London freemasons are donating £2m towards a second emergency medical helicopter for use by London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) advanced trauma team.
The new helicopter means daylight flying hours will be extended in the summer months so LAA will be able to reach an estimated 400 more patients a year.
Graham Hodgkin, CEO of LAA, said: “We are blown away by the generosity of London freemasons which brings us significantly closer to our aim of having a second emergency medical helicopter up and running by this summer.
“For many years, London freemasons have been regular supporters of our work and we thank all those freemasons across the Metropolitan area who will be working tirelessly to raise the two million pounds.”
The freemasons’ fundraising campaign kicked off with the presentation of a cheque for £250,000 at Freemasons’ Hall on Thursday (March 5) by the Metropolitan Grand Master, Russell J. Race, DL, to Neil Jeffers, Chief Pilot of LAA.
Russell Race said: “Freemasons both in London and all over the country have been donating to Air Ambulances for many years. We at the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London are delighted, however, to have an opportunity to specifically assist in the provision of this vital second helicopter for London.”
The £250,000 was the first installment towards LAA’s second emergency medical helicopter and will continue with regular further donations until the target is achieved.
London Freemasons’ Charity Steward Tony Shields added: “LAA delivers an essential 24-hour service, 365 days a year to the London community.
"London freemasons are proud to be raising the funds to enable them to deliver that service more effectively.”