Pupils at Pennar Community School in Pembrokeshire have raised £400 for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

They were inspired to organise their own Coffee and Cake event, with a twist, after learning about the charity as part of their classroom studies.

Their teacher, Victoria Boyle’s sister, Laura Slate, is the charity’s Communications and Engagement Manager and was invited to give a presentation and talk about its lifesaving work.

Victoria said: “The Wales Air Ambulance is something the pupils could all relate to. We have all seen it fly over from time to time and heard about incidents attended in the area.

“Some of our pupils’ families have also had a need for it and have seen first-hand the benefits.

“I think it’s a charity close to so many people’s hearts, especially down here in Pembrokeshire living so close to the beach and sea. So, it is something everyone was interested to learn more about.”

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. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery.  


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 mixture of vehicles used by the service is something which surprised pupils, Victoria said: “I think they automatically thought the Wales Air Ambulance just had helicopters.

“They were shocked to hear that there are road vehicles as well.”

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies on public donations to raise the £11.2 million required every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.

Victoria said: “Once pupils found out the air ambulance relies entirely on donation, they really wanted to have a big community focus and hold a fundraiser event.

“I think all of them thought that this service could be needed by any of us, at any time.

Laura Slate, Wales Air Ambulance’s Communications and Engagement Manager, said: “It was a privilege to be invited to Pennar School to share with the year six class the work of our charity.

“From start to finish the pupils were engaged, asking great questions and showed a real interest in what they were learning about.

“These are our supporters of the future, and to hear that they were inspired to fundraise for us following the talk is truly humbling. Thank you to all those who got involved for making a lifesaving difference.”

The pupils organised a Coffee and Cake event, an initiative launched by Wales Air Ambulance to mark their 23rd anniversary, on Wednesday 20 March with activities and stalls. The whole community got involved donating books, homemade treats and a group of girls made bracelets which they sold throughout the week.

Victoria said: “To take part in any of the activities like name the dragon and the penalty shoot-out, we asked for a small donation per family.

“We appreciate that times are hard right now, so it was £1.00, and we asked for children to come to school dressed in red, white and green – the colours of the Welsh flag.

“The pupils ran it all themselves. It started about 9:30 am in the morning and finished just before midday.”

The whole school was hugely proud to stage the fundraiser and delighted to raise £400.

Victoria said: “The year six pupils were the driving force behind the whole thing. They spent their own time at home making bracelets, cakes and organising items to sell on the stalls.

“It was a real honour for them to see the amount of money they raised after all the time and effort that went into it.

“They know that their little team and their fundraiser and events like this are what is needed to help keep the air ambulance going.”

Wales Air Ambulance’s Head of Fundraising Mark Stevens said: “We are so grateful to all the pupils at Pennar Community School for organising such a fantastic community event in aid of our lifesaving service.

“It really makes such a huge difference when the whole area gets involved – and it sounds like they did a great job at encouraging their parents, neighbours and everyone in the community to join in.

“Our charity depends on events like this, it makes all the difference, and it means we can attend patients in life or limb-saving situations – so they get the best care when they need it most.”