Published 06 June 2024

A group of paranormal fans are marking the 40th anniversary of Ghostbusters with a year of fundraising events for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. 

The Mid-Wales Ghostbusters have nine members including Katie Craddock and Matthew Davies from Crickhowell. 

Matt’s the technical wizard, he’s been “fascinated” with the movie since he was a kid. He creates all the props; they even have an ectomobile and life-size terror dog. 

An ex-retained firefighter, he said: “I’ve worked alongside the air ambulance several times over the years, and they do an incredible job.” 

It’s also a cause close to his heart, because his son, who is 11 years old, needed its help when he was a baby. Matt said: “He used to suffer febrile convulsions and obviously it's not something we knew about until he had his first one. But the first one was particularly bad. 

“He would not stop fitting, so we called the ambulance and that they could not stop him, so he was airlifted by the Wales air ambulance to Shrewsbury Hospital. If it not been for them, he would not be here now because he stopped breathing on route to the hospital. They had to recess him and intubate him.” 

Kate added: “We all feel very passionately about the work the air ambulance does. Another member of our group, Gareth Mates, his father suffered a heart attack and sadly nothing could be done to save him. But the air ambulance did come to him and did their best. 

“So obviously we all want do fundraise as much as we can to ensure those who need the service, get the right care when they are in a critical condition.” 

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury.  

It is delivered via a unique Third sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the charity’s vehicles. 

The Mid-Wales Ghostbusters have a busy summer ahead attending lots of events the length and breadth of Wales. They hope they can put “smiles on faces” as well as “raise awareness about the lifesaving service.” 

Kate said: “Over the past few months we have done a lot of events and built-up a following. It is really helped having the new films coming out because there has been even more interest in us. 

“First generation of kids who followed the original are now adults and the younger generation are really into 1980s films.” 

She continued: “We have done our first comic con this year, we did Swansea Arena in April, another in Barry and we have been invited to Newport to the ICC in August too. So that is going to be a big one for us. 

“We also do events run by the councils, so this year we are working with Visit Caerphilly, so we’ve done the Ystrad Mynach, Blackwood, Bargoed Fayres. All fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. 

“We also did a four-day event at the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff. We took all our props and kit, there was colouring for the kids and there was a slime factory. 

“People just love it and have such a great time. We literally have hundreds of photos taken with us.” 

The Mid-Wales Ghostbusters also have a busy weekend on the 8-9 June. Matt said: “On Saturday it’s Ghostbusters Day across the world, and it’s 40 years since the first movie was released in cinemas. 

“So, there’s an extra special line-up at the Risca Beach Party. Our team is being joined by Preston City, Bristol and Carmarthenshire Ghostbusters. 

“There will be two ectos joining us and a New York city police car. We will be fundraising the whole weekend, with activities on Sunday too.”  

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity must raise £11.2 million each year to keep our helicopters in the air and Rapid Response Vehicles on the road – with donations and fundraising events key to the service’s survival.

Matt said: “We’ve raised around £1,000 so far for the air ambulance and we hope to keep adding to that throughout the Summer. 

“The service provides a vital service, your safe in the knowledge that you know that they are there and what they can do. I’ve seen them in action time and time again. They have saved the lives of people I know, and this is our way of saying thank you.” 

Wales Air Ambulance’s Head of Fundraising Mark Stevens said: “It’s wonderful to have the support of the Mid-Wales Ghostbusters as the movie marks 40 years! We cannot thank the team enough for raising funds and awareness about the work we do as they take part in events across Wales this year. 

“Our charity relies on the kindness of our fundraisers to ensure that our pan-Wales service continues to provide the lifesaving service that we do. 

We help thousands of patients in life and limb-saving situations and will continue to do so in the years ahead.”