Published: 18 August 2023

A kind-hearted Wales Air Ambulance patient has generously donated £3,000 of raffle prize-winnings back to the Charity that helped save her life.

Beverley Lewis won the first-place prize in the Wales Air Ambulance Summer Raffle and rather than keep her winnings, she donated it back to the lifesaving Charity.

Beverley, who is from south west London, had been travelling to Criccieth, in Gwynedd, on holiday with her friends on 3 September 2022, when she was involved in a road traffic collision in Bala.

The Wales Air Ambulance team arrived swiftly to the scene and provided advanced critical care that proved to be instrumental in stabilising Beverley before airlifting her to the major trauma centre at The Royal Stoke University Hospital, where she spent nine days and underwent surgery.

Beverley, 65, had decided to keep in touch with the Wales Air Ambulance following her accident and opted to receive updates and information about the Charity through its email communication and direct mail service.

The summer raffle was officially launched by Welsh entertainer Max Boyce on 25 May and ran for nine weeks. The first prize was for £3,000 with a second prize of £500 and a third prize of £300.  More than 39,000 tickets were sold and a fantastic £50,000 was raised during the campaign, which will enable the charity to save even more lives.  

Beverley, a retired solicitor, entered the raffle after receiving an email from the Charity as a way of expressing her gratitude to the Wales Air Ambulance. In fact, her winning ticket was one of the first tickets bought. 

She said she was extremely surprised to win but had no hesitation in donating her winnings straight back to the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

She said: “I am not in the habit of winning competitions or raffles. I initially considered sending a cheque donation but then I thought, if I did win, I could give the prize back to the Wales Air Ambulance, so I bought £20 worth of tickets.

“I was extremely surprised to receive the phone call from the Charity explaining that I had won first prize. The Charity must raise a lot of money for the service to remain operational and what an important service it is for people. 

“I was a beneficiary of the Wales Air Ambulance’s good work last September when I was involved in a road traffic collision, and I will forever be grateful to the Charity. I am grateful for their care, their time and the crew’s humour. I remember the crew, Kate, Olly and Paul, being really reassuring, extremely efficient and very kind.  

“I can’t fault the work of the Wales Air Ambulance and I am extremely glad that I can give the money back to such a worthy cause.”

The Charity needs to raise £11.2 million every year to keep its four helicopters in the air and fleet of rapid response vehicles on the road.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care that is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru). 

As a result, the service is consultant-led and is known as a ‘flying emergency department’, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient. This includes the ability to administer anaesthesia, deliver blood transfusions and conduct minor operations, all at the scene of an incident. 

The raffle was drawn blindly on Tuesday 8 August 2023 by another past patient, Richard Jones.

Phae Jones, Wales Air Ambulance’s Senior Individual Giving and Legacy Manager, thanked everybody for supporting the summer raffle and expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Beverley for her remarkable generosity.

She said: “We are thrilled with the success of the Charity’s Summer Raffle and are very grateful to all of our staff and volunteers who got involved in spreading the word and engaging with our local communities in buying and selling raffle tickets.

“To hear the story of our top prize winner’s first-hand experience of our lifesaving service and her decision to donate back her winnings is incredibly humbling. Thank you very much.”