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Norfolk Freemasons support air ambulance charity appeal

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 July 2012 | UPDATED: 10:46 17 July 2012

Head of Norfolk Freemasons, John Rushmer makes a donation of £4,000 to the EEEA on behalf of the Freemasons Grand Charity which was accepted by Norfolk fundraising manager Jess Down. Photo by Simon Finlay

Head of Norfolk Freemasons, John Rushmer makes a donation of £4,000 to the EEEA on behalf of the Freemasons Grand Charity which was accepted by Norfolk fundraising manager Jess Down. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

An appeal to buy new equipment for the region’s air ambulance has been given a £4,000 boost by Norfolk’s Freemasons.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) wants to save more lives by improving its equipment and by starting to fly at night.

To back the charity, the Eastern Daily Press launched its LifeSaver appeal, urging readers to help raise £50,000 to pay for a £20,000 ventilator, two £5,000 blood analysers and a £20,000 ultrasound machine.

There are 4,000 Freemasons in Norfolk, who are members of the county’s 75 lodges across 25 different villages and towns.

Around half the money raised through fundraising activities goes to non-Masonic charities, with some of the money going to local charities chosen by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Norfolk, and some towards the national Grand Charity.

John Rushmer, Norfolk Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Master, said the £4,000 was part of a total of £192,000 being given to air ambulances across the country and brings the figure to more than £1m donated since 2007.

Mr Rushmer said: “I am very impressed with the service improvements achieved by the EAAA which are so important in such a large county as Norfolk with is long coastline and scattered rural population. ”

The EAAA wants to further improve the life-saving service it provides over the next two years, with two new helicopters on order, a plan to start flying at night and making sure it has the very latest emergency medical equipment available for crews.

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire all cover a large geographical area and the speed with which the charity can take highly-skilled medics out to a cardiac arrest patient or injured horse rider can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

The charity is also hoping to extend its operation into the hours of darkness, so it can help to save more lives, particularly during busy rush hours in the winter.

But the plan to fly at night, which is subject to Civil Aviation Authority approval, along with other improvements and rising prices, means the charity expects its running costs to rise from its existing £4.5m per year to £6m by January 2014.

You can tell the EDP about fundraising events to support the appeal by emailing newsdesk@archant.co.uk

Cheques, made payable to the ‘East Anglian Air Ambulance’ can be sent to

Eastern Daily Press Appeal, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Hangar E, Gambling Close, Norwich Airport, Norwich NR6 6EG.

For support and advice in holding a fundraising event, contact the charity on 0845 066 9999, or visit the charity’s website at www.eaaa.org.uk

kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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