Wiltshire Air Ambulance receives £5k from Wessex region to support over 1,500 children learn vital emergency skills
31 March 2023
Wessex region has donated £5,000 to Wiltshire Air Ambulance which will be used to support over 1,500 local school children learn vital emergency skills.
Wessex region has a substantial development footprint across Wiltshire and has given the funds through its Community Champions scheme, which donates up to £750,000 a year to good causes across Great Britain.
The money will be used to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Emergency Awareness Training programme which provides interactive training sessions for children at primary and secondary schools and delivers a range of lifesaving skills across the county.
To mark the Wessex region donation, representatives from the business and Wiltshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education, Cllr Dominic Muns, visited Castle Mead Primary School in Trowbridge to witness the programme first-hand, which was led by Andrew Robinson.
Since its inception in 2019, the programme has reached over 25,000 schoolchildren across Wiltshire and Bath, teaching them skills such as how to make a 999 call, perform CPR, manage an unconscious patient, and assist a person who is choking.
Commenting on the donation, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Deputy Director of Income Generation Rebecca de la Bedoyere said:
“We are very grateful to Persimmon Homes Wessex for supporting our vital work in schools.
“As the air ambulance service for Wiltshire and Bath, we are best known for our lifesaving helicopter emergency medical service, which is there for critically ill and injured people when they need it most.
“Even though we can reach anywhere in Wiltshire in 11 minutes and the centre of Bath in just four minutes, it is usually a member of the public who is first at the scene.
“Our Emergency Awareness Training gives young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to act in an emergency, so that if they are ever at the scene of an incident, they could make a lifesaving difference.
“We would like to thank Persimmon Homes Wessex for understanding how important this work is and for supporting it so generously.”
Since 2020, all state-funded schools in England are required to teach first aid as part of the PSHE elements of the National Curriculum.
The organisation’s training sessions for children can be tailored to engage all ages and meet the needs of community groups, in addition to the school’s programme.
The aim is to educate the community and provide them with the knowledge to confidently manage a medical emergency prior to the arrival of an ambulance.
Cllr Dominic Muns, Wiltshire Portfolio Holder for Education, who attended Castle Mead along with Persimmon and Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said:
“It was a pleasure to visit Castle Mead School in Trowbridge to see the great work being undertaken by Wiltshire Air Ambulance through its Emergency Awareness Training programme.
“The initiative is hugely important and has already had a profound impact across Wiltshire, reaching over 25,000 children and providing them with vital knowledge on how to manage in a medical emergency.
“I’m delighted Persimmon Homes has chosen to support this great charity and initiative, which will now see a further 1600 children across Wiltshire equipped with these vital skills.”
Pauline Fletcher, Sales Director for Wessex region, said:
“Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a fantastic organisation which goes above and beyond each and every day to help people across the county.
“Persimmon’s Community Champions initiative is all about supporting the communities where we build, and we are delighted to be able to support the organisation’s superb Emergency Awareness Training programme.
“To witness the training programme first-hand was fascinating and it’s great to see such skills being taught. It means a lot to our local business that this funding will support many local schools and over 1,500 local children with vital emergency skills.
“We have a proud and long-standing presence across Wiltshire and Bath, and not only are we proud to provide homes for local people, we are also determined to give back to key organisations such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a charity which needs to raise £4 million a year to continue delivering its lifesaving service. The charity receives no regular direct Government funding or National Lottery grants.
Persimmon currently has a number of sites across Wiltshire with a range of quality new homes available at developments in Warminster, Salisbury, Malmesbury and Swindon.