A £20,000 donation from Yorkshire Freemasons is assisting the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to save even more lives
The money, which has come from Yorkshire West Riding Masonic Charities Limited, has been used by the organisation to purchase an additional pair of night vision goggles.
With up to one in 10 missions now taking place after dark, the grant will enable the pilots based at the Nostell Priory air support unit to fly to emergencies across the region – night and day.
To keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances in the air, the charity needs to raise £12,000 per day – the equivalent to £4.4 million per year – and Yorkshire’s two masonic provinces annually contribute to the flying costs.
In recognition of this on-going financial support, the helicopters carry the masonic emblem of the square and compasses on their fuselages.
David Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding – whose geographical area encompasses south Yorkshire, west Yorkshire and parts of north and east Yorkshire - said: 'We are incredibly lucky to be in a position where we can fund vital equipment for charities such as the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
'When we were told night vision goggles these were on their wish list, we immediately informed the charity that we would be delighted to purchase a set.
'It was superb to revisit the air support unit and hear from pilots and staff the difference this purchase will make, and in particular that further lives will no doubt be saved as a result.'
Steve Waudby, Chief Pilot from Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: 'Once again we would like to say a big thank you to the Freemasons from the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding for their generosity.
'If it wasn’t for the continued support of organisations, individuals and businesses, we would not be able to provide the life-saving service that we do. These night vision goggles will make a huge difference to our operation.'
Assistant Provincial Grand Master at unveiling of new helicopter funded by Freemasons
Tuesday 7th June saw the official preview event for a sparkling new Airbus H145 helicopter
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance service has just purchased this wonderful addition to their service which will officially go into service over the summer. Raising the necessary £6 million for the helicopter has taken some time, helped in no small part by the annual grant made from the The Freemasons' Grand Charity to all of the air ambulance services throughout the country.
The event was attended by Stephen Robinson, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, Tony Llewellyn, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding and Dr Nigel Weightman, Chairman of Provincial Grand Charity for Yorkshire, North and East Ridings.
There were many other supporters of the scheme in attendance to hear that the efficiency of the new helicopter will enable the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service to attend 30% more call-outs, due to the greater range of the new helicopter and the fact that flying hours will be extended to cover some night flying.
Never one to mince his words, the event was also supported by Geoffrey Boycott OBE who is a Patron of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Geoffrey was instrumental in obtaining £1 million from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, from the banking sector Libor fines.