About the County Air Ambulance Trust HELP Appeal
The County Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT) is a local charity that launched in 1993. It was founded to help ensure the financial future of the first red air ambulance helicopter in the Midlands region. Since then it has funded operational and infrastructure projects for several Air Ambulance charities.
In 2009 CAAT launched the HELP (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) Appeal, to fund much needed helipad facilities at Major Trauma Centres and A&E hospitals throughout the country. The HELP Appeal is still recognised as the only charity in the country dedicated to funding life-saving hospital helipads.
Whilst air ambulance doctors and paramedics do outstanding work, the lack of hospital helipads has been a missing link in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). Many of the helipads that have been opened would not have happened without this unique funding from the HELP Appeal.
To date, over 12,250 landings have taken place on HELP Appeal funded helipads including at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry. There are over 40 planned projects including at Worcestershire Royal Hospital; Coventry University Hospital; New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton; Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, Royal Stoke University Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Why are helipads so important?
Everyone is aware of the Golden Hour and the vital roles that hospitals and air ambulances play in treating a critically ill patient but having a helipad beside the Emergency Department can play a significant role in saving time when transporting a patient to the expert care they need to save their lives.
Here’s what patients who’ve landed on HELP Appeal funded helipads have to say:
“If the helipad had been anywhere other than just a short trolley dash to the Emergency Department, Amelia would not be here today. Saving time, saved her life,” Jemma Pile, mother to Amelia, 3 who suffered a serious fall.
“Without the helipad I probably would have died…You really don’t realise how crucial it is until you need it – thankfully my boys and unborn child still have their daddy.” Tom Locke, who fell three stories from the roof of his house.
Most recently the County Air Ambulance Trust HELP Appeal launched two critical care cars with Midlands Air Ambulance, which operate in Birmingham and the Black Country and the Worcester area. In 2019, it also funded a new emergency responder vehicle for the Cheshire and Shropshire Immediate Care Group, a network of medical volunteers who support local ambulance services in the area during emergency incidents.
Like to find out more?
For more information about the HELP Appeal, please call 0800 3898 999 or visit www.helpappeal.org.uk where you can find its fundraising pack and the latest fundraising events you can get involved in.