The Duke of Cambridge attended the London Air Ambulance Charity Gala in London on Thursday evening, celebrating the successes of its 30th anniversary charity appeal. William revealed that the appeal raised its £1 million target for a new helipad base in nine months.
“I landed on the London Air Ambulance helipad on multiple occasions during my job. I can tell you that it is an essential part of the medical chain in London, and speeds up the process of patients getting to care.
“And I know first-hand that the trauma teams working with London’s Air Ambulance are world class. Even if their banter isn’t quite up to the pilots’ level.”Embed from Getty Images
William became patron of the London Air Ambulance 30th anniversary campaign earlier this year.
At the time his patronage was announced, London’s Air Ambulance Charity’s CEO, Jonathan Jenkins, said that “Through [The Duke of Cambridge’s] support, we aim to raise awareness of the life-saving work carried out by us and by air ambulances across the UK. Our crew face significant challenges when delivering our rapid response and cutting-edge medical treatments in London.”
Jenkins continued, saying that the funds would be used to “improve our facilities to ensure we can respond even faster, enhance our training and ensure our crews have the facilities they need for their mental health and wellbeing.”
William worked for several years as an air ambulance pilot in East Anglia prior to becoming a full-time royal in 2017. He has spoken multiple times about his work there and the need for access to mental health support for the pilots.
Other guests at Thursday evening’s gala included singer Eric Clapton, who asked William if he still flies in his spare time, with William revealing that he’s prioritising family time with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, saying ”Any free time I get I see them.”Embed from Getty Images
William met with air ambulance pilots and other guests and donors who have supported the London Air Ambulance appeal. So far, it was revealed, the appeal has raised almost £2 million.
Jenkins said in a statement ahead of Thursday’s gala that “The Duke’s generous and heartfelt backing for our Charity this year has been greatly appreciated by our operational crews, charity staff and all our supporters.”
William also spoke about the importance of air ambulance pilots and the vital work they do, saying:
“They work calmly, quickly and with razor-sharp focus to help people from all walks of life who have suffered the most horrific injuries. Their care can mean the difference between life and death – between recovery and lifelong disability. They take the skills that they learn here in London back to other air ambulances, their home countries and back to the military. And they show remarkable resilience and strength in the face of the tragic circumstances that they come across multiple times a day.”
William’s full speech can be found here.