After raising an incredible £24,615 for the charity in 2021, the total amount donated by dedicated staff and generous customers of Charlies Stores now stands at £131,252.

As has become an annual festive tradition for Charlies, £2 was donated from the sale of every real Christmas tree. As such over £12,000 was raised from this alone.

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

To add to the pot the Coed-y-Dinas store welcomed some real reindeer and held donkey rides for children.

The money will be split between with £18,540 going to Wales Air Ambulance and £6,075 to Midlands Air Ambulance.

Charlies Stores Managing Director, Rebecca Lloyd, said: “In these difficult times we’ve been blown away by the generosity of our customers and staff. More than ever it felt important for us to play a part in creating meaningful festive experiences for our customers. Nothing makes us happier than seeing photos of our customers enjoying what we’ve created in our stores and the fact that this also helped us to raise such a large sum of money for the Air Ambulance 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, Fundraising Manager at Welsh Air Ambulance, said: “We are so grateful to Charlies Stores for their support, the staff have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference. Taking the opportunity to support our charity really shows the family and community values that Charlies live by. Wales Air Ambulance does not receive government funding and is solely funded by the people of Wales. Each mission costs around £2,500 so this incredible amount raised will go a long way to saving lives in the community. Charlies Stores are leading the way in the industry as charity supporters, I hope other businesses learn from their example and see the wide reaching benefits that come when supporting a cause they and their customers believe in.”

WAA was launched on St. David’s Day in 2001. From humble beginnings as a one-helicopter service, it has grown into the UK’s largest air ambulance operation with four aircraft at bases in Welshpool, Caernarfon, Llanelli and Cardiff. It is the only air ambulance charity based in, and dedicated to, Wales. The Charity became a 24-hour service, on 1 December 2020, to continue to run the service day and night the Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £8 million pounds every year.