Yorkshire Air Ambulance are ‘Flying with the Airlie Birds’ after launching an exciting three-year charity partnership with Hull FC and their charity foundation.


The club has made the rapid response emergency service its official charity partner for the next three seasons and will be a unique relationship that raises funds for both the Air Ambulance and the Hull FC Foundation.


The partnership was launched in style at the KC Stadium on Thursday (7th) with a visit from one of the Air Ambulances, which, alongside it’s sister helicopter, needs £7,200 per day to be kept in the air.


The link-up, which will be known as FAB and will include a specific charity fixture each season, will see the club offer fundraising support via a series of initiatives and events, starting with a launch evening at Napoleons Casino on Wednesday 27th February, whilst the YAA will also appear on the club’s playing shorts.


Speaking at the launch, Hull FC owner Adam Pearson said, “We are very proud to be able to work in partnership with Yorkshire Air Ambulance over the next three years and we looking forward to raising as much money as possible for the charity and the Hull FC Foundation.


“We have previously chosen a charity of the year every 12 months, but we were so impressed by Yorkshire Ambulance and the life-saving service they provide, that we will be delivering a much more formal partnership over the coming years.


“Several of our staff were given a recent tour of their facilities and they were humbled by the dedication of these people and their efforts to keep the helicopters in the air, as well as how vital and effective this service is.


“They fly seven days a week, 365 days a year, and provide life changing service with very little funding. They rely almost entirely on donations and I’m sure it is a very worthy cause that our supporters will take to their hearts over the next three years.”


Covering a vast landscape of rural areas, cities and motorways, Yorkshire Air Ambulance operates two helicopters across the region, flying from Leeds Bradford International Airport and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk.


First set up in 2000, the charity has rescued almost 5,000 people over the past 13 years and relies on raising £2.65 million per year to continue.


Both of the charity’s air ambulances are MD902 Explorers and have state-of-the-art medical and helicopter specifications. They are able to reach speeds of 160 mph and together cover the whole of the region, often seen flying above the KC Stadium as they land at Hull Royal Infirmary.


The fast medical response that the air ambulance service provides is vital to a patient who has received major trauma, especially those with head and spinal injuries, as the air ambulance can avoid traffic congestion and uneven road surfaces.


Paul Gowland, YAA’s Director of Fundraising added “This is a really exciting new partnership for the YAA and we are really looking forward to working with Hull FC and their fans over the next three years to raise as much money as possible for our FAB partnership. Being an independent Charity, we have to rely on individuals, groups and organisations to help us raise the vital funds we need, so we’re delighted that Hull FC have chosen us as their charity partner. The YAA helicopters often fly patients into Hull Royal Infirmary and land not far from the KC Stadium. In fact last year (2012) 32 patients were taken to Hull Royal by the YAA after their incidents – that’s about 3 people every month.”


Last year, Hull FC chosen charity was Help for Heroes, with a particular focus on Phoenix House, based in Catterick, in North Yorkshire, for whom the club and its supporters raised more than £15,000 to help injured servicemen from this area.


The club will continue to work closely with Phoenix House for the foreseeable future, including a significant involvement in this year’s Armed Forces Weekend and it’s hoped the latest partnership with Yorkshrie Air Ambulance can have a similar lasting legacy.


For anyone interested in attending the launch at Napoleans Casino, please contact Hull FC on 01482 304 964.