Sisters help keep air ambulance flying

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Two Belper schoolgirls have helped keep a life-saving air ambulance in the skies - after raising £350 with a series of fundraising events.

Sisters Elyse & Isabelle Fearnley, aged 13 and nine, were inspired to generate cash for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) after seeing the service in action for themselves at the Royal Derby Hospital.

During a tour of the building they saw the helicopter touchdown and were told about the vital work it carries out throughout the county.

Following the visit they decided they wanted to raise some money for the service and went around their neighbourhood in Belper asking people for any items they could spare.

They then hosted a range of events and stalls with the donations as part of the activities for Ripley Whist Club during May and June in order to generate cash.

And during a presentation at the clubs headuarters in Andbec House, Ripley the girls handed over a cheque to Richard Fletcher - Derbyshire Community Representative for the DLRAA.

Richard, who lives in Belper, said: “I was delighted to be presented with the cheque from Elyse & Isabelle Fearnley and the Ripley Whist Club.

“DLRAA relies entirely on donations from members of the public as it receives no Government or National Lottery funding.

“Therefore support from people such as Elyse & Isabelle Fearnley and the Ripley Whist Club really is invaluable and goes a long way to helping to keep our lifesaving service flying.”

Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance has been circling the skies of the East Midlands since 2008, keeping people safe and helping to save lives every day of the year.

The service attends approximately four rescue missions every day, from horse riding accidents, to road traffic collisions, to sports injuries, falls, and many more - with each rescue mission costing an average of £1,400.

Dedicated paramedics, doctors and pilots work together to provide advanced clinical care to patients at the scene of the accident, before flying them to the most suitable hospital.

Bosses at the DLRAA are currently urging people to vote for the service in the Nationwide’s new online Charitable Giving Scheme, ‘The Big Local’

The service could benefit from a £5,000 boost if enough people log-on to vote at