Lincolnshire

Air ambulance charity grounds night flights as coronavirus cripples funding

The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance has said it will have to cut night flights as charities across the county plead with the public to help mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

The air ambulance says it faces losing up to £3 million because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already forced it to cancel fundraising activities and close shops.

Night missions have already been scaled back but the helicopter will not carry out any from May as staff are called back to support the NHS, self-isolating or are unable to travel.

The charity is calling on people to donate in order to safeguard the service by calling 01522 548469.

LIVES and YMCA Lincolnshire have also been some of the latest organisations to appeal for help.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750 million package to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

“CEO Karen Jobling said : “We don’t know at the moment whether we are eligible for the funding government has announced for front-line charities, what the criteria is or the time-frame in which funds could be accessed.

“We of course will be following this closely but we are in a period of great uncertainty for the air ambulance, so we are relying on donations more than ever to help keep us flying.”

The LNAA, however, is not the only charity appealing for help.

LIVES has also been forced to cancel its events, along with a number of training and engagement activities.

The charity is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and volunteers are still out and about providing community and medical forest responders.

Staff at LIVES helping to treat a patient. Photo: LIVES website

A statement from the charity said: “It is a concerning and uncertain time for all of the world right now, but as a charity that relies on public support in order to maintain the work we are doing, we hope that we can continue to be there for you as we currently are and as we have been serving Lincolnshire for the last 50 years.”

Lincolnshire YMCA has been forced to furlough 50 of its 130 employees since the start of the pandemic.

CEO Caroline Killeavy recently offered the charity’s showroom as a potential nightingale hospital.

The charity has just three areas still open including the Nomad Centre, but all its beds are full.

The crisis has caused a big increase in calls and demand for the service. The charity is working with partners and the city council to tackle the situation.


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