DAERA staff step up and boost funds for Air Ambulance NI

Staff from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, along with their families and friends, challenged themselves in April this year to increase their personal daily steps and raise valuable funds for Air Ambulance NI.

The inspiration behind this challenge was Kevin Murphy, who was highly esteemed by his colleagues in DAERA and by his community in Magherafelt. He sadly passed away unexpectedly in December 2021.

His colleagues wanted to do something positive to commemorate his life and in doing so raised £9,680 for this local life-saving charity.

Thanking the staff whose efforts raised the money, Kevin’s wife Siobhan Murphy said: “One of Kevin’s mottos was to “Live every day as if it were your last”. He did just that by being very active. He would be very proud indeed of what this challenge has managed to achieve for so many.”

Breige Mulholland, Air Ambulance NI; Sharon McFlynn, DAERA; Siobhan Murphy; Cormac Murphy; Maria Bradley, DAERA and Rachel Conn, DAERA. Picture by Michael Cooper

Air Ambulance NI works in direct partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, in delivering the helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) for the region. The service operates seven days a week, from 7am – 7pm and since its inception in July 2017, HEMS have been tasked to over 2,916 incidents.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA also thanked his staff, saying: “I feel very proud of my staff and their families and friends who challenged themselves in April to raise these funds and to be more active. In total, 114,233,729 steps were recorded by most of those who took part. That equates to 1,831 marathons or 47,972 miles. The physical and mental health benefits they gained in this challenge have been fantastic.”

Breige Mulholland, Air Ambulance NI Head of Operations & Finance added: “I want to thank DAERA for their tremendous support over the month of April. It is such an amazing gesture in Kevin Murphy’s memory.”