The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) has taken possession of its new headquarters, which is based on the A15 Sleaford Road, next to RAF Waddington.
The new purpose-built home, which will see staff, crew, helicopter and critical care cars under one roof for the very first time, will provide a unique opportunity for the charity to welcome former patients, schools, volunteers, donors and fundraisers to see how their support really makes a difference.
The crew and helicopter will move into the new headquarters and airbase this month, and staff hope to join them in their new offices once Government restrictions have been lifted at the end of June.
Chief Executive Officer Karen Jobling said, “I am absolutely delighted to have received the keys for our new headquarters. Years of planning has gone into our new, future-proof headquarters; our new facility will be fundamental to our success for a rapidly advancing operation.
“With our day-to-day operations solely funded by donations, we were delighted when we secured a capital funding grant for this new build. It was a real boost and at a time when we needed it and has allowed our dream of a new headquarters to become a reality.
“Our crew and charity staff are looking forward to moving into their new home and we cannot wait to welcome visitors when restrictions allow.”
A new helipad situated at the site of the new headquarters has been funded from the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding helipads at NHS hospitals and also helps with the funding of helipads at AA bases. The HELP Appeal covered the entire £316,152.55 cost of building the new helipad, which features lighting to enable LNAA to operate around the clock as the charity carries out more missions through the night. The donation also funded a helicopter manoeuvring area to ensure that the helicopter is ready for take-off before its next mission.
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said, “The LNAA’s new airbase helipad will be a vital element in ensuring the crew’s success in delivering a rapid response to critically ill patients in the region. With advanced lighting technology, LNAA crew can fly any time of the day or night to the most serious incidents to transfer patients in urgent need of specialist care to hospital. The crew can then return to land safely back at their new airbase and be ready for whenever they are needed again.
“This is the charity’s 9th helipad to be funded at an air ambulance air base and the 42nd helipad across the entire country. It’s a huge milestone and I’m delighted that we are able to support the life-saving work of the team at LNAA.”
Llewis Enamels, Chief Pilot at Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, said, “We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the HELP Appeal for their very generous donation towards our new bespoke helipad. There is an awful lot of design and technology that goes into a helipad for latest generation helicopter operations like ours, such as specialised reinforced concrete without the use of metals, infrared landing lights for use through night vision goggles & composite radar friendly fencing.
“Their generosity has allowed us to design exactly what we need.”
The HELP Appeal and Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance rely solely on charitable donations and do not receive any direct government funding or money from the National Lottery for day-to-day operations.