THAMES Valley Air Ambulance has launched its first ever urgent appeal in response to an anticipated shortfall of £1 million pounds in fundraising income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity is continuing to provide critical care service but has recently also deployed its paramedics and doctors to serve alongside NHS colleagues within the region in response to pandemic.

It said this initial estimate of a £1 million shortfall could be a 'significant understatement' and it represents more than 10 per cent of the charity’s annual income.

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The majority of this loss is expected to come from the cancellation and postponement of community and business fundraising events and efforts.

The local air ambulance service is now calling on the public to donate to help meet at least some of this shortfall.

The charity has in its 21-year history been entirely funded by the public and community it serves and has not received any funding from the government or National Lottery.

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Neil Harman, Thames Valley Air Ambulances Director of Fundraising said: “We are truly in an unprecedented situation.

"Never before in our history have we anticipated such a large loss in fundraising over such a short period."

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He added: "We do want to reassure the public, that whatever the response to our appeal, we will continue to provide lifesaving care in the immediate future and be on hand to back-up the NHS in our efforts to tackle the pandemic."

Donate via tvairambulance.org.uk/donate.