Published: Friday 16 February 2024

After raising an incredible £15,034 for the charity in 2023, the total amount donated by dedicated staff and generous customers of Charlies Stores now stands at £159,600.

Charlies stores found themselves to be in fine voice over the Christmas period, welcoming some special singing visitors to take up residency. The Coed-y-Dinas store was joined by three penguins, while Queensferry welcomed some reindeer, Shrewsbury some yeti and the talking reindeer returned to Carmarthen and delighted customers with his well wishes.

To add to the pot the Coed-y-Dinas store welcomed some real reindeer, provided donkey rides for children and held wreath-making classes with the brilliant Leanne from Serendipity Flowers, Welshpool.

As has become an annual festive tradition for Charlies, the company also donated £2 from the sale of every real Christmas tree.  

They don’t just stop at raising money for the Air Ambulance, with Lingen Davies receiving £3,350. A big breakfast was also held earlier in the year which raised £420 alone for Prostate Cymru. Of the £15,034 raised for the Air Ambulance, Welsh Air Ambulance will receive £11,159 and the Midlands division will get £3,875.

Charlies Stores Managing Director, Rebecca Lloyd, said: “As ever we have been blown away by the generosity of our customers and staff. Each year we work hard to create meaningful festive experiences for our customers and feel honoured that so many Christmas traditions take place in our stores. Nothing makes us happier than seeing photos of our customers enjoying what we’ve created and the fact that this also helped us to raise such a large sum of money for the Air Ambulance and Lingen Davies makes it even more rewarding. We’re so grateful for the continued support and we’d like to thank everyone who visited us and donated the much-needed funds.” 

Mark Stevens, Head of Fundraising at Wales Air Ambulance, said: “We would like to thank all the staff and customers of Charlies Stores for their continued support of our Charity. 
“To raise over £15,000 in one year is an incredible sum of money and is a wonderful achievement, which will help our Charity continue to be there for the people and communities of Wales when they require us the most. Charlies have been avid supporters of ours and to have raised over £150,000 for air ambulance charities is astonishing. Those funds will enable us and our friends at Midlands Air Ambulance to help so many people and to reunite families with their loved ones. For that, we couldn't be more grateful." 
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.   
This advanced critical care includes the ability to administer anaesthesia, deliver blood transfusions and conduct minor operations, all at the scene of an incident.   
The Service is often described as a ‘flying emergency department’, however, it can also deliver the same standard of care by road via its fleet of rapid response vehicles.  
This 24/7 service is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. 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. 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, our dedicated crews, regardless of where they are based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care.