'A huge concern' - Air ambulance charity appeals to tackle funding deficit

An air ambulance charity has launched an appeal for what they describe as "a huge concern" in their funding deficit.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service is predicting that they will run at a deficit this year after they expanded the services that they offer.

This follows on from 2023 where the charity said they had the "busiest summer on record."

Speaking regarding their shortage in funding, Lee Salmon from the charity, said: "It is a huge concern. Our organisation needs to fund two helicopters and two cars, that is our charitable aim.

"That funding is to the tune of £8.3 million a year, which is a huge amount of money. It works out at around £22,000 a day in operational costs.

“We are tasked to around 2,700 jobs every year. That is a huge number of people that we have directly had impact to care for."

Running at a deficit in 2024 will see the charity dip into their reserves to keep them flying this year.

The Great North Air Ambulance Charity is predicting that they will be running at a deficit in 2024. Credit: ITV

Lee Salmon added: "It is a massively emotive job, we see people on the worst days of their lives.

"We see ordinary people, people that think things will never happen to them. It does sadly though, that is matter of fact.

“The charitable sector has been massively hit by the cost of living crisis. People are struggling to pay their own bills, insurance has gone up, there are things like that.

"It all has a huge effect, ultimately we are a charity. We will not be there unless people continue to support us. It is important that we keep that support coming in."

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