Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a financial boost worth £1m to Wales Air Ambulance Charity (WAAC) in today’s autumn budget.
The money, which comes from fines imposed on Banks during the LIBOR scandal, will be used increase flying hours and improving night time operations across Wales.
In the statement the Chancellor distributed more than £100m of LIBOR fines to emergency services and armed forces across the UK.
Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies solely on fundraising donations. Now in its 15th year of operations it responds to around 2000 call-outs every year saving lives by increasing the amount of treatment patients receive within the “golden hour” thereby vastly improving survival chances it needs to raise £6.5m in charitable donations every year to keep its four helicopters flying.
WAAC’s chief executive Angela Hughes said: “It’s the charity’s vision to become a 24-hour operation and this donation from the LIBOR fund takes us a step closer to reaching that goal.
“Our bid set out how a donation from LIBOR would help us to set up a fully-functional night operation for the whole of Wales, enabling us to carry out paediatric, neonatal and adult missions on board our aircraft. We’re delighted to have secured £1m, which will cover one third of our costs for night flight planning.”
Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens MP told Aviation Wales: “I am pleased that the Government has allocated funding from its LIBOR fines to Wales Air Ambulance. This service provides vital air ambulance transport right across Wales for people seriously injured, and saves hundreds of lives. As a charity Wales Air Ambulance has been reliant on the public for donations, so I know this additional funding will make a huge difference to the work they can do in Wales.”