The Air Ambulance Collection Presentation on the 7th December was the final event of our Centenary Celebrations.
It marked a fitting conclusion to the wide range of celebratory events, including our Centenary Barbeque, our Centenary 100 Kilometre Challenge Ride, our Centenary Dinner and the Centenary of the Cyclists’ Memorial Service at Meriden.
During the planning for the year it had been decided that we should raise funds for a local bike-related charity. Paul Whitehead suggested the local Air Ambulance, and this was wholeheartedly agreed as it is a service that potentially any of us could need at any time. It was decided that we would ask each rider joining a club ride to voluntarily contribute £1. Paul did all the organising and setting up of the collection. Sadly, Paul passed away before he was able to see the sort of total we would reach. His company on rides continues to be greatly missed, but we know he would have been so pleased to know that the final total raised, including the special auction at the Evening Dinner was £2,625. This despite the pandemic and periods when we did not meet up as a group. Therefore, a huge well done and thank you to all who contributed.
We arranged to make the formal presentation to the Air Ambulance Service on Tuesday 7th December. As it happened the 7th saw storm Barra sweep across the country, and it also saw a group of CTC Coventry riders meet up at a local café before riding the short distance to Coventry Airport, the flying base of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, for a cold, wet and windswept photoshoot, and to present the ceremonial cheque. It was hoped the Air Ambulance helicopter was present although if a ‘shout’ came in it would have to attend. Thankfully, the aircraft was present, I think most people were venturing out as little as possible in the foul conditions, so photographs were taken as quickly as possible. We had our Coventry Centenary cycling jerseys on under our waterproofs but decided in the circumstances not to display them for the camera but remain wrapped up for protection.
We were joined by Lynn Wood, Community Fundraising Manager together with the two crew members who were on duty. They were exceedingly grateful to receive the money and to acknowledge all your efforts in raising the funds.
Whilst talking to the crew they informed us that they do an average of 3.5 flights a day, and each of those missions cost in the region of £1,000 – meaning that your efforts will support at least two critical missions. A really worthwhile contribution, thank you !