A Wales Air Ambulance volunteer has challenged herself to do 20 beach cleans as part of her My20 fundraiser for the Charity.

The Wales Air Ambulance is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to acknowledge the milestone, the Charity has created a new fundraising event called My20. My20 allows participants to pick an activity, challenge or task that relates to the number ‘20’.

Rosie Hemsley, from Llandysul, will be doing the twenty beach cleans at locations close to her home during March and sees the challenge as a ‘personal motivator at this stage of lockdown’.

Reflecting on why she has chosen this challenge, Rosie said: “I decided to do this activity because it is doing something positive for the local environment, as well as hopefully raising some much-needed funds for the Wales Air Ambulance. I have always been passionate about the marine environment, having been a scuba diver, and currently volunteering with Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in New Quay.

“Our role as volunteers is varied, including carrying out marine (mainly bottlenose dolphin) animal surveys and engaging with the public. Prior to COVID restrictions, we organised lots of public beach cleans.

“During lockdown many of us volunteers are still cleaning beaches and lanes near our homes, and it’s been so inspiring to see people out with their dogs and children doing the same. It’s absolutely shocking how much plastic there is in our seas now, and the amount of harm it does to our wildlife.”

Rosie has already raised £155 for the fundraiser. Reflecting on the importance of the Charity, she said: “I think that Wales Air Ambulance provides a vital service to the population of Wales. From four bases, they are able to respond rapidly to any part of the country and to get to places inaccessible to land ambulances, such as mountain ranges, cliff-tops, and motorway snarl-ups.

“I for one feel a lot safer knowing that they are out there.”

Helen Pruett, the Charity’s South Powys Community Fundraiser, said: “Good luck to Rosie in her My20 Challenge. She isn’t just raising funds for our Charity but has also chosen an activity that will benefit the public and marine life. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored Rosie so far. It is much appreciated and it is helping to keep our 24/7 service running.”

Rosie would like to state that if anyone is considering doing a beach clean as part of this challenge or in general to;

  • Please use a pick-up stick, avoid touching items, especially discarded masks and PPE.
  • Wear gloves and use hand sanitiser.
  • If you do come across any sharp items please take local advice on disposal of the item.

Rosie hasn’t set herself a fundraising target but hopes to raise as much money as possible. You can sponsor her via her Just Giving page Rosie Hemsley Fy20 / My20.

For more information on the #MY20 challenge visit www.walesairambulance.com.