Building society boost for helicopter service

Maxine Hartley and the crew of Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Maxine Hartley and the crew of Yorkshire Air Ambulance

WHITBY’S only building society has launched a new savings scheme which raises money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which helps save lives in this area.

Beneficiaries of the outstanding service they provide include Whitby Gazette reporter Karl Hansell, who was flown to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a serious road traffic accident in 2008.

Maxine Hartley, branch manager at Yorkshire Building Society in Flowergate, said: “I’m delighted we’re stepping up our support for Yorkshire Air Ambulance as it is a cause close to my team’s heart.

“Because we’re a seaside town and our nearest hospital trauma unit is over 20 miles away, the air ambulance is essential to the people of Whitby.

“Karl’s a friend and former team member and when we heard how the charity helped save his life it really hit home just how much we need the support of the YAA in our town.”

The building society will annually donate 1% of the average monthly balances in the accounts to the charity, which will make a considerable donation to YAA.

Through Barnsley Building Society, a subsidiary of YBS, over £400,000 has been donated to the charity over a four year period.

Mrs Hartley added: “It costs £7,200 a day to keep the charity’s two helicopters in the air, that’s the equivalent of £2.6m a year, and I hope the people of Whitby who are looking for a home for their savings will consider our new accounts.

“Saving really can save lives.”

Reporter Karl was rescued by the air ambulance after a collision on the A171 flipped his car over.

He shattered his shoulder blade into 150 pieces and suffered serious internal bleeding, but the air ambulance was able to transport him to James Cook Hospital in minutes, where life-saving emergency care could be given.

Paul Gowland, director of fund-raising for YAA, said: “It is key we are able to offer imaginative and exciting ways to create sustainable income streams for the charity, which enables us to continue our vital life-saving work and plan for the future.”

For more details about the savings supporter bonds pop in to the YBS branch in Flowergate or visit