THE CEO of Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) has spoken out about the community’s vital support during the pandemic.
TVAA is one of the most vital services for those who are critically injured or ill in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Within minutes, highly trained paramedics, doctors and pilots can be on scene where needed and are ready for any eventuality – regularly saving lives.
Amanda McLean has been the CEO of the charity for 4.5 years and likened her job to that of a conductor of an orchestra.
She said she is responsible for overseeing the departments within the charity and making sure everyone is “singing the same tune”.
She explained she is “incredibly proud of the fact that despite all of the challenges and lockdowns we have maintained our services throughout”.
The charity issued an appeal to the public during the start of the pandemic last year asking people to donate PPE.
Amanda explained there were more than 130 PPE donation offers from people and organisations across the Thames Valley.
She said: “We wouldn’t have been able to manage those first few weeks without that support.”
One gin distillery in Newbury, 137 Gin, started to make hand sanitiser during the pandemic and became one of 130 individuals and businesses who offered to donate PPE to the TVAA appeal.
Amanda said the charity now has a regular supply of PPE.
She explained people have continued to fundraise for the charity doing walks, runs and cycles and explained supporters have been “amazing”.
She said: “It doesn’t matter whether it feels like a small amount of money…every bit makes a difference and they all count.”
She added: “I feel in my job as if I spend a lot of my time thanking people for doing things that are just awe inspiring and amazing.”
Looking ahead to the future, Amanda said there is a charity wing walk event taking place in April where people who wish to take part will be strapped to the roof of a biplane, to raise money for the charity.