SWINDON Town has chosen Wiltshire Air Ambulance as its charity of the year with the aim of raising £12,000 to fit out a new rapid-response vehicle.

Town boss Richie Wellens and his assistant Noel Hunt visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s airbase in Semington, near Melksham to meet the aircrew and charity staff and were given a tour of the airbase.

The new RRV will be branded with the same yellow and green colours of WAA's Bell 429 helicopter, as well as carrying Swindon Town’s club crest.

The money raised will be used for the livery on the RRV, along with the blue warning lights and emergency sirens.

Beth Gardner, the charity’s fundraising manager, commented: “The new RRV will be easily recognisable, like our helicopter, when our crew are responding to medical emergencies across Wiltshire.”

Richie said: “Since I’ve been at the club, I’ve been blown away by how much it does off the pitch and in the community. This partnership and fundraising effort is part of that and a really incredible effort and goal.

“It is a brilliant piece of kit. It cost a lot of money and it is all charity funded – nothing from the government. In any town or city, football is a massive part of the community and can help raise money for charities.

“We are working hand-in-hand with them because it is a fantastic cause. If someone I knew had an accident on the motorway or something and needed help quickly, these charities provide the money to be able to pay people and supply such helicopters to get there.

“It can literally mean a matter of life and death.”