A NEW initiative to secure long-term funding for Wiltshire Air Ambulance has got off to a flying start, with more than 100 ‘Friends’ signing up to support the charity well into the future.

The Friends of Wiltshire Air Ambulance was launched in August 2013. From just £2 per month, people can make a regular gift to the life-saving charity which is then used to help buy equipment or kit for the helicopter, provide additional training for the air ambulance paramedics or fund essential items such as aviation fuel.

One of the air ambulance’s first Friends was the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, William Wyldbore-Smith, who visited the Air Support Unit at Devizes in August last year.

He said: “I was delighted to see that Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust had felt confident to recently contract for a new helicopter, thereby securing this vital emergency resource for the county.

"Whenever I open a local paper, I read of community projects raising money for the Trust which is so encouraging. I am pleased that the charity has passed the 100 Friends mark, but it needs many more as that is the best way of securing core revenue.”

For a Friends application form call 01380 739453 or visit www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk.