To mark their centenary milestone, Gates provided the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) the use of a Ford Mondeo as well as helping to future-proof the Charity’s `blood on board’ initiative by supplying a Ford Kuga to Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS); the vehicle was purchased at cost with a grant awarded by The Henry Surtees Foundation.
Throughout 2020, the Ford Mondeo Estate, which carries EHAAT’s distinctive branding, has been put to good use as it has enabled staff to travel between the Charity’s two airbases, fundraising offices and shops across Essex and Hertfordshire.
The Ford Kuga meanwhile has been, and will continue to be used by EVBS volunteers who each day, travel between Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and the EHAAT bases at North Weald and Earls Colne to deliver blood products that are replaced daily and replenished as required. Having access to a car to help with this work means that the EVBS volunteers do not need to take to the roads by motorbike in bad weather. It will also help reduce the risk of blood products freezing or overheating whilst on board motorcycles therefore reducing wastage of this vital material.
Pam Withrington, Fundraising and Marketing Director at EHAAT said: “As a charity which receives only limited support from Government, we depend on the generosity of individuals and businesses such as Gates. We are extremely grateful to the company for these generous gestures. We look forward to being part of their extended centenary celebrations." Pam continues “The blood bikers are an amazing group of volunteers, and without their hard work and dedication we would not have been able to carry blood supplies. As winter closes in, anything which makes their work a little easier is very much welcomed and appreciated.”
Carol Weller, Chair of EVBS said: “Having access to a car to help with our work will mean that hospitals can be served a lot better in the cold harsh weather. As well as carrying blood supplies for EHAAT, EVBS transports blood products to all the hospitals of Essex and East London as well as donor milk for the Herts milk bank and the Rosie unit at Addenbrooke’s. The Ford Kuga that Gates has supplied is going to help a large number of patients across Essex and we are all extremely grateful to Gates for making this possible."
Mr Heath Greenall, Chairman and fifth generation of the Gates family, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of both the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust and Essex Voluntary Blood Services, and thereby the local communities in this, our 100th year and beyond”.
The EHAAT-branded Ford Mondeo was also due to be used at a variety of fundraising events organised by the EHAAT in 2020; unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has not been possible. However, as Gates' support towards the vital work of this charity continues throughout 2021, we are all very hopeful to be out and about next year to make up for it!