Published: 10 April 2024 

Staff at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have switched their scrubs for aprons to help raise funds for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. 

One of the organisers, Ruth Stone, a Professional Practice Development Nurse, teamed up with colleagues across the two neuroscience departments based at the University Hospital of Wales and Llandough Hospital.  


They raised just over £500 after putting on two Coffee and Cake events in March. 


Ruth said: “Our high care team on our high care unit unfortunately have to see the air ambulances quite a bit as they bring in emergency patients. 

“When we do see them, they're always really professional, kind and courteous - they do a fantastic job.” 


There is a personal connection to the service through two members of staff. Lead nurse, Carly Simpson, is married to one of the services Critical Care Practitioners, Steffan Simpson. The child of a member of staff also needed the air ambulance’s help. 


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.


Ruth added: “I think a lot of us were quite shocked to see how much fundraising is needed to help keep these guys up in the skies to be able to perform to do their jobs.” 


The first cake event was held at the University Hospital of Wales on St David’s Day, and Ruth was overwhelmed at the response from staff. She had to change her plans and begin slightly earlier due to demand. 


She said: “There was a little bit of noise, you know, going on with some of the staff trying to get the goodies, before everybody else got in. 


“But, with four or five different bakers – they were more than happy to supply cakes. One of our girls made a lemon drizzle, a coffee and walnut then about 30 cupcakes. So that was amazing.” 


The event not only raised funds, but also promoted collaboration and encouraged team bonding. Ruth said: “It's a bit of a treat because nurses and cakes are just ridiculous. You know, I mean, you've only got to mention that the cakes are in and about four wards down will come running.” 


The second event was held at Llandough Hospital on the 20 March and patients and relatives got involved too. Ruth said: “The cakes were going out so quick at one point, we didn't have a chance to make a cup of coffee! 


“Some of the relatives were so generous they would just give us a donation. 


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.  

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.

The two events raised an incredible £514 for the lifesaving service.


Ruth continued: “Between the two sites, we raised £514 altogether, which is not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but considering we’d set ourselves a target of £100, to get that amount of money was just fantastic for us.” 


Wales Air Ambulance’s Head of Fundraising Mark Stevens said: “What a team effort! It takes a lot of preparation to make so many cakes and just seconds for everyone to eat them up, but the hard work will make a lifesaving difference. 


“We rely on fun events like this, and every penny raised really does make a difference to those in need of critical care. Thank you so much to the bakers, all the health care providers and the kind-hearted patients and relatives who donated to our lifesaving charity."