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Swansea Building Society support Wales Air Ambulance in 2021
 

Swansea Building Society has chosen Wales Air Ambulance as its staff charity of the year for 2021. The staff will take part in fundraising activities throughout the year, with all the money going to the charity.

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We’re very pleased to be able to announce that our team, here at Swansea Building Society, has chosen to continue our support of Wales Air Ambulance as our official staff charity for another year.  

The Wales Air Ambulance has been our official charity during 2020, following a vote by our staff. However, due to COVID-19, our staff felt that we have been unable to raise funds from many of the activities we would have liked to have undertaken, so would like the chance to do that in 2021, once, hopefully, restrictions are lifted.

Having said that, we have been able to raise a considerable amount for the valuable medical rescue service, helping it achieve its long-held ambition of becoming a 24/7 service across Wales, and allowing them to keep helicopters in the air during an unprecedented year.

The Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust welcomed the £5,000 donation we made in June, as well as the additional £5,000 donation we made at the end of last year – funds it said have been much-needed due to the way in which the coronavirus pandemic has limited many forms of fundraising this year.

The Society has also totalled up all monies from collection tins at our branches, which we have again more than match funded. This, along with a further individual donation from one of our customers of £250, brings the total raised for the charity by Swansea Building Society during 2020 to £10,718.

With UK charitable donations falling during lockdown, we understood that these donations would be greatly appreciated by this valuable medical rescue service – allowing them to keep helicopters in the air during an unprecedented year.

During 2021, our staff hope to be able to undertake the cake sales, dress down days, quiz’s, fundraising runs and cycle rides we had planned to raise money for the charity this year, meaning our total should, hopefully, surpass the already considerable amount we have managed to raise during 2020, despite the difficulties.

Wales Air Ambulance is funded entirely by the people of Wales. The charity does not receive direct funding from the government, and it does not qualify for National Lottery funding. Instead, it relies on the support of the Welsh public to help keep the helicopters flying. Its helicopters are kept in the air solely through charitable donations, fundraising events and membership of its in‐house Lifesaving Lottery.

The Charity has four airbase operations in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff. As well as flying patients to hospital, they bring A&E directly to patients.

The on‐board critical care consultants and practitioners have some of the most pioneering equipment and skills in the world. They deliver emergency treatments usually not available outside of a hospital environment, including the ability to conduct blood transfusions, administer anaesthetics, offer strong painkillers, and conduct a range of medical procedures. This means that patients receive advanced care before they even reach the hospital.

In December 2020, the Charity achieved its ultimate aim of becoming a 24/7 service. Alongside the four-aircraft operation which runs in the daytime, the Charity now has a helicopter and crew on standby throughout the night which is capable of supporting emergencies across Wales.

The money raised by the Society for Wales Air Ambulance adds to significant funds already raised for a variety of worthy causes during 2020: £1,000 raised for the Movember campaign; £2,820 raised for Maggies Cancer Charity; £1,071 raised for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal; £1,000 raised for the NHS; £500 for Carmarthen Food Bank; and £310 for the leading homeless charity Llamau West Wales.

Richard Miles, our Head of Savings, said:
“We had lots of group fundraising activities planned for 2020, but COVID-19, unfortunately, meant they were unable to go ahead. Despite these difficulties, our staff managed to raise a considerable amount during 2020. The Society has also stepped in with considerable donations to ensure none of the charities missed out – by more than match-funding all monies raised for the worthy causes we’ve supported.

“During 2021, our staff hope to be able to undertake some of the cake sales, dress down days, quiz’s, fundraising runs and cycle rides we had planned to raise money for charity this year. Hopefully, this should mean our 2021 total will surpass the considerable amount we have managed to raise during 2020, despite the difficulties.”

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said:
“Everybody at Swansea Building Society has shown incredible generosity towards our charity. We are humbled by their continued support and are proud to be associated with them.

“2020 has been a significant year in our history, and not just because of the pandemic. It is the year that we have achieved our aim of delivering a lifesaving service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To maintain the helicopter operation, we need to raise £8 million every year.

“During 2021, our charity will celebrate its 20th anniversary and we are delighted that Swansea Building Society will be a part of this significant milestone.”

 


 

The Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust has welcomed our £5,000 donation – funds it said are much-needed due to the way in which the coronavirus pandemic has limited many forms of fundraising. 

The Wales Air Ambulance is our official charity for 2020, having been voted for by our staff. With UK charitable donations falling during lockdown, a donation such as this has been greatly appreciated by this valuable medical rescue service. Unfortunately, many of the fund-raising activities our staff had planned for 2020 have either had to be cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. 

However, here at Swansea Building Society, we recognised the importance of being able to help Wales Air Ambulance with running costs during this period; unusually, therefore, we decided to make this sizable donation earlier than originally planned.

Richard Miles, our Head of Savings, said:
“Usually we would have given the full amount raised at the end of the year, but – due to the circumstances – we have made this donation earlier in order to help Wales Air Ambulance with their ongoing running costs. We had lots of group fundraising activities planned for the year, but COVID has, unfortunately, meant that they haven’t been able to go ahead. However, I’m sure that the staff will come up with some safe fundraising ideas to continue raising money over the next few months.”

Wales Air Ambulance is funded entirely by the people of Wales. The charity does not receive direct funding from the government, and it does not qualify for National Lottery funding. Instead, it relies on the support of the Welsh public to help keep the helicopters flying. Its helicopters are kept in the air solely through charitable donations, fundraising events and membership of its in‐house Lifesaving Lottery.

With four airbase operations in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff, Wales Air Ambulance can be there for anyone in Wales within 20 minutes. As well as flying patients to hospital, they bring A&E directly to patients. 

The on‐board critical care consultants and practitioners have some of the most pioneering equipment and skills in the world. They deliver emergency treatments usually not available outside of a hospital environment, including the ability to conduct blood transfusions, administer anaesthetics, offer strong painkillers, and conduct a range of medical procedures. This means that patients receive advanced care before they even reach the hospital. 

The helicopters currently operate 12‐hours a day, 8am to 8pm, but the Charity would like to run a helicopter 24/7 by the end of 2020. To achieve this, Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £8 million every year. 

Alun Williams, our chief executive, said: 
“It’s a great privilege to be able to support Wales Air Ambulance this year – particularly in light of the pandemic and the drop in donations to the charitable sector. I am very proud of the generosity and ingenuity of the staff in raising the funds, despite difficult circumstances. Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £8 million every year to operate the service and we hope the society’s efforts will go some way to helping them achieve this. Our charitable activities help to bring Swansea Building Society together as a team and allow us to give something back to the areas in which we operate. I’m sure that the remainder of the year will see us raise even more money for this vital service.” 

Steffan Anderson-Thomas, Corporate & Events Lead for Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust, said:
“We very much appreciate the donation from Swansea Building Society. We are all working hard to achieve our aim of becoming a 24/7 service, and support like this will help to ensure we will be available for the people of Wales, around the clock. The staff at Swansea Building Society have done an amazing job raising these funds, particularly when you consider the events of the past few months, so we give heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed."

 


 

The Royal British Legion has welcomed a substantial donation of more than £1,000 from Swansea Building Society – funds it said are much-needed due to the way in which the coronavirus pandemic has limited many forms of fundraising. 

The money was raised thanks to the tireless efforts of Lynda Jones, a cashier at Swansea Building Society, who raised £535.50 by making and selling poppies in the run up to Remembrance Sunday. Following match funding from the Society, the final cheque for £1,071 was written for the charity. 

The Royal British Legion is a charity that provides financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants. With UK charitable donations falling during lockdown, a donation such as this has been greatly appreciated by this important charity.

Swansea Building Society, with branch offices in Swansea, Mumbles, Carmarthen and Cowbridge, has seen the fund-raising activities staff had planned for 2020 either cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. However, Lynda refused to let anything stand in her way and spent months making poppies before selling them while observing social distancing guidelines in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

Richard Miles, Swansea Building Society’s Head of Savings, said:

“These have been tough times for charities in particular and it is great to see one of our staff go the extra mile to raise money for such an important charity on such a significant day. As such, we were delighted to be able to match fund Lynda’s efforts to make an even more substantial donation.”

Alun Williams, chief executive of Swansea Building Society, said: 

“It’s a great privilege to be able to support The Royal British Legion – particularly in light of the pandemic and the drop in donations to the charitable sector. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our staff despite difficult circumstances and Lynda epitomises those efforts.”