Air ambulance celebrates 10th anniversary in Norwich

Supporters of the East Anglian Air Ambulance enjoyed a glittering ball at the weekend to mark the charity's 10th anniversary.

The event at the Norfolk Showground on Saturday was one of the highlights of the life-saving service's anniversary celebrations.

Nearly 350 people - including many of the charity's staff and trustees, some of the air ambulance doctors and paramedics, supporters, volunteers and former patients - attended the grand ball

Simon Gray, chief executive of the charity, said the event was a great success and that a good amount of money had been raised for the charity.

He said: 'Staging a high profile event such as a ball is challenging at any time but is even more difficult in economically tough times so we'd like to thank the many people who worked tirelessly and often voluntarily to help us stage such a successful celebration of our tenth anniversary.

'It was wonderful to see so many of our supporters enjoying themselves. We'd like to thank everyone who attended and hope they enjoyed the night as much as we did. Meanwhile we now get back to the main job of planning an even more successful 10 years for the EAAA.'

Anglia One, one of the charity's air ambulances, was on display at the event, and guests enjoyed a meal cooked by award-winning chef Stephen David from The Crown in Woodbridge.

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The dessert was Madeira Surprise - the culinary creation of retired Sheringham entertainer Ken Jackson who won the EAAA pudding competition this year and whose recipe features in the air ambulance's new Pie in the Sky cookbook.

Mr Gray said that ball-goers participated enthusiastically in the auction for items such as a painting by Suffolk-based artist David Porteous-Butler and a rugby shirt signed by members of the World Cup winning squad.

There was also entertainment by the Lee Vasey Band and a top London cabaret.

Despite receiving no direct government funding, the EAAA operates two air ambulances, 365 days per year, across Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It costs �3.5 million per year to keep the air ambulances flying and to supply the advanced clinical equipment they carry.

For more information about the EAAA contact the charity on 0845 066 9999 or visit www.eaaa.org.uk.

t Are you doing something amazing for charity? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk