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9 June 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 9 June 2011, 07:13
Our air amublance charity is telling Heart they could be missing out on some funding because of a new leaflet being given out
They say that after a spate of leaflet drops and clothing bag collections from organisations purporting to be 'the air ambulance', the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the charity operating the service in the region, is asking people to be wary and check with them if they'e in any doubt as to the veracity of leaflets or collection bags.
Steve Whitby, Deputy Chief Executive of the EAAA, said: "We’ve been made aware of a number of organisations which are claiming to be an air ambulance covering the region but we would like to make it clear to our supporters that we are the only dedicated air ambulance service covering Suffolk (and Norfolk)'
An organisation calling itself 'the Air Ambulance Service' appears to have distributed leaflets claiming it is collecting unwanted items which are urgently needed so they can 'financially assist to cover or reduce the cost of ground air ambulance medical transportation for patients caught in difficult medical circumstances'. It does, however, state in the small print that they are not associated to any local helicopter emergency medical service. The EAAA has also been made aware that other 'air ambulances' are asking for donations of between £1 and £25 to sustain their service.
Mr Whitby continued: 'It’s a real shame to hear that these organisations are trying to cash in on people’s generosity and leave a charity without the funds it needs to continue saving lives across the East of England. We have fantastic support from the people of Suffolk (and Norfolk) and don’t want them to be misled. We operate a range of fundraising initiatives across the region we serve and I'd just like to remind people that anything coming from us will be clearly branded 'EAAA'. We do work with a company called ‘World UK Limited’ which is authorised to collect clothing donations on our behalf and another called 'Engage People' who canvass for our very successful lottery, but these are the only two organisations we work with.
If people are in any doubt, we ask them to give us a call to clarify that the donation they wish to make will come directly to us.
The East Anglian Air Ambulance is a charity which receives no direct government funding and therefore relies solely on donations. They need to raise around £4.2 million every year. Those in any doubt about where their donation is going should check the charity’s website at www.eaaa.org.uk and look for your local area fundraising office, or contact Head Office on 08450 669 999.