A grandmother-of-two has raised £1,600 for two air ambulance charities after an air ambulance came to her aid following a stroke in January.

Grateful Joanie Matthews, 64, from Bishops Castle, Shropshire, decided to set up an online raffle to raise funds for the charities close to the heart – the Wales Air Ambulance and County Air Ambulance.

Over 150 people took part in the live Facebook raffle, which had 33 prizes, and many people also gave generous donations.

After being ill during Christmas with flu-like symptoms, Joanie suffered a stroke on 19 January and was airlifted from her rural location to hospital in Hereford.

Joanie suffered a mini stroke, which affected her left side. Fortunately, her arm got better within 12 hours and her leg improved within a week.

Despite her stroke, Joanie attempted to climb Snowdon just eight months after.

Joanie is no stranger to raising funds for air ambulance charities. To mark her birthday in May, she raised £1,070 for the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Joanie, said: “I raised money for Midlands Air Ambulance, as it was they who airlifted me. But I feel it is as important to help the Wales Air Ambulance, as their Welshpool base is only 16 road miles away from me, and in air miles probably a lot less.”

Joanie is pleased the raffle was so successful. She said: “I was overwhelmed at the response. I have for many years raised money for air ambulances and will continue to do so when the climate allows. The Wales Air Ambulance charity is so important to me as we live in a very rural area.

It is an absolutely lifesaving facility, and I thank each and every one that works for these charities.” 

Lynne Garlick, North Wales Fundraising Manager, said: “Thank you to Joanie for raising much-needed funds for two important charities. As Joanie is well aware, due to her rural location the air ambulance is essential. It is wonderful to hear that Joanie is now doing well and has decided to raise funds not only for the charity that flew her to hospital, but for another air ambulance close by. Thank you so much for your support and to everyone who donated a prize or made a donation.”