EIGHTEEN members of Wiltshire business V12 Footwear have hiked an impressive 13 miles to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s new airbase.

At all ages and fitness levels, the five hour hike took them from their headquarters in Chippenham to the Air Ambulance’s new airbase site in Semington, through beautiful but very hot Wiltshire countryside.

To make the hike more corporate, each and every member of the team wore V12 safety boots – really putting their comfort to the test.

Members of Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s 100 Club (a club formed to raise funds exclusively for the new airbase appeal), the hike was the first of many challenges V12 Footwear have planned this year as part of their commitment to raise £10,000 for the charity.

Tom Turner from V12 Footwear said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a charity that is very close to the hearts of V12 staff for personal reasons, but also because it is a fantastic resource for the county’s residents and visitors.

“We have the greatest respect for every single member of staff from the pilots and paramedics to those managing the operations, fundraising and marketing from the ground. Nobody knows if or when the Wiltshire Air Ambulance might affect their lives, but it is a great comfort to know that they are there and can get to emergencies quickly.

“As well as becoming a member of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance 100 Club we have promised to keep WAA staff booted for a lifetime.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Valerie Whistler, partnerships coordinator, accompanied the V12 team on the hike. She said: “We had a fantastic walk which I think we all really enjoyed, although the heat made it a lot tougher than expected! We are so grateful to V12 Footwear, not only for becoming members of the 100 Club, but for taking a full day out of their jobs to challenge themselves in the name of fundraising. Wiltshire Air Ambulance is almost entirely reliant on generous public donations to keep flying, so having the support of Wiltshire businesses is a tremendous asset.”

On arriving in Semington, the V12 hikers were greeted by Wiltshire Air Ambulance mascot, Wilber the Bear, and had a tour of the site by the Rigg Site Manager.

V12 have so far raised £2030 for the charity, with donations still pouring in.