SUPPORTERS of Wiltshire Air Ambulance raised more than £16,000 at a ball for the charity’s new airbase at Semington.

The sell-out Air Aid Ball, held at Wellington Barn, Calstone, on November 11, had celebrity backing and entertainment included an auction, raffle and live band.

The Master of Ceremonies was broadcaster Alan Dedicoat, an ambassador for Wiltshire Air Ambulance and who is known as the Voice of the Balls on the National Lottery draw programme.

He was joined by Paul Martin, the presenter of BBC TV’s antiques programme Flog It!, who hosted the auction. Paul is also an ambassador for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

There was eager bidding during the auction for lots, including a trip on the Belmond British Pullman train, matchball sponsorship at Swindon Town Football Club, a VIP visit to the Royal Air Force aerobatic team The Red Arrows, and for prizes provided by Wiltshire Air Ambulance ambassadors Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and sports stars Olympian Shelley Rudman, champion paracyclist Lauren Booth and paralympian Stephanie Millward.

Nick, who attended the ball, donated signed memorabilia including drumsticks, while Shelley donated a personal training session. Lauren donated the opportunity for four people to ride with her at the Wales National Velodrome, where she is training in her bid to be selected for the Great Britain team to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Stephanie, who attended the ball, donated a swimming coaching session as well her signed autobiography. During the auction she gave an inspirational speech about how having multiple sclerosis did not stop her from achieving paralympic success.

The guests gave a standing ovation to Tom Lonergan, who spoke about how Wiltshire Air Ambulance helped to save his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest at home in Marlborough last year.

A number of businesses, who are members of the charity’s 100 Club, attended the ball.

Chris Lear, chairman of trustees at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who attended our Air Aid Ball or donated prizes for the auction and raffle.

“Thanks to their generosity the ball raised £16,495.50 for our Airbase Appeal, towards completing the building and equipping of our new airbase at

SemingtonBuilding work on the new airbase is progressing well, but we still need to raise a significant amount to complete this innovative project.”

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