We have received a generous £22,000 donation from Sovereign Health Care, as part of their Care’s Community Programme, which will help support our lifesaving missions across Yorkshire.

A group of people standing in front of a yellow helicopter.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has received a generous £22,000 donation from Sovereign Health Care, marking another year of steadfast support from the leading not-for-profit health cash plan provider. This increase follows last year’s significant contribution of £19,000.

The donation is part of Sovereign Health Care’s Community Programme, which is dedicated to supporting health initiatives that have a tangible impact on the Bradford community and more widely in West Yorkshire. The funds will be crucial in covering essential operational costs, ensuring that YAA can continue its vital emergency response services across Yorkshire.

Sovereign Health Care has been a Principal Partner of Yorkshire Air Ambulance since 2001, with their contributions playing a pivotal role in the charity’s operations for over two decades. Symbolising the partnership, the Sovereign Health Care logo takes pride of place on YAA’s helicopters, as a testament to their long-standing commitment to community health and wellbeing.

A group of people are listening to a man in an orange flight suit giving a talk in front of a yellow helicopter.
A group of people are stood in front of a yellow helicopter and some are sat in the aircraft, with the door open.

Marianne Haworth, Grants & Trusts Manager at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, expressed profound gratitude for the renewed and increased support:

“The ongoing partnership with Sovereign Health Care is invaluable. Their increased donation this year highlights their dedication to our cause and the communities we serve.”

Yorkshire Air Ambulance is very grateful to receive the generous support of organisations like Sovereign Health Care. To learn more about YAA and how you can contribute to their essential services, please visit our Corporate Partnership page.

We are proud to announce that Jan Swallow, our dedicated volunteer has raised over £100,000 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance since she began her fundraising journey in 2010.

A group of people are standing in front of a yellow helicopter, holding gold balloons. There are a '1' and two '0' balloons. Some of the people are wearing flight suits.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is proud to celebrate the remarkable achievement of Jan Swallow, a dedicated volunteer from Holmfirth, who has raised over £100,000 for the charity since she began fundraising in 2010.

Jan attends over 20 fundraising events per year and recently surpassed her ambitious target during a charity gala in Ravensknowle Children’s Gala, where her efforts brought her total to an impressive £100,069.

Jan holds a deeply personal connection to the charity, after her son Graham was involved in a serious motorbike accident in May of 2007. While traveling on Snake Pass (A57), a road well-known for its sharp bends connecting Sheffield and Manchester, Graham hit a road sign, causing him to fall from his bike and down a steep roadside ravine, with his motorbike suspended from a tree above him.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s critical care team, including Sammy Wills, the charity’s current longest-serving paramedic, provided crucial on-scene support, including extracting Graham from the ditch, which took almost an hour to complete. Once freed, the team swiftly transported Graham to Sheffield Northern General Hospital, where he sadly passed away.

In the wake of her son’s death, Jan found solace in fundraising for the organisation that gave her son the best chance of survival.

A yellow helicopter is hovering above a field surrounding by trees

In 2009, Jan took on her first fundraising challenge, raising over £1,700 by completing a charity skydive from 13,000 feet as part of the Huddersfield Town Football Club’s ‘Keep It Up’ campaign, which allocated the funds between YAA and the club’s academy.

After a year of raising funds through the campaign, Jan decided to conduct her own independent fundraising, focusing all her efforts on supporting Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Jan is an avid crafter and enjoys sewing and embroidery, a hobby she picked up from her mother, who is a keen knitter. In early 2010, the pair combined their skills and created their own crafting business, “J2 Crafts”. Operating from stalls across Yorkshire and via Facebook, the duo became a hit with customers, donating 100% of their proceeds to Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Prices at Jan’s stalls range from £1 for lucky dips to £20 for more luxurious, custom pieces. Her products include pinafores, tote bags, and adult bibs featuring cheeky slogans, along with charming knitted bears and popular knitted characters such as Disney princesses and superheroes. These unique pieces have garnered a loyal following, with customers often returning for more.

It is not uncommon for Jan to raise hundreds of pounds when hosting a stall, with her record being £1,800 across two days at Harewood House during a VW car rally. The demand for their unique creations has grown so much over the last 14 years that Jan has recruited additional knitters, Audrey Jones and Pamela Franchamp, to help keep up. Audrey and Pamela volunteer their time and skills, knitting additional bears for free, without even taking a percentage for the wool they use.

In addition to her fundraising efforts, Jan and her husband Peter are also dedicated Yorkshire Air Ambulance volunteers and can often be found assisting the charity’s fundraising teams at key events throughout the year.

Jan’s fundraising was not without its obstacles, as the COVID-19 pandemic halted events that were key for raising funds. Jan adapted by selling face masks online, featuring football team crests and other important logos, including 300 masks for The Royal College of Nursing. During the two lockdowns, Jan created over 2,000 masks, raising £4,000 for YAA. In addition, she made 800 PPE gowns for her local hospital, demonstrating her versatility and dedication to helping her community.

A group of people are standing in front of a yellow helicopter, holding gold balloons. There are a '1' and two '0' balloons. Some of the people are wearing flight suits. two of them have their heads through the two '0' balloons.

Jan’s efforts have not gone unnoticed either. She has received multiple awards for her contributions, including a Yorkshire Air Ambulance recognition award (2012/13), Huddersfield Town Football Club’s ‘Contribution to the Club’ Award (2010/11), the Huddersfield Examiner ‘Services to Charity’ Award (2017), and the Honley Village Community ‘Chairman’s Award’ for Fundraising (2021).

Chairman of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Mike Harrop, expressed deep gratitude to Jan for her remarkable fundraising efforts, stating, “Jan’s dedication is truly remarkable, and we are immensely grateful for her outstanding efforts. Surpassing the £100k milestone is an incredible achievement, highlighting her unwavering commitment to our charity. Over the past 14 years, Jan’s fundraising has played an indispensable role, significantly contributing to ensuring that we can uphold the highest standards of pre-hospital critical care for those in need, thereby leaving a lasting mark on our organisation. Her story serves as a powerful testament to the profound impact one individual can have. As we approach our 25th anniversary, we encourage others to draw inspiration from Jan and contemplate how they too can contribute to our mission, be it through volunteering, providing support, or raising awareness.”

Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies entirely on the generosity of individuals like Jan to sustain its operations. Her incredible fundraising efforts have made a significant impact, helping to ensure that YAA can continue to provide critical care to those in need.

Freemason groups’ generous £98,000 donation supports Yorkshire Air Ambulance with lifesaving equipment.

Freemasons with helicopter crew

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has been generously supported by a significant donation of £98,000 from two esteemed Freemason groups: Thornborough Lodge Freemasons and Hebden Bridge Freemasons from The Lodge of Prince Frederick.

This substantial contribution underpins the Freemasons’ unwavering long-term commitment to supporting essential emergency services across Yorkshire and will significantly enhance YAA’s critical operations.

Led by Mike Ramsay, Master of Thornborough Lodge and John Dinsdale, contributed £50,000 towards the cause, while the Hebden Bridge, Lodge of Prince Frederick, represented by Robert Walker, Arthur Chapman and Basil Greaves, donated £48,000.

The funds will be utilised to procure essential equipment, including state-of-the-art handheld ultrasound devices for each YAA helicopter and Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs), specialist helmets for the medical crew, and the implementation and six-year subscription of PHEMnet, a cutting-edge clinical and patient database system.

The implementation of PHEMnet enables seamless integration between YAA and key clinical databases, facilitating comprehensive analysis of patient journeys and interventions. This integration offers valuable insights and key learnings for YAA’s critical care team, further enhancing the quality of their life-saving services.

Furthermore, introducing the Butterfly iQTM handheld ultrasound device will revolutionise pre-hospital care by enabling mid-air scans and rapid transmission of critical information to emergency teams, expediting treatments, and improving patient outcomes.

A group of people stood in front of a yellow helicopter holding a large cheque

Earlier this year, the Freemason groups were warmly welcomed to YAA’s Nostell Air Support Unit in Wakefield, where they had the opportunity to see one of the YAA’s operational H145 D3 helicopters up close, and meet the dedicated team of Pilots, Paramedics, Doctors and other key members of the charity’s staff, further strengthening the bond between the organisations.

Robert C Walker, a member of both Thornborough Lodge No 6434 in Leyburn and a previous member of the Hebden Bridge, Lodge of Prince Frederick Freemasons, played a pivotal role in facilitating the donation process. Mr. Walker expressed, “It is an honour to facilitate this meaningful contribution on behalf of both Thornborough Lodge and the Lodge of Prince Frederick. The Freemason ethos of charity and community support resonates deeply with the mission of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and we are proud to play a part in advancing their life-saving work.”