Published: 24 April 2024

A college instructor has helped raise funds for the all-Wales charity that saved her friend’s life and came to the aid of her uncle.

Hazel Ramsay trains young people in front of house at the Bistro restaurant at Coleg Llandrillo in Rhos on Sea. Her students got involved too, with £863 donated from a raffle to Wales Air Ambulance.

She says it’s a charity which “everyone might need at some point, whether for their family, friends or colleagues.”

Hazel who has worked at the college for 18 years, said: “A friend of mine, had a bad car crash, with her partner. The air ambulance basically saved her. It was a long recovery, and she was off sick for a long time.

“She always asks me; ‘Can you do a raffle again for the air ambulance?’ So, I was like, yes of course.”

Hazel’s uncle also needed assistance from the air ambulance she said: “He was mowing somebody’s grass one day, helping, like he did. He literally collapsed. The air ambulance came out to him, but unfortunately, he could not be saved, but they tried.”

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 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.

Hazel said: “The onboard medical team, they’re phenomenal, what they do is just incredible. That is why I wanted to get all my learners at the Bistrot involved, they are young too, some are 16 years old.

“It’s important for them to realise about charities and the good they do.”

She continued: “They were so up for getting involved and every day they would go around the college and canteen asking if people would buy raffle tickets.

“We had such great prizes, around 50 plus items, including two air ambulance teddy bears, four vouchers up to the total of £100. There were hampers, chocolates and bottles of wine.

“I had hoped that we would raise £1,000 but we got to £863 which is still a good amount. It might seem like a little bit of money, but it all helps.

She added: “I know that the charity must raise its own funding. I cannot imagine how much it costs to take the helicopter out each time. So, if we can do a raffle again, we will.”

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.

Wales Air Ambulance’s Head of Fundraising Mark Stevens said: “We are so grateful for this kind donation to the Wales Air Ambulance! This is a cause clearly close to Hazel’s heart due to our team coming to the aid of both her friend and uncle.

“It’s wonderful that Coleg Llandrillo’s Bistrot students got involved too, raffles are a great way of fundraising and helping us achieve our target of 11.2 million each year.

“Our service is committed to saving more lives across Wales, answering the call - whenever and wherever we are needed and we can only do that, with your continued support.”