Published: 20 December 2023

Members of a Flintshire golf club have raised more than £4,500 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Frances Halewood, who is the current lady captain of Old Padeswood Golf Club near Mold, chose the Wales Air Ambulance as her Charity of Choice during her year-long captaincy, which ends in January 2024.

On top of organising raffles in the club which raised around £400, she put collection boxes in the community as well as having a sponsor.

She held a joint captain’s charity day at the club, whereby local businesses donated gifts for the auction and raffles and the owner of the golf club also gifted a 10 day stay in a villa in Florida, which raised £800. The caterers from the day also gave a percentage to the Charity.

Frances said it was always her intention to give to the Wales Air Ambulance as it is a Charity close to her heart.

She said: “I have always said if I ever did a charity event it would be for the Wales Air Ambulance as it is a vital lifesaving service. I’ve always had a passion for the charity.

“At the beginning of the year one of my best friends died. She had a heart attack and the air ambulance had to be called out to her, so it means a lot to me to raise money for them.”

Frances presented a cheque of £4,694.23 to the Wales Air Ambulance’s North East Wales Community Fundraiser Debra Sima, at the ladies section Christmas lunch.

Debra said: “I would like to say thank you to Frances for choosing the Wales Air Ambulance as her Charity of the Year. Her generous donation will help to keep our helicopters flying and keep our rapid response vehicles on the road to continue serving the people of Wales.

“It has been lovely working with Frances over the past year or so. She has gone over and above and worked extremely hard to maximise fundraising for the Charity during her captaincy. I would like to thank her personally for her incredible efforts.” 

The 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. 

This advanced critical care includes the ability to administer anaesthesia, deliver blood transfusions and conduct minor operations, all at the scene of an incident. The Service is often described as a ‘flying emergency department’, however, it can also deliver the same standard of care by road via its fleet of rapid response vehicles.

This 24/7 service is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. 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. 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.  

As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated crews will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care.

Frances is hoping people will help support the Charity beyond her captaincy and has left two collection boxes in the Golf Club for members to keep donating.

Reflecting on her fundraising success, she said: “I am very proud of what I have done throughout the year to help raise £4,694.23. I wanted to raise more money than any other lady captain and I am very pleased I achieved that for such a worthwhile cause like the Wales Air Ambulance.”