A kind-hearted couple have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary by raising over £150 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

John and Di Winterton, from Lightwater, Surrey celebrated their milestone anniversary by having afternoon tea with family and friends in Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

The grandparents-of-four didn’t receive any gifts for the landmark anniversary, instead they offered family and friends the opportunity to donate to the lifesaving charity.

Their younger son, Dan, daughter-in-law Kerry and their four children, Alisha, Jesse, Adam and Harley also travelled from Surrey to join in with the celebrations.

John and Di married in St. John’s Llechryd, Cwmbach in 1971, at the same church that married her mum in 1942. The couple later went on to have two sons which were brought up at their home in Surrey.

Although Di never lived in Wales, she has close ties to the area and has the Mid Wales Journal posted to her home in Surrey.

Di said: “I often feel as if I was born in Wales! My grandparents lived all their lives in Cwmbach. Then my Mum moved into their house after my grandmother died.  I have spent most summer holidays there since I can remember, also bringing my own sons to holiday with their Nan! I still have a number of friends in the area too. So, I have strong emotional ties to Wales.”

In December 2020, the lifesaving Charity achieved its aim of operating a 24/7 service. Wales now has access to the service’s Emergency Department-standard critical care around the clock and to keep the helicopters in the air, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year.  

Di, said: “At our age we don't need gifts. We are very blessed to have sufficient pension to be able to afford our needs.”

The couple had a ‘beautiful cake made by Lesley Thompson of Cilmeri.

After the golden wedding celebrations, which included 14 friends and some family members, they visited local places associated with the family who have lived in the area for many years.

John added: “The rest of the weekend consisted of a family history trail of places in and around Llandrindod associated with their ancestors. The grandchildren became detectives following a series of clues devised by their nan, Di, and they had great fun.”

Di picked the Wales Air Ambulance to receive their donations in lieu of gifts after reading about the work the charity does, she said: “Speedy intervention can save lives and certainly improve recovery if medical attention can be provided fast. In rural areas this can be hard to achieve with the distances involved in trying to drive someone very sick to a hospital. Air access makes so much sense. We wanted to support a local charity to Mid Wales.”

Helen Pruett, Wales Air Ambulance community fundraiser, said: “We’d like to thank them both for their kind gesture in raising much-needed funds for the Wales Air Ambulance. It is evident that the family have close ties to Wales and it is very moving to hear they’ve raised over £150 that will help save lives across the country. They are truly a golden couple. Happy golden wedding anniversary both! Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the charity in lieu of gifts to John and Di.

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with innovative ways to fundraise. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.