London’s Air Ambulance Charity (LAAC) has launched an appeal to raise £15 million by 2024 to fund the renewal of its helicopter fleet. The campaign, called Up Against Time, will fund an order placed in July by the charity for the supply of two new Airbus H135 helicopters to replace their existing aircraft, which are becoming ‘difficult to maintain’.
As part of the launch, hundreds of volunteers, staff and off-duty crew from will be on the streets of London on 4 October, collecting donations.
To mark the appeal, LAAC also released the results of a public poll, which found that over a quarter (26 per cent) of people in London have been personally affected by traumatic injury or had a friend or family member who has been.
LAAC is a key responder to such incidents – in 2021, it responded to 1,714 patients at the scene, an average of five a day. Of these, 156 people were so critically injured that they needed a pre-hospital blood transfusion at the scene of the incident.
Many Londoners remain unaware of how the charity is funded
Despite this, the charity faces challenges due to a lack of public awareness about how they are funded, and how critical their work is. The same poll found that only 38 per cent of Londoners know that the organization is funded primarily by public donations – 89 per cent of its funding comes from donations.
Over a third (36 per cent) believed that the service was funded either by the National Health Service (NHS) or directly by the national government.
A third (33 per cent) of Londoners surveyed were also unaware that LAAC medics often perform life-saving procedures on patients during transportation, including open chest surgery, blood transfusion and reinflating collapsed lungs.