Donation helps keep air ambulance service flying high

A decade-long partnership is helping to keep Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s life-saving air ambulance service flying high.

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Donation helps keep air ambulance service flying high
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The ongoing connection between ExxonMobil Fawley and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) has seen the New Forest complex donate more than £50,000 to the vital emergency first aid provider.

Pre-Covid the funding helped to promote the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in every area of the air ambulance.

Through outreach youth work and the LifeLines project, which offers a glimpse into the daily life of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Critical Care Team’s work, it aims to inspire, motivate and raise aspirations of future generations.

Its crews of doctors, paramedics, pilots, dispatch assistants and engineers are a perfect example of STEM being used in the real world and projects were designed to highlight some of the challenges  teams face daily.

Throughout the pandemic, when the outreach work was forced to stop, donations have helped to support the welfare of the crew members through a wellbeing programme, and the development of their skills through education and qualification attainment.

And this has continued this year, with the latest donation of £3500 recently handed over.

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Ray Southam, Fundraising Manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance said: “We really value the long-standing link we have with ExxonMobil Fawley.

“Our crew wellbeing programme has proved vital, particularly over the past couple of years. The types of incidents that we are called out to means that our crew experience numerous severe trauma incidents on a daily basis. Over time this takes its toll on individuals. The programme provides confidential advice and support when they need it, as well as many interventions that avoid them reaching the point of burnout.

“Additionally, the education and ongoing development of our crew means that we can ensure our crews are trained in the highest levels of critical care and therefore ensure our service remains resilient, operational, and fit for purpose.

“Effectively, with their ongoing training and the combined skill set of our teams, we could carry out open heart surgery at the side of the road if it was necessary to save a life.”

Nick Bone, ExxonMobil Fawley Chemicals Site Manager, added: “We are delighted to be able to continue to help the air ambulance which provides an amazing service to our area and has helped to save many lives since it started.”