After visiting the base in April and getting a tour of the site, Rushmere’s management team were inspired to offer support through fundraising activations in the centre.
They invested time and money in wrapping a plinth in the shopping centre with full AANI branding, supported by a screen playing a video with information on the charity.
To encourage support from shoppers, Air Ambulance NI provided a ‘Tap to Donate’ box to facilitate contactless donations. The Shopping Centre also allowed charity volunteers and staff to come to Rushmere to meet with shoppers and show their gratitude to all the wonderful people who donated.
Speaking on the success of the activities, Centre Manager Martin Walsh said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Air Ambulance NI this summer.
“I was fortunate enough to visit the team at their base just outside of Lisburn and was really taken with the work that Air Ambulance NI does. It is an essential service for us all and we are so happy that the shoppers at Rushmere engaged so well with the charity and dug so deeply to raise such a fantastic amount.
“It has been a fun and uplifting experience supporting Air Ambulance and one which we will definitely do again in the future.”
Air Ambulance NI is the local charity that provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland, together with partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS). The service operates seven days a week for 12 hours per day.
From its base near Lisburn, the air ambulance can reach any part of Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes.
Its primary role is to deliver advanced care, benefitting those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma, by bringing urgent medical assistance directly to the patient at the scene.
Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising for AANI added: “As a charity we have to say a huge thank you to Rushmere Shopping Centre who; from the beginning, were totally on board with us and invested so much into supporting the charity.
“They were so good to work with and we are absolutely delighted with the support they have given us. We must say a big thank you to our fantastic Air Ambulance NI volunteers who give up so much of their precious time to support the charity.
“Lastly, our medical crew could not fly without the donations from the public and the shoppers at Rushmere were so unbelievably generous.
“Thank you to every single one of them who tapped their bank card on the donate box, put their cash into a bucket or signed up as a Club AANI member - well done to you all!”
To find out more about the charity visit Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’s Facebook page, visit www.airambulanceni.org or call 028 9262 2677.