Published: 11 July 2024

Wales Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that it’s Summer Raffle has been a huge success and has raised an incredible £67,000 for the all-Wales Charity.

The Charity sold over 48,000 raffle tickets throughout the country after receiving the support of past patient Craig Harrendence. He urged the Charity’s supporters to buy a ticket and be a lifesaver! 

Craig’s life was saved in April 2023 after he suffered catastrophic injuries following a serious motorbike accident which resulted in him being thrown 60 feet from his bike. 

The Wales Air Ambulance team arrived to find Craig lying face down with his helmet still on. The team had been returning to their base in Dafen, Llanelli, from a previous incident when they received the call. On arrival at the scene, the medics gave Craig a general anaesthetic at the roadside and he also needed a blood transfusion – treatments not usually available outside of a hospital environment. 

The experienced motorcyclist had clipped the central reservation of the A48 near Penllegaer, Swansea, just minutes after leaving his home. He was left with extensive injuries and fighting for his life.  

A grateful Craig, aged 53, credits the Wales Air Ambulance with saving his life. With 35 years of biking experience, he never imagined that he would need the help of the Charity.  

He said: “I don’t remember much about the incident, but I was badly injured. The Wales Air Ambulance are lifesavers, without a shadow of a doubt.” 

Following Craig’s remarkable recovery, he encouraged people to support this year’s Summer Raffle in aid of the lifesaving charity which helped save his life. 

The tickets went on sale over an eight-week period and were sold from the Charity’s shops, fundraising representatives and online.

Mr Davies was the first prize winner who won £3,000, he said: “I was delighted to win the first prize of the Summer Raffle. I have been a long supporter of the Charity by playing their weekly lottery.”

The second prize winner was Mrs Hole who took home £500, she said: “I have been supporting Wales Air Ambulance with a monthly donation for a while now. It’s such a worthwhile Charity.

“I often buy raffle tickets for various charities but never win. This was a welcome windfall, and I shall pass the luck forward when I’m able.”

The third prize winner won £300.

Craig, who has now returned to his job as a joiner for Swansea Council, added: “I just want to thank the Wales Air Ambulance as without the intervention of the service, I don’t think I’d be here. The outcome would have been very different - I would not be here talking about what happened to me today.” 

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.   

As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated air ambulance crews, regardless of where they are based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care.  

Mark Stevens, Head of Fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance said: “A huge thank you to our supporters, who once again, donated to our cause by purchasing the Summer Raffle tickets. We raised an incredible £67,000, which will go towards our yearly target of £11.2 million to keep the helicopters flying and our rapid response vehicles on the road.

Our air and road operations are funded entirely by public donations and campaigns like this one will ensure we continue to be there for people, like Craig, 24/7. Thank you to everyone who purchased a ticket or volunteered to sell the tickets. We really appreciate it.”