Published: 02 August 2023

A prestigious charity polo event hosted by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince and Princess of Wales, has raised £115k for the lifesaving Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

The Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup took place at Guards Polo Club in Windsor in July. The Prince, who was announced as Royal Patron of the Wales Air Ambulance earlier this year, played as part of the U.S. Polo Assn. team. They took to the field in a tournament that also included the Standing Rock Polo team and the BP Healthcare Polo team.

In an exciting round-robin format, it was the US Polo Assn. team who won with The Princess of Wales presenting the Out-Sourcing Inc. Charity Cup to the winning captain Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

Wales Air Ambulance was chosen by the royal couple as one of eleven charities to benefit from the event, with other beneficiaries including MHI (Shout), Centrepoint, The Passage, Mountain Rescue England & Wales, Foundling Museum, Forward Trust, East Anglia Children’s Hospices, Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities. Each charity received £115k to support their vital work.

Dr Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive, was invited to the tournament to promote the work of the Charity. She said: “It was a wonderful occasion and we were humbled to be one of the charities chosen to benefit from this event. His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, takes a keen and proactive interest in our Charity and, as a former air ambulance pilot himself, understands better than most the importance of such a service. The Prince has become a passionate member of the Wales Air Ambulance family.”

Their Royal Highnesses visited Wales Air Ambulance’s Dafen base in February of this year. They met emergency workers, volunteers and supporters and learned about the Charity’s recent operations across Wales. The Prince and Princess also had the opportunity to speak to past patients and officially opened a new Patient and Family Room that is now being used by the Wales Air Ambulance Aftercare Service.

It was during this visit that The Prince was announced as Royal Patron of the Charity.

Wales Air Ambulance, which was founded in 2001, is an all-Wales service that has completed over 46,000 missions since its inception. It is on standby 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 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 anesthesia, deliver blood transfusions and conduct minor operations, all at the scene of an incident.