A Wales Air Ambulance volunteer is taking part in the Charity’s My20 fundraiser in memory of his close friend.

The Wales Air Ambulance marked its 20th anniversary on March 1 and to acknowledge the milestone, the Charity has created a new fundraising event called My20. My20 allows the participant to set themselves a challenge, task or activity that relates to the number '20' which they will complete during March.

John Scott, from Swansea, is raising funds in memory of Viv Thomas, who sadly passed away in August 2020.

The grandad-of-two will be walking 20 miles during March and would love to raise £1,000 for the Charity close to his heart. So far John has raised an amazing £890.

The fundraiser is also a way to keep John fit, whilst raising money for the Charity. He said: “I decided to take part in memory of one of my closest friends Viv Thomas who passed away last year. And at the same time, I wanted to support the amazing work that the air ambulance does.  Viv Thomas was a close family friend who we spent many holidays and summers with. Viv was married to Mary and they have three amazing daughters – they were and are a huge part of mine and my family’s life.

“As a community down in Bank Farm, Gower, we have been fundraising for the past 14 years. I ran the Bank Farm Residents’ Club along with other members and we have supported so many charities over the years, in total raising over £110,000 - one of these being the Wales Air Ambulance.  The Wales Air Ambulance has always been a service that we have wanted to support down in the Gower, but sadly back in August 2020 they were called out for Viv, who was transferred to Morriston Hospital but unfortunately died.  

“On that day in August when the Air Ambulance was called for Viv, never in my life would I think that one of my closest friends would need their support. I am hoping by taking part in this and supporting the air ambulance it will be a lovely legacy for my dearest friend Viv. It is also a reminder that we don’t know what the future holds and that we might need the services of the air ambulance one day.”

The family of Viv Thomas would like to thank the air ambulance and the NHS for all the support they gave Viv.

Reflecting on the importance of the lifesaving helicopter charity, John said: “The air ambulance is a very important service and provides an essential service for the NHS. Having a caravan in the Gower, we have seen the air ambulance being called out many times to members of the public and they have helped to save so many people’s lives.”

John’s proud daughter, Amanda Hughes, added: “My Dad is an inspiration to us all. For anyone who knows my Dad they will say he has a heart of gold, always puts others before himself and is always supporting people.  Dad has been through a lot of personal things himself but has always been there supporting us through the sad times and the one always making us smile. I would like to say that my Dad is my hero and I am so proud of him for what he achieves. Dad is heartbroken to have lost Viv and I know this means the world to him, to be able to do something in memory of an amazing friend.  I know Viv will be with Dad every step of the way.”

Jane Griffiths, the Charity’s South Wales Community Fundraiser, said: “A huge thank you to John for taking part in our My20 fundraiser. John has decided to walk 20 miles in memory of his friend Viv, which is a wonderful way to remember someone close to him. Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored John and we hope he enjoys his My20 challenge.”

You can show your support to John, who has been working with the Wales Air Ambulance for 10 years, by sponsoring via his Just Giving page 20 Miles in March in Memory of Viv Thomas.