On Friday, 13 May a number of a landmarks across Sunderland will be lit up to mark 20 years since Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) became an independent registered charity provided life-saving care to the most ill or injured people across the North East, North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria.
Since 2002 GNAAS has responded to more than 23,500 incidents through teams operating the helicopters, driving the rapid response cars and the major incident response unit.
Landmarks being illuminated across Sunderland include Penshaw Monument, Northern Spire Bridge, Keel Square, The Lighthouse at Roker Cliff Park, Fulwell Mill, Hylton Castle, and Beacon of Light.
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The charity do not receive government funding and must therefore raise £6.7million a year through public donations to remain operational. The charity hosts many fundraising events and public collections throughout the year to ensure the can carry on delivering its vital service.
David Stockton, the charity’s chief executive officer, said: “Over the last 20 years, our charity has evolved from humble beginnings to being a world-class leader in pre-hospital care.
“Thanks to the support of the public, we have been able to deliver care to approximately 23,500 people across the North, and we are proud to say we maintained an uninterrupted service during the pandemic.”
Schools and workplaces are also encouraged to get involved in the anniversary by having a dress down to raise funds and wear green for GNAAS.