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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) had reason to celebrate last night after winning an Association of Air Ambulances Award of Excellence for its highly successful ‘Be a 999 Hero’ Education programme. The awards ceremony took place on 14 November at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington.

HIOWAA CEO Alex Lochrane commented; ‘We are thrilled to be recognised for the success of our ‘Be a 999 Hero’ programme and the part that it has played in spreading our life saving message to children aged 5-11 across our region’.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance ‘Be a 999 Hero’ education programme is designed to teach young people about how to respond in an emergency and to highlight the importance of the Air Ambulance and other emergency services.

At the forefront of the campaign are five super hero characters, inspired by the charity’s team of paramedics, doctors and pilots. The characters are featured on a website specifically designed for young people, so that they can access vital safety information, fundraising ideas, games and a news page of activity from across the region. In addition, primary schools benefit from a 30 minute interactive presentation for pupils in class or assembly, plus a surprise visit from one of the charity’s three new mascots; Pilot Paws, Teddy Medic and Herocopter.

Since launching the programme in October 2015, the charity has delivered its life saving message to over 20,000 children in schools, clubs and nurseries across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Alex Lochrane continued ‘We could not have achieved this without the support of our crew and a loyal band of volunteers who help to deliver our interactive presentation to children across our region. This award goes as much to them and also to our brilliant corporate sponsor Knight Frank who have been hugely supportive at every stage’.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week and attends an average of two to three missions a day, many of them life saving. The charity receives no government, statutory or national lottery funding for routine operations, and is entirely dependent on donations received from members of the public, companies and grant-making bodies to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.

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