Air ambulance gets lift from masonic bikers

(l-r) Provincial Grand Master John Whitaker, Mike ‘Sammy’ Roberts, Natalie Russell (HIOWAA), Martin ‘Fudgie’ Mellish, Martin ‘Ginge’ Kinley, Mike ‘Diesel’ Field, President

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance received an uplifting donation from the Southern Chapter of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association – meaning the bikers have donated more £32,000 in total.

The Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, John Whitaker, joined the leather-clad bikers on a visit to the charity’s Southampton office to present the cheque.

Without donations the helicopter would not be able to fly and save lives; it costs well over £3,000 for each take-off.

The air ambulance is called out on average four times a day and it spends 30 per cent of its flying time at night.

Last year the helicopter was airborne for 547 hours and it also runs vehicles on the road.

John Whitaker, who volunteers for St John Ambulance, said: “It was lovely to hear that the Chapter is one of the air ambulance’s most loyal fundraising partners.

“The bikers have a staggering record of fundraising for many charities and causes.

“Air ambulances are life savers and last year the Hampshire-based one made well over 100 trips to the Isle of Wight.

“We’ve been helping to fund the air ambulance since it first took off and our province’s south-west area also raises money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and we know from experience how vital they are.”