Posts Tagged ‘air ambulance’

Air ambulance and police chopper now operating out of new Almondsbury base

Posted on Saturday 1st December 2018 at 8:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of GWAAC crew with air ambulance G-GWAC on the apron of the new Almondsbury air base

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) has taken up tenancy of a new air base in Almondsbury. The move is a huge milestone for the charity, which had previously been operating from a hangar at the former Filton Airfield.

The air ambulance has been joined at the new site by the local police helicopter, which was also previously based at Filton.

In a move which would ensure stability for the life-saving charity, the landlords of the new base have offered GWAAC the opportunity to purchase the facility at a significantly reduced price.

GWAAC chief executive Anna Perry explains:

“We’re thrilled to have moved into the new air base at Almondsbury, however with our current tenancy agreement we could be asked to leave again after ten years. This could be extremely disruptive to our service. Owning our air base will ensure we can continue to carry out our life-saving work well into the future. It’s unlikely we will have the opportunity to buy a facility like this again.”

Earlier this year, GWAAC launched an urgent appeal to help them raise the additional £1.25 million needed to fund the purchase. They are half-way towards their target, but still have a long way to go. As a charity they rely on generous donations from members of the public to stay operational. Excitingly, if they can raise another £315,000 then a generous local organisation has pledged to double this money!

More: Almondsbury-based police helicopter is operational 24/7/365 »

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Double celebration for air ambulance charity

Posted on Monday 23rd January 2017 at 9:13 am by SH (Editor)

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) had cause to celebrate the biggest week in its history at the end of November, when it received final confirmation of planning permission for a new helicopter operations base at a site near the Almondsbury Interchange and learned that a £1 million grant was heading its way.

GWAAC chief executive John Christensen said:

“Finding a new base has been a long journey for us, and I am glad that it is now finally over, and we can begin work. Our main focus has been to find a site that is easily accessible both by helicopter and car, and the Almondsbury site was the only viable option. I am pleased that we will have a modern base that will ensure that we can continue to provide this life-saving service.”

A new modern hanger will be built, which will house the GWAAC helicopter alongside the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter. This hanger will be a significant upgrade on the current hanger at Filton Airfield, which was built during the First World War and is one of the oldest surviving hangers in the UK. It will finally allow the charity to operate out of a building that is fit for purpose.

GWAAC has been based on Filton Airfield since its first flight in 2008. However, the airfield is now being redeveloped, which meant that the charity needed a new home to operate from. Work is set to begin on the new base for GWAAC and NPAS early in 2017, and the charity hopes to be operational from the site by the end of the year.

The news about the base came just days after GWAAC received a £1 million one-off grant from the government’s Libor funds. The grant was one of a number announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on 23rd November as part of his autumn statement.

The 2012 Libor rate fixing scandal involved a series of fraudulent transactions connected to the Libor, or London Interbank Offered Rate. HM Treasury subsequently agreed to donate some of the fines imposed on financial institutions in the wake of the scandal to be used to support military and emergency services charities.

More: Helibase decision made, quashed and then remade »

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Bradley Stoke Lions support air ambulance

Posted on Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 9:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Lions support the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity with a donation of £500.

Lions from Bradley Stoke have played their part in keeping the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) helicopter flying.

The club raised £500 through a variety of fundraising events, and visited the GWAAC base at Filton Airfield to present the cheque.

It costs £2.3million a year to keep the helicopter operational, and the charity receives no day-to-day funding from the government or National Lottery. Therefore, the support of groups like the Bradley Stoke Lions is vital to ensure that GWAAC can continue to provide this life saving service.

GWAAC community fundraising coordinator Ella Mayne said:

“We’re so grateful to the Bradley Stoke Lions for their generosity and support. We rely on the people we serve to help us stay operational. The money raised will help us to provide critical care to those who need it the most – saving more lives.”

GWAAC has been providing an air ambulance service for 2.1 million people across the counties of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and parts of Wiltshire for seven years.

• Find out more at

• To join Bradley Stoke Lions, call 0845 833 6745.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Create a will “for free” in aid of your local air ambulance charity

Posted on Thursday 20th March 2014 at 10:46 am by SH (Editor)

Great Western Air Ambulance.

Bradley Stoke residents are being invited to create a will “for free”, in return for a suggested donation to the local air ambulance service.

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) provides an air ambulance service for the 2.1m people of Bristol, Bath, North Somerset and the surrounding counties. In a show of support, solicitors across its coverage area have agreed to partner GWAAC and allow members of the community to make their will “for free”, in return for a donation to the cause.

The promotion, called Wills Week, will take place from Monday 31st March to Friday 4th April 2014. A suggested donation of £90 is applicable to single wills (£130 for a couple) and covers simple/straightforward wills only. In Bradley Stoke, the nearest participating partner solicitor is Wards Solicitors and they can be contacted on 01454 204880 for further information.

GWAAC’s dedicated medical team offers an invaluable life-saving service and attended to approximately 1,544 critically ill patients in 2013. The organisation is one of the few which works to a Critical Care Standard, and is essentially a flying Accident & Emergency department.

Taking part in this scheme is a great way for members of the community to support the service, whilst benefiting from a cost-effective will writing initiative. Wills Week will also give supporters an opportunity to leave the charity a gift in their will. Having received very few legacies to date, it’s hoped that this campaign will provide a much needed boost.

Speaking of Wills Week, Patricia Gaitan, Head of Fundraising at GWAAC, said:

“This is an opportunity for people to practically support the charity. If you’re thinking about making your will, then why not make use of our scheme? Community support is vital to the survival of the service and ensures that we can continue to operate an emergency service for the people of our region.”

To find out more about GWAAC and Wills Week, please visit or call 0117 9699344 and ask to speak to a member of our fundraising team.

Source: Press release from Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Related link: Solicitors in Bradley Stoke (The Journal)

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