huntingdon Fireworks, which was so successful that tickets have now been released for this year’s event at the end of October.

Nicola teaching members of the public Community CPR

Within the fundraising team, Nicola Cooper, Magpas Air Ambulance’s Community Training and Engagement Officer, has also been shortlisted in the Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence for ‘Charity Staff Member or the Year’.

Nicola joined just over a year ago to manage and provide Magpas Air Ambulance’s Community CPR training. By the end of June 2022, Nicola and her team of volunteers had trained 3,348 people in the lifesaving skills of CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

She’s coordinated and delivered training to people aged 8-99 years old; provided training to primary and secondary schools and colleges, to a vast variety of community groups, businesses and corporations across the region, and attended large-scale events with taster sessions such as freshers’ fairs and the first ever Cambridgeshire County Day. Nicola is now in the midst of working with the Bedfordshire Football Association and has already trained over 50 football teams in the county.

It’s testament to Nicola’s training that of everyone taught, she’s received 100% positive feedback from all. You can enquire about a free training session for your school, business or community group by emailing Nicola today.

Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Lucy Chapman, sums up, “I am so proud of Nicola, and the whole fundraising and marketing team for what they have achieved over the last year. The organisation relies on them to come up with new and engaging ways to raise the millions of pounds it takes to operate our 24/7 service every year as well as increasing our income to improve the service for the future. It has been a challenging time, but we are a small & supportive team with a real drive to do all we can to save lives and keep families together. However, the real award should go to our fantastic supporters who have shown us amazing support and continue to astound us with their commitment and generosity every day. For our patients and our supporters, we’re really looking forward to finding out if we’ve won at the awards ceremony in November.”