A REGIONAL charity is appealing for people to ‘love their air ambulance’ for a special fundraising month this February.

The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), providers of an air ambulance for the 2.1million residents of our region, is encouraging people to support their cause this February as part of an annual initiative.

It is hoped Love Your Air Ambulance month will help the Filton-based charity to raise £250,000 for a new Eurocopter EC 135 helicopter in order to replace the ageing Bölkow 105 model that it currently uses.

A new helicopter would attend to patients four minutes faster, would allow a mother and child to fly to hospital together and would allow more space for the patient, equipment and mid-air treatment.

During February, local businesses, schools and community groups are being encouraged to ‘love’ their local air ambulance by wearing red or pink for a dress down day, by holding a raffle or a heart-themed cake sale, or by completing a sponsored run or walk to get their heart pumping.

Chief executive John Christensen said “Our air ambulance attends an average of one cardiac arrest per day.

“With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we are delighted to hold our Love Your Air Ambulance campaign for the second year running - it’s the perfect time to remind the people of our region that our cause relies on the support of the people that we serve in order to continue operating as we receive no Government or National Lottery funding.”

He added: “You never know when you might need us, and that’s why it’s so important for our local community to support our cause and help keep their local air ambulance flying.”

For more information about Love Your Air Ambulance month and to get involved with a fundraising activity, contact the GWAAC fundraising team on 0117 9699344, email fundraising@gwaac.com or visit www.loveyourairambulance.com