Throughout 2017 we are backing a campaign by Wiltshire Air Ambulance to raise the remaining £1.25m needed to complete its new airbase.

ARTIST Katie Sims and Devizes School sixth former James Godwin have joined forces to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance's new base.

Former Devizes School pupil Miss Sims, 20, who is now a fine art student at Bath School of Art and Design, is working on an oil painting of the air ambulance that will be on display at the new Semington base.

She now hopes to raise £500 for the appeal by offering a personalised pet portrait as a competition prize.

People are asked to make a donation of at least £5 that will be their entry into the contest.

Both she and James are part of the air ambulance's fundraising team and he is helping to publicise the contest in their first joint bid to raise funds by doing something themselves.

Jemma Brown, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s education and volunteer manager, said: “We’re so grateful to Katie and James for fundraising for our Airbase Appeal with their innovative project.

"They are volunteers with us and are so enthusiastic about supporting our lifesaving work.

"As well as fundraising for our Airbase Appeal they are helping to spread awareness on how important the new airbase is for our future. We are really excited to see the finished painting.

"When young people use their initiative and do something that little bit different that raises money for our life-saving service, it really does make us so excited – and we can’t wait to see the finished painting."

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has to raise £1.25 million for the new airbase in addition to the £3.25 million it needs to raise every year to maintain its life-saving work. So far £250,000 has been raised for the base.

It is hoped the painting project will add £500 to the fund. The winner will be picked at random to the pet painting worth about £150.

To make a donation and have a chance of winning go to

For more information about the appeal call the charity team on 01380 739453 or visit

To donate to the Airbase Appeal text BASE17 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070, email or call the charity team on 01380 739453.