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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flying high thanks to Ordnance Survey

Staff at Southampton-based Ordnance Survey are throwing their support behind Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance – by electing it as their corporate charity for 2008/2009.

Workers at the mapping agency will spend the next 12 months organising events and raising funds for the vital service – which needs more than £2,000 each day to keep it operational.

Relying solely on voluntary donations, the air ambulance can be airborne within three minutes of an emergency call – reaching most of its operational area within fifteen minutes. Amazingly, pilots need an area just half the size of a tennis court to be able to land.

“It is a pleasure to be supporting this crucial resource,” says Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey.

“None of us know when we may need the help of an air ambulance – and we chose to support the air ambulance as we know the benefits it will give to people’s recovery from a traumatic situation. We take our fund-raising very seriously. I am confident we will find new, inventive ways to raise as much money as possible to play some part in ensuring the future of the air ambulance.”

Launched in October 2005 as a charity, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance became fully operational in July 2007. Since then the team has attended more than 550 incidents – and expects that figure to rise considerably during the coming year.

“Our helicopter is leased and we need monthly funds,” says Lynne Dadley of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. “So, without the support of organisations like Ordnance Survey and of course our many other supporters, we wouldn’t be able to keep flying.”