HRH The Duke of York, KG, has pledged his “wholehearted” support to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The Duke was speaking as he officially opened the rapid response Charity’s state-of-the-art Air Support Unit on the Nostell Priory Estate, near Wakefield yesterday.
“When you consider the size and extent of Yorkshire, what you are able to deliver on behalf of the county’s citizens is absolutely outstanding,” said the Duke, who is Royal Patron of the YAA.
“Thank you for the service you give come rain or shine because it means so much to the people of Yorkshire.
“I am sure they will continue to give as generously as they have done in the past and support this service which is working on a day to day basis to deliver care across the county.
“You can be assured of my wholehearted support because I believe totally in this outstanding service.”
The Duke, a former Naval helicopter pilot and instructor, toured the purpose-developed Air Support Unit in the grounds of the Nostell Estate meeting YAA crew, paramedics, supporters and staff.
The YAA relocated from its previous base at Leeds Bradford International Airport in November 2013 to improve coverage and response times to patients in the West and South of the county.
Nostell also boasts a larger helicopter hangar space, overnight crew facilities, a dedicated fuel bowser, helipad and improved office and crew facilities.
Peter Sunderland, YAA Chairman said: “We are absolutely delighted that our Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of York, KG agreed to open our Nostell Air Support Unit.
“The relocation to Nostell is a major step forward for the Charity. It is enhancing our service across the region, improving flying times to all areas and creating an operational overlap in our busiest areas.
“We are extremely proud to have this fabulous facility which helps us to deliver an even better service to the people of Yorkshire.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance has transported nearly 6,000 people and needs to raise £9,990 every day to keep its two helicopters in the air – equivalent to £3.6 million a year.
Without any direct government funding, the only help the YAA receives is through the secondment of its paramedics from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.