From Fields to Funds: Knaresborough Tractor Run Raises £113k for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

The Knaresborough Tractor Run organisers have celebrated a major donation milestone at a cheque presentation event hosted at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Nostell Airbase in Wakefield.

What started from humble beginnings has since become a beloved annual tradition within the community, with hundreds of people travelling from far and wide to line the roads and watch the impressive display of over 370 tractors in action.

The North Yorkshire-based event is now considered one of the UK’s largest tractor run, with all proceeds going to the life-saving emergency service, Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Since the first tractor run in 2012, which recorded just eleven tractors taking part, the organisation has donated an impressive £113,341 to the charity.

As a thank you for their longstanding support, the Knaresborough Tractor Run logo now has pride of place on the charity’s newest helicopters.

back of helicopter

Regional Fundraising Manager, Linda Stead, said, “Celebrating the fantastic £113K fundraising milestone donated by the Knaresborough Tractor Run over the years is such an incredible achievement, and we are truly grateful for the support we have received.

 The Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on the generous donations we receive to keep our helicopters maintained and in the air, so events like the Knaresborough Tractor Run are invaluable to us. We want to say a huge thank you to all of the organisers, participants, and supporters of the event for their dedication and generosity over the years in helping us to continue to save lives across Yorkshire.”

The Knaresborough Tractor Run, which was founded by members of Knaresborough Young Farmers, included Mike Spink, who was passionate about supporting the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. However, in 2017, Mike tragically passed away in a road accident in New Zealand, where he had relocated six months prior.

To honour his memory, the organisers of the tractor run decided to expand the run into the large-scale fundraiser known today. What was previously a casual gathering of tractors in Tan Hill and Whitby, became a more significant affair, and a heart-warming way to remember Mike and support a vital cause.

One of the event organisers, James Parker, said, ‘We are thrilled to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance once again. From our very first planning meeting, we knew that YAA was the charity we wanted to support, given their vital role in our rural community. We have seen first-hand the incredible work they do, and we are proud to be raising funds to ensure that they can continue to deliver on their promise of helping to save lives.

 It’s a cause that’s close to our hearts, and we know that many of our participants, as well as their friends and families, have benefited from YAA’s services. We hope that our efforts will make a meaningful difference in helping YAA to continue their life-saving work’.

Click here to read more YAA News.

Cycling Group, including 2 Air Ambulance ex-patients, Tackle 275k ‘Chase the Sun’ biking Challenge

The Bishop Monkton Next Challenge Cycling Club (BMNCCC is gearing up for an extraordinary cycling adventure as they prepare to take on the Chase the Sun Italy 2023 challenge to raise vital funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The passionate cyclists will embark on a demanding 275-kilometre journey across Italy, starting from the east coast at sunrise and climbing to a 3300-metre elevation at the journeys peak, before reaching the west coast prior to sunset.

The motivation behind this ambitious adventure is deeply personal for the BMNCCC group, as two of their members have experienced first-hand the critical medical assistance provided by Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Ollie Coughlan, aged just 39 at the time, suffered a cardiac arrest in March 2018. He received immediate aid from his friends at the time who were able to use a local defibrillator in an attempt to restart his heart whilst they waited for the emergency services. Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s crew swiftly arrived at the scene in their Rapid Response Vehicle, used during poor flying conditions, and playing a vital role in his successful outcome.

More recently in January 2022, Ben Cairns, who works for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and regularly works with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance team, was involved in a cycling accident in a remote area of North Yorkshire, resulting in a broken hip, femur and ribs. Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s crew swiftly arrived at his aid, securing his leg, and flying him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where he received emergency surgery.

Scene of a bike accident with emergency services
Yorkshire Air Ambulance rushes to the aid of Ben Cairns after a cycling accident, providing critical care and airlifting him to hospital for emergency surgery.

Initially setting a two-thousand-pound fundraising target, the group has exceeded their goal in just two months, with donations from over 65 supporters. With 16 days still to go until the ambitious ride, the group are setting their fundraising goals sky high to make an even more substantial contribution to the emergency services charity.

Reflecting on his life-changing experience and the charity that aided him, Ollie said, “I will be forever grateful for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew’s fast response on the day of my accident. Now, I am determined to give back by actively fundraising for the charity, ensuring they can continue their life-saving work for others in need too’.

Ben adds, “We invite everyone to join us in this incredible journey by donating to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. None of us know when we might need their assistance, so let’s stand together and give back to this truly important charity.”

The cyclists will proudly don specially made orange bike jerseys, sponsored by Albion Cycling, featuring a holographic ‘Proud to be Supporting YAA’ logo, throughout their ride. Additionally, the group will be actively documenting their ride, capturing and sharing real-time pictures and videos and check-ins, for all their supporters to feel a part of their experience.

cycling jersey
The cyclists will proudly don specially made orange bike jerseys, sponsored by Albion Cycling.

Linda Stead, Regional Fundraising Manager at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, expressed her gratitude, saying, “We extend our heartfelt thanks to the cyclists for their incredible support and dedication. This epic ride is not only a test of their endurance and determination but also a heartfelt initiative. Their fundraising efforts will help us continue flying across Yorkshire and saving lives.”

To contribute to the BMNCCC group’s fundraising efforts, visit their JustGiving page. Every donation will go towards ensuring the continuation of the vital service.

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Wakefield Apprentice Makes ‘Bald’ Move for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Jack Dunwell, a 17-year-old maintenance apprentice from Wakefield, has braved the shave to raise an impressive £1000 to support the rapid emergency response charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Working at The Nostell Estate in Wakefield, which is home to one of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s operational air bases, Jack was motivated to make a difference within his local community. Although Jack had been growing his curly shoulder-length hair for a while, he made the selfless decision to part ways with his locks for a good cause.

A man with shoulder length curly dark hair standing in front of a stone wall
Prior to shaving his head, Jack’s curly hair reached his shoulders.

In addition to his cash donation for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Jack was also determined to support the work of Little Princess Trust by donating his hair to help make high-quality, human hair wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.

Speaking about his experience, Jack said, ‘I am thrilled to have raised £1000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and supported the Little Princess Trust with my hair donation. It was an honour to support such worthy causes and make a difference in my community.

I always see the Helicopter flying over the Nostell Estate while I am working and wonder where the team are going and whose life they may be saving. I hope that my efforts can inspire others to contribute and help the charities continue their life-saving work’.

Initially setting a £500 target, Jack was thrilled to have received over £887 through his online Just Giving page. To help increase Jack’s target, his mother, Karen Chatterton, organised a luxury hamper to be raffled on the day for additional funds. The hamper raised £156, giving Jack an overall total of over £1000.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Reginal Fundraiser, Helen Berriman, attended the head shave and presented Jack with an official YAA Beanie to keep his head warm afterwards. She said, ‘We’re absolutely thrilled with Jack’s donation. It’s heart-warming to see such generosity from someone so young, and it’s truly inspiring to see Jack go above and beyond to support both our charity and the Little Princess Trust.

Man wearing a woolly hat and yellow charity T-shirt
Jack Dunwell, kept his head warm with his new YAA beanie hat after his head shave to raise funds for YAA.

We’re also very grateful to Karen for organising the raffle hamper, which helped Jack double his initial fundraising goal. Every penny counts, and with Jack’s £1000 donation, we can continue to provide rapid response, emergency medical care to those in need across Yorkshire’.

Read more Yorkshire Air Ambulance news.

From tragedy to triumph: Yorkshire Air Ambulance patient finds purpose after life-changing accident.

On the 26th of June 2013, Sam Waddington from Bridlington in East Yorkshire was travelling home from work on his Motorbike when a car hit him whilst he was travelling at approximately 37 miles per hour, leaving Sam with life-changing injuries.

Sam, who at the time was employed as a sheet metal worker at a local factory, finished his shift early and hopped on his streetfighter-style Triumph Speed Triple motorbike to head home. Whilst Sam was weaving through bumper-to-bumper traffic, a car pulled out suddenly to access a slip road, ploughing straight into Sam as he passed by.

Sam was thrown from his bike, which was later found in three pieces, and passers-by including an off-duty police officer quickly sprung to action, calling the emergency services. Sam sustained many serious injuries, including a number of fractured vertebrae, broken femur, nose, collarbone, shoulder, and ribs along with many other scrapes and cuts to his skin.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance dispatched one of their helicopters and after an assessment on-scene, Sam was flown to Hull Royal Infirmary where he received lifesaving surgery before being placed into a medically induced coma for a week.

At the age of 24, Sam’s life was forever altered when his leg was amputated below the knee after doctors were unable to preserve it during his two-month hospitalisation.

Sam remembers how consultants originally told his family that his injuries were so severe that at the time of admission, his condition was really touch and go as to whether or not he would survive.

Sam was determined once he was home to commit to his physiotherapy, with his main goal to return to work. Sam recalled ‘When I was in hospital, time felt like a blur, but I knew when I was back home that would be when the real work really had to take place. I was keen to get back to work and have my normal life again’.

Sam reached his goal to return to work after an intensive 18-month recovery. However, as his life gradually regained a sense of normality, he felt his outlook on life had altered forever. Sam said, ‘I had a fresh prospective on life, and I knew there was so much out there to see… I came so close to death that I felt I had a second chance. It was time to make a change, and see the world’.

A man wearing a blue padded coat, grey shorts, brown woolly hat, and walking boots sits on a rock by some water. A small dog wearing a coat stands next to him. There are large hills in the background. The man has a prosthetic leg.

It was during his adventures across the globe, Sam met the love of his life, Amber, and the pair were soon married. The couple spent nearly five years backpacking around Europe, Asia, and America before returning to the UK to settle down. During this time, Sam also gained his personal Helicopter License and now relishes the opportunity to fly, only this time, under much happier circumstances.

Speaking on his travel memories, Sam said, ‘Sure, it would be amazing to have my leg back, but the things I have gone on to do and the people I have met and places I have seen have been incredible, and I wouldn’t have done them if I didn’t have my accident. If I still had my leg, I probably wouldn’t have met my wife, which seems so crazy to me!’.

Today, Sam works for Fletchers Group as Charity and Partnerships Coordinator. A law firm which is dedicated to supporting individuals with life-changing injuries for over 30 years.

When referring to his accident, and the people who helped to save his life, Sam said, ‘Without Yorkshire Air Ambulance, I honestly believe I wouldn’t be here today. The team were instrumental in getting me to hospital as fast as they did. Although I don’t remember much from the day, I cannot thank each and every person for their help, you have my utmost respect and gratitude.

To anybody who may find themselves in a similar situation to myself, and facing life as an amputee, just know – don’t give up on life. Things will get better, and I am living proof that with the right mindset, life can be an incredible thing, even without my leg!’.

A man wearing a blue puffa jacket, blue woolly hat, white or grey shorts, yellow socks and dark trainers is riding a skateboard and has a prosthetic leg.

Follow Sam’s adventures on his everyday_amputee Instagram page.

Read more Yorkshire Air Ambulance news.

Paralysed Former Air Ambulance Patient Takes on Ambitious Triathlon Fundraising Challenge

Eight years after his life-changing accident, Martyn Piercy, 47, has his heart set on raising as much money as possible by creating his own triathlon challenge, to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) team that helped to save his life.

After an accident at work left Martyn with life-changing spinal injuries, the YAA team were dispatched and after an assessment on-scene, Martyn was immediately flown to Leeds General Infirmary where he was rushed into emergency 9-hour surgery.

Sadly, Martyn’s spinal injuries were too severe, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. However, after spending six months in a spinal rehabilitation unit, his positive ‘can do’ attitude ignited a determination to fight against his diagnosis and regain some movement in his legs, with a long-term aim to walk again.

A former stone worker, Martyn now considers physiotherapy his full-time occupation, seeing each day as a ‘shift’ to reach his mobility goals. Martyn said, ‘The biggest challenge for me is the mental process to keep going, taking the good days with the bad. I devote nearly five hours a day to physiotherapy exercises. I see it as an investment into my quality of life and a way to keep my life as normal as possible whilst living with my injuries’.

Determined to give thanks to the team who saved his life, Martyn has organised his own triathlon challenge around his hometown of Dalton in Thirsk, with the help of his cousin, Stephen Piercy.

The triathlon which takes place on the 7th of May has been adapted for Martyn, who will be completing a 100-metre walk in callipers, a 15-mile handcycle, and finishing with a 500-metre swim. Stephen will be supporting his cousin by completing a 6-mile run, a 15-mile cycle, and a 750-metre swim.

Stephen is no stranger to taking on athletic fundraising challenges, raising over four-thousand pounds for charity in 2019 whilst completing the Great North Run. Speaking of the decision to support his cousin, Stephen said, ‘I am incredibly proud of Martyn, his ambition and determination to complete this triathlon has been remarkable and I couldn’t be prouder. Thank you to everyone who has already donated, the money is going to an excellent charity, without which, Martyn’s injuries could have been significantly worse!’.

Tracking their training journey on fitness community platform Strava, the pair have shared training videos, training routes and personal best times. As a result, the cousins have received an influx of supportive messages cheering them on ahead of the big day.

Martyn said, ‘Throughout the years, I have always known in my heart when I was physically up to the task, that I was going to do something to give back to the YAA team. It was just a matter of ensuring I was fit enough to handle the challenge. I am forever grateful to the team, they immediately came to my aid and got me to the hospital as quickly as possible. I have no idea what would have happened to me if they weren’t there, the team saved my life that day.

I am so glad to Stephen for joining me on this challenge, he is more than family, he is a great friend, and I am so thrilled he will be there on the day by my side to keep me going’.

Initially setting a two-thousand-pound fundraising goal, in just one month, the duo has exceeded their target hitting £3,874. With a week left before their challenging triathlon, the pair are still working hard to encourage further donations and support.

Tessa Klemz, Regional Fundraiser (North), said, ‘Everyone at Yorkshire Air Ambulance is rooting for Martyn and Stephen. When we first heard of Martyn’s story there was a sense of awe in the room for how inspirational he truly is. We wish them both the best of luck for the big day!’.  

If you would like to support Martyn and Stephen, click here to visit their Just Giving page where you can donate.

Over 8,500 people across Yorkshire have received lifesaving care by the quick action of Yorkshire Air Ambulance service over the past 23 years. For further information please visit or to speak to the friendly team call 01422 237900.

Read more news from Yorkshire Air Ambulance here.

Hold on Tight: Super Soap Box Challenge Brings Fun and Funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

The Bradford Super Soap Box Challenge returns this Sunday, April 30th, and will be supporting the vital work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, with funds raised on the day going towards helping the charity to continue its life-saving missions.

The busy streets of Bradford are set to come alive with the thrilling sound of chants and cheers from the lively crowds who will line the streets to watch over 20 teams compete in their homemade racing carts as they descend down a specially designed 200m course, all in support of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Throughout the day, prizes will not only be awarded to the race winners but teams will also be judged on the most innovative cart design, best turned-out Soapbox crew, sponsors choice, and joker of the day.

Set to shift into gear, ‘Team Grimwood’ from Keighley will also be raising their own personal funds to donate to the charity, in addition to the event organisers. The team’s creative soapbox has been modelled on one of Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s helicopters, complete with its G-YOAA registration number at the back. The team had initially aimed for a £300 fundraising target via their JustGiving page but have been delighted with the response from their local community, receiving over £1200 plus £250 in gift aid so far.

It currently costs £19,000 per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and operational in the air. As an independent charity, YAA relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to operate and help save lives across Yorkshire.

The Bradford Super Soap Box Challenge is a free family-friendly event that encourages teams of all ages and backgrounds, promising to be an action-packed day with live music and entertainment. Tasked with organising the event, Andrew Pearson, events marketing director at The Super Soapbox Challenge Company, said, ‘We are delighted to be bringing the Bradford Super Soap Box Challenge back for its second year and to be supporting such a fantastic cause. The event was a huge success last year, and we’re confident that this year will be even better. We’re looking forward to raising as much money as we can for this vital charity’.

West Yorkshire Community Fundraiser at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Clare Deacon, will be in attendance on the day with a team of fundraising volunteers. Clare will be stationed at the event in a high-tech promotional vehicle, which has been specially adapted and designed to allow the YAA fundraising teams to bring a state-of-the-art immersive experience into local communities. Fully equipped with a replica cockpit, which features curved screens showing aerial footage of the ground, guests will experience how it feels to take off and fly through the skies of Yorkshire.

Clare said, ‘We’re thrilled to be selected as Charity of the Year for the Bradford Super Soap Box Challenge. The funds raised from this partnership will help us continue to provide our vital service to the people of Yorkshire.

We have attended the event in previous years and always had a brilliant time, our team is very excited, and we are all looking forward to seeing the teams in action and hope to raise as much as possible’.

For more information about the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and how you can support the life-saving work of the Charity, please visit

Read more news from Yorkshire Air Ambulance here. 

Yorkshire to turn Yellow as Businesses Light Up in Solidarity with Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Well-known landmarks and businesses across the region are set to be illuminated Yellow in solidarity with Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s month-long awareness campaign, Yellow Yorkshire.

On Saturday the 22nd of April, many well-known locations will shine a beacon of yellow light as a symbol of gratitude and unity with the lifesaving charity. The sites include Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum, First Direct Arena, Wakefield Town Hall Clock Tower, Meadowhall shopping centre, and Black Sheep Brewery in Masham.

Event organisers at Yorkshire Air Ambulance are still hoping more businesses will follow suit and pledge their support to light up over the weekend. In addition, one of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance airbases, situated at Nostell Priory near Wakefield, will also take part in the light-up event, lighting up the outdoor entrance and the inside of the hanger. Local people are also being encouraged to light up windows in their homes or their social media profiles with a yellow light to join in with the campaign.

This April marks the ninth Yellow Yorkshire campaign, which has grown from a one-day event into a month-long fundraising campaign. The campaign has seen the YAA team touring across the region on an educational roadshow to promote the lifesaving work carried out by the dedicated, expert team of pilots, doctors, paramedics, and technical crew members every day.

It currently costs £19,000 per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and operational in the air. As an independent charity, YAA relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to operate and help save lives across Yorkshire.

Event organiser, Vickie Bowden, Regional Fundraising Manager at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said, ‘We’re thrilled to see so many businesses and landmarks across Yorkshire supporting Yellow Yorkshire this year. This is the first time we’ve asked businesses to light up their buildings, and the fact that so many are keen to be involved is a testament to how highly regarded Yorkshire Air Ambulance truly is.

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the businesses that have already pledged to take part in the light-up event, and we encourage more businesses and individuals to join in and show their support. Together, we can help ensure that our lifesaving service can continue to be there for the people of Yorkshire when they need it most’.

To support the life-saving work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and learn more about how to get involved with the Yellow Yorkshire campaign, please visit

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Roadshow Hits the Street as part of Yellow Yorkshire Campaign

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) fundraising team are on the move and touring across the region as part of their much-loved Yellow Yorkshire campaign, which celebrates the life-saving work carried out by the emergency service.

This April marks the ninth Yellow Yorkshire campaign, with the team setting their sights sky high, as the usual one-day event has developed into a month-long fundraising extravaganza, with multiple events and activities for people of all ages to get involved with.

It currently costs £19,000 per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s air ambulances maintained and operational in the air. As an independent charity, YAA relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to operate and help save lives across Yorkshire.

The roadshow sees two high-tech promotional vehicles, which have been specially adapted and designed to allow the YAA fundraising teams to bring a state-of-the-art supporter experience into local communities throughout Yorkshire.

Inside the vehicles, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the replica cockpit, which features curved screens showing aerial footage of the ground, and experience how it feels to take off and fly through the skies of Yorkshire.

The vehicles also contain interactive iPads for an immersive user experience and a seating area where supporters can chat with YAA staff and volunteers. Large screens and plush sofa areas provide an ideal spot for immersive presentations which will be hosted by the fundraising team.

Throughout the day, the screens will play interviews with the life-saving crew, answering frequently asked questions and revealing interesting facts about their roles and their experiences on duty.

The roadshow, which is free to attend, will see the team visit Junction 32 shopping outlet in Castleford, Morrisons in Ripon, Broadway shopping centre in Bradford, Market Square in Northallerton, Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, Sewell on the Go Chanterlands in Hull, Lakeside shopping centre in Doncaster, Pinderfields Hospital and lastly the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield.

Regional Fundraising Manager, Vickie Bowden, said, ‘We are incredibly excited to be hitting the streets of Yorkshire as part of our annual Yellow Yorkshire campaign. The fundraising team are revved up and ready to go. We cannot wait to meet everyone and share our passion for the life-saving work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. We are so grateful for the ongoing support of our local communities, and we look forward to making a real difference in the lives of those who rely on our services’.

Read more YAA news here.

Firefighter fundraiser for air ambulance after bike accident rescue

A leading member of North Yorkshire’s emergency services who has spent more than 25 years attending incidents, was himself airlifted to hospital after a serious cycling accident.

And Ben Cairns is so grateful to Yorkshire Air Ambulance that he is getting back on his bike this summer to take on an epic Italian cycling challenge to raise funds for the rapid response emergency charity.

Ben was on a normal Sunday morning bike ride with his village cycling group near Masham, North Yorkshire, when the bike’s wheels suddenly went from under him. The 44-year-old hit the road hard and knew straight away he had suffered a serious injury.

“I think I hit some diesel and landed really hard on my left side before sliding down the road,” said Ben, Group Manager Transformation at North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue. “My chest was really sore but I couldn’t move and really thought I’d broken my pelvis.”

In a stroke of good luck, Ben had come off his bike outside the house of an accident and emergency consultant who came out to help before the air ambulance arrived.

Image shows an accident scene on a wet road. There are fields and trees behind. There are a number of people in the road including six medical personnel. The appear to be tending to someone on the floor. The word 'AMBULANCE' is visible on the back of two of them. Two are wearing dark green jackets. Two are wearing yellow hi visibility jackets, and two are wearing orange jackets and trousers. There are two other people stood in the road further back. One is a gentleman wearing a black jacket and wellies. The other is a gentleman wearing a yellow and black cycling helmet , black and yellow cycling jacket, black leggings and black cycling shoes. There are a number of cars which appear to be waiting behind them.

The father-of-two from Bishop Monkton was airlifted to the nearest major trauma centre at James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough – a journey that would have taken nearly an hour by road.

Surgeons pinned and plated a complex hip fracture. Ben was in hospital for a week and unable to weight bear for two months before starting his rehabilitation.

In June he, and five other members of the Bishop Monkton cycling club, will attempt to ride across Italy in a day – starting at sunset on the Adriatic coast with the challenge of completing more than 275km and 3,300m of ascent to reach Tirrenia, near Pisa, before sunset.

“I’ve done a couple of these Chase The Sun challenges before but, as two out of the six of us in the group have needed Yorkshire Air Ambulance, we really want to raise as much as possible to say thank you.

“I have worked with YAA for many years in my career at all kinds of incidents and it’s so very reassuring to know that when you are in that hour of need the air ambulance is there to help.”

To sponsor Ben go to His dramatic accident also features in this week’s episode of Helicopter ER, the reality TV series which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

A man wearing a silver cycling helmet is laying down and has a red blanket and a yellow hi visibility jacket over him He has a gas and air pipe in his mouth, which he looks to be holding with his hand, which is wearing a black glove. The hand and knee of another person is visible knelt at the side of him.

Serving a population of approximately five million people across Yorkshire’s three million acres, the charity operates two air ambulances from airbases at The Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk plus two Rapid Response Vehicles.


North Yorkshire cyclist lucky to be alive after suffering heart attack on ride

North Yorkshire cyclist lucky to be alive after suffering heart attack on ride

A cyclist who suffered a major heart attack on a Sunday afternoon ride owes his life to the quick response of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Stephen Curran began feeling unwell on his usual 25-mile bike ride from his home in Hillam, North Yorkshire. A dull ache in his shoulder became a crippling chest pain as the 62-year-old psychiatrist realised his life was at risk.

“Up to this point I’d had no heart problems and was very active so I didn’t initially have any suspicion that this was a heart attack,” said Stephen.

“But then the tightness in my chest became a crushing pain and I started to feel short of breath and a bit confused so I rang 999. As I was lying on the ground I remember thinking there was a really good chance that I might die.”

Luckily for Stephen a rapid response vehicle was nearby and Yorkshire Air Ambulance was dispatched and at the scene in minutes. The main artery to his heart was completely blocked and medics realised he needed time-critical surgery.

The father-of-four was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where just 45 minutes after calling 999 he was having a life-saving stent fitted.

Head and shoulders images of Stephen Curran. He is wearing a burgundy jumper with a shirt collar visible. He has short fair coloured hair and is wearing glasses. He is sitting in front of a cream coloured wall and there is a vase in the background containing white or cream tulip flowers.

His dramatic story features in this week’s episode of Helicopter ER, the reality TV series which follows the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Stephen added: “Getting to hospital so quickly literally saved my life. My cardiologist said if I had made the journey by road I probably would not have made it.

“The paramedics were so open, honest and reassuring and I’ve had such amazing care by everyone involved. I can’t thank them enough.”

After the surgery and spending three days in hospital last May, Stephen has made a good recovery and is back at work and enjoying an active lifestyle, walking and on his exercise bike each day.

Friday’s episode of Helicopter ER, made by Air TV for Warner Brothers Discovery, airs on Quest at 9 pm. It also features a man who sliced through his ankle with a chainsaw in a DIY accident and a woman who was kicked in the face and head after being thrown from her horse.

Serving a population of approximately five million people across Yorkshire’s three million acres, the charity operates two air ambulances from airbases at The Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk plus two Rapid Response Vehicles.

The rapid response air emergency service relies totally on public donations and fundraising to keep saving lives.


Doncaster cyclist lucky to be alive after rush hour accident

A cyclist crossing a busy rush hour road in Doncaster suffered life-threatening head injuries after being hit by a car.

Andrew Stewart had to be placed in a medically induced coma on the roadside by a critical care Consultant doctor flying with Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The dramatic efforts to save his life feature in this week’s episode of Helicopter ER, the reality TV series which follows the work of the rapid response emergency service.

Andrew was cycling home from his job as a petrol station manager when the accident happened in November 2021. He was crossing Bawtry Road, a two-direction dual carriageway, when he was struck by a car.

“I was told I’d crossed the first side and was just setting off across the second two lanes when I was hit but I don’t remember the accident at all or really anything of the month leading up to it,” said 31-year-old Andrew from Doncaster.

In 2021, 111 cyclists were killed in Great Britain and a further 4,353 were seriously injured. Andrew suffered a fractured skull and a serious bleed on the brain, as well as a badly broken leg.

Bleeding from a very deep head injury and dangerously unresponsive when Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedics landed at the scene, Andrew was anaesthetised and put into a coma at the roadside before being taken to the major trauma centre at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.

Medical staff are treating a man who is lying on a stretcher. They are in a road and an ambulance is visible in the background.

He was in a coma for three weeks and spent a further two weeks in hospital before continuing his slow recovery at home. Although back at work, Andrew’s leg injury means he has had to give up running and he is suffering ongoing effects from the head injury.

“I used to love fitness, especially running, but that’s not something I can do anymore as I have pins and a metal plate in my leg,” said Andrew. “Since the head injury, I do have more mood swings and get annoyed more easily, which is something my family and partner have definitely noticed.

“But we are all so grateful to Yorkshire Air Ambulance and all the doctors, paramedics, and nurses. Without them, I would not be here today.”

Andrew’s dramatic story features in Friday’s episode of Helicopter ER, made by Air TV for Warner Brothers Discovery.

The programme, which airs on Quest at 9 pm, also features a young motocross rider who suffered serious injuries after being flung against a tree on a woodland trail and a nurse who needed Yorkshire Air Ambulance herself after being thrown from a horse.

Serving a population of approximately five million people across Yorkshire’s four million acres, the Charity operates two air ambulances from airbases at The Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk plus two Rapid Response Vehicles.

The rapid response air emergency service relies totally on public donations and fundraising to keep saving lives. To find out more go to

Photo caption: Andrew Stewart being treated at the scene of his accident and recovering at his Doncaster home.

Longstanding YAA supporters, I’Anson Brothers Ltd, donate £700 to continue funding lifesaving work

Masham-based business, I’Anson Brothers have donated £700 to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance following an environmentally friendly tyre recycling programme.

I’Anson Brothers Ltd is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of animal feed based in Masham, North Yorkshire. They are a family-run business, and have been serving farmers nationwide since 1900.

I’Ansons are established corporate sponsors of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, who have donated over £100,000 to the charity since the start of their partnership in 2016.

The donation follows an environmentally friendly scheme, in which I’Anson Brothers sell their fleet’s tyres to local farmers when they are reaching the end of their roadworthiness. The tyres then go on to be repurposed and fitted to low-mileage farming equipment, keeping the tyres out of landfills.

North Yorkshire Regional Fundraiser, Tessa Klemz, who collected the donation said, ‘The support we receive from local businesses is the essence of our charity and we would like to take this opportunity to thank I’Ansons for their continuous support and continued generosity’.

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