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Haverhill bus firm forms alliance to boost East Anglian Air Ambluance

Stephenson's of Essex are supporting East Anglian Air Ambulance with boxes on buses and more
Stephenson's already support Essex Air Ambulance.

FL; Leader driver Steve Freeman, Barbara McGee fund raising manager for S Cambs and W Suffolk and operations manager Francis Bartlet.

Stephenson's of Essex are supporting East Anglian Air Ambulance with boxes on buses and more Stephenson's already support Essex Air Ambulance. FL; Leader driver Steve Freeman, Barbara McGee fund raising manager for S Cambs and W Suffolk and operations manager Francis Bartlet.

A bus company is helping to raise money for charity by having collection pots on its buses and participating in other fund raising events.

A bus company is helping to raise money for charity by having collection pots on its buses and participating in other fund raising events.

Stephenson’s of Essex, which now has a Haverhill base in Duddery Hill after expanding in East Anglia by taking over the failed firm Burtons Busses, will be supporting the East Anglian Air Ambluance through its fund raising.

The bus firm already supports the Essex Air Ambulance with its Essex fleet, based in Rochford, and has is now supporting the East Anglian as the company covers Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Francis Bartlett, operations manager of the Duddery Hill depot of Stephenson’s, said: “We are trying to raise money for the air ambulance with collection boxes on our buses and special events.

“We will have collection boxes on many of our buses and when the air ambulance holds special events we will try and get one of our buses there.

“At the moment it’s a bit experimental in a way so we’ll see how it goes.

“We’d like it to be ongoing and maintain a good relationship to try and help them as much as possible.

“Being in the transport business we are on the road all the time and see quite a lot of the fantastic job the air ambulance crew does out there, and we would like to ensure that our customer, if they ever need it, can benefit from the work the air ambulance crew does.

“As our Haverhill depot comes under the air ambulance for Suffolk then i thought we should be looking at helping them.”

Barbara McGee, the charity’s fund raising manager for South Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk, said they wanted to raise awareness that the helicopter is now flying at night.

“In addition to money we’ll benefit from the promotion and the awareness as a lot of people still don’t realise we are not funded by government,” she said.

“We started flying at night from October 27 and want to make people aware of that too.

“We’ll be getting literature out to people and the collection boxes will make a massive difference as all the pennies add up.”

The East Anglian Air Ambulance covers Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The charity does not get government funding and costs around £6 million a year to run.

That money pays for the helicopter, doctors and equipment.

The charity is looking to publicise that it now flies at night.

Extra funding has been needed for the new gear, with night vision goggles costing £20,000.

The air ambulance will now be flying until midnight.

Ms McGee added: “At the moment we wouldve had to be back by 3pm but no we’ll still flying in the hours of darkness.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 29) Echo.

 

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