Published: 07 February 2024

Wales Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it will be opening a new community hub in Bridgend.

The opening of the new store is part of the Charity’s retail blueprint, which was influenced by feedback from its employees, supporters and volunteers during the Charity’s strategic review.   

An opening date is still being confirmed, however the new facility is expected to open in early spring.

A project group has been set up and they are working towards providing a service that covers Abergavenny and the surrounding areas.

The large site would facilitate donation drop offs, warehousing to process donations, storage facilities, a large shop floor and vehicle access that will allow it to service other Wales Air Ambulance shops in the region. There will also be a training room.

The new store, which is located in Market Street, follows on from the success of the new community hubs in Caernarfon and Mold.

Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be opening our Bridgend community hub, following the success in Caernarfon and Mold. The large premises will allow us to stock even more items while creating a fresh and pleasing shopping environment for our supporters.   

“Most importantly, the donations and sales from the shop play a vital role in raising much-needed funds to maintain our lifesaving service.” 

Dr Barnes continued: “Through our surveys, our supporters and volunteers told us that the strength of our Charity is its community focus. As an organisation that was created by the people of Wales for the people of Wales, we have embedded ourselves within communities across the country. Our shops are not just retail outlets, they are part of the community they serve. This is something that people would like us to continue and strengthen, and it has become one of the focal points of our new strategy.”  

With the introduction of the Bridgend shop, the Charity will be looking for new employees and volunteers to join its team. These vacancies will be promoted via the Charity’s website and via social media. 

Wales Air Ambulance’s Head of Retail, Rob Coles, said: “This is such an exciting development for the Wales Air Ambulance and the community in and around Bridgend. The increased space will allow us to receive and sell bigger donated items, such as furniture, while we can welcome our supporters, volunteers and the wider community who will be able to meet each other in our communal spaces. 

“Most importantly, the facility will play a key role in raising much-needed funds to maintain our lifesaving service throughout Wales.”

The new Wales Air Ambulance retail blueprint aims to strike a balance between generating income for its lifesaving service while enhancing the Charity’s community presence across the country.  

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.