This year marks 25 years since South Staffordshire Water, which supplies drinking water to households and businesses, first provided free office space, meeting rooms, IT support and equipment to the County Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT). This vital provision, has enabled the charity to focus on supporting air ambulances and funding the construction and upgrade of hospital helipads across the country though its HELP Appeal campaign.
With roof top helipads costing many millions of pounds and even simpler ground level helipads costing up to £500,000 this support has helped save the charity money which has been used to enable air ambulances with critically ill patients to land directly at hospitals.
This close relationship between the two organisations is cemented even further through SSW’s former non executive director, Hugh Meynell MBE, and former employee Arthur Worthington, both having prominent roles in the charity.
Hugh Meynell MBE, CAAT’s chairman explains: “South Staffordshire Water offered its support to CAAT in 1993 after one of their employees was in a serious road accident and needed to be airlifted to hospital.
“Thanks to their support and the generosity of the public, the charity has gone from strength to strength donating to several air ambulance charities, including Midlands Air Ambulance, and funding over 20 hospital helipads, which have received over 7,000 landings.”
Phil Newland, Managing Director of South Staffordshire Water said: “South Staffordshire Water is very committed to its local community and our longstanding support of this life saving charity is testament to that.
“All of our employees, their families and our customers live across Staffordshire and Derbyshire in the north and Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the south and beyond. These are areas where Midlands AA covers and where hospital helipads are being built, including Worcestershire Royal Hospital’s and Hereford County Hospital’s – so CAAT and its HELP Appeal campaign is very relevant to us.
“We never know when we or our families might need to get to the hospital in the fastest possible time and having a helipad beside the emergency department is vital in helping to achieve that.”
Arthur Worthington, Trust Administrator of the HELP Appeal added: “Charities always welcome practical support and the HELP Appeal is no exception. South Staffordshire Water’s truly pragmatic provision has helped to save the charity a huge amount of money and time over the past 25 years. We are very grateful for this and for their continued support, which will help us to build the next 24 helipads in the pipeline. Thank you.”