How Yorkshire school children helped inspire new book about Children's Air Ambulance
While the world watches on from the ground below, helicopter blades cut through the air with vital purpose on each of the Children’s Air Ambulance’s journeys.
This year alone the charity, which has two operating helicopters - one based in the North and the other in the south of Great Britain - has completed more than 550 missions.
And now Yorkshire children’s heroic fundraising efforts have helped inspire a new book for the organisation, with the aim to further support it’s crucial work.
After eight-year-old Chloe Hadley, from Doncaster, raised more than £3,500 for the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) - the average cost of one mission for the vital helicopter service - it prompted author Stacey Turner to write a book featuring the school girl.
The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) receives no government funding, works alongside NHS teams to provide high speed, specialist clinical transfers for critically babies and children.
Chloe, who attends Travis St Lawrence Church of England Primary School school in Hatfield, raised money through the charity’s #TheCrew initiative - a children’s club linked to TCAA, founded three years ago, by two nine-year-old girls, who created their own fundraising club made for children, by children.
This included numerous fundraising events, organised by the primary school influencer, from a tombola at a local care home to a raffle at the local church.
She also organised a ‘Green day’ at her school which saw pupils pay £1 to wear green and enter into a raffle.
In the new book Motorways in the Sky, illustrated by Claire Spake, Chloe, from Stainforth, has been depicted with a clown - after she arranged a circus skills workshop for her school.
Chloe, who was this year nominated for the Make a Difference – Community Award, as well as the award for Young Person of the Year, held by the Civic Mayor of Doncaster, in recognition of her fundraising, said: “I feel really happy that I have raised over £3500 now as it means another child or baby can be saved.”
Her mum, Emily Maxfield, said: "Chloe wanted to raise money for something important on her own and when I saw #TheCrew advertised, it seemed the perfect match. As soon as she was signed up, she was eager to get started and had lots of ideas of what she wanted to do.
“It’s amazing to see the invitation and entrepreneurial spirit she has – she makes me very proud.”
The book highlights the different components of the lifesaving service, including when a child is too ill to be transferred, TCAA moves a specialist team to them.
Ms Turner, who witnessed this first hand while researching for the book, said: "The logistics in this alone involves so much… The team confidently goes into auto-pilot making it all work, it's on another level, extraordinary."
The book also depicts the helicopter and allows the reader to meet the pilots, and read real-life incredible stories, also highlights other young fundraising heroes.
This includes a school boy from Hull, who has been illustrated in a shopping centre inthe port city.
The Hanger superstore, in Doncaster - a superstore and cafe opened last year by the TCAA, is featured too.
Author Ms Turner, who is also the founder of mental health awareness charity: It’s OK To Say, said: “Children do get inspired and want to do their bit but feel, what can I do, I’m just me?
“The emphasis of the book is, no matter how old you are, anything you do can have a massive impact and no matter where you are in the country, you can all do something wonderful.”
Ms Turner, who is currently training to swim the English Channel next year to fundraise for TCAA added: “Chloe is a shining example of just that at only eight-years-old!”
Motorways In The Sky is available to buy from the Children’s Air Ambulance website here.
- This year the Children’s Air Ambulance's two aircrafts have clocked 237 hours in the air, with the average cost of one mission costing £3,500 - the amount eight-year-old Chloe Hadley has raised through her fundraising efforts.
“I’d love to cheer Chloe on further for her efforts in keeping the helicopter flying, saving lives, raising over £3, 500, which is the cost of one misson,” author Stacey Turner said.
- The charity has also benefited from the launch of a new helipad behind one of the region’s major trauma centres in Yorkshire in 2020.
Since September TCAA has been able to fly specialist medical teams to Hull Royal Infirmary, to treat seriously ill children as well as fly children from Hull to hospitals with specialist paediatric services, after a £600,000 helipad was declared operational.
It was funded entirely by the HELP Appeal, the only charity in the country dedicated to funding NHS hospital helipads.
Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance use the Hull helipad most often, with Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Derbyshire, Leicester and Rutland Air Ambulance also flying casualties to the city.
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