NHS volunteers team up with AIRCO to raise £2,500 to help buy a new minibus

NHS volunteers have raised almost £2,500 to help replace a 17-year-old minibus used to take more than 300 people a year to social groups and appointments

Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s Voluntary Services team and the Trust’s charity, Health Stars, raised the money by holding a race night with Airco and Mitsubishi Electric.

The event, held at Airco’s Goulton Street premises and including a free bar and buffet, was such a resounding success that the team has now placed an order to lease a new minibus to provide a service which does not qualify for NHS funding.

The vehicle will enable them to support even more people in the community who are at risk of loneliness and isolation, which have a profound effect on mental health.

The new minibus will be fitted with wheelchair adaptations to make the service more accessible for people with mobility problems.

Sam Grey, the Trust’s Voluntary Services manager, said: “The evening was really fun, lively and well attended.

“It was great to see local businesses come together to support the cause, which included some very generous contributions in the final race, which was an auction.

“The auctioneer commented that the amount raised, almost £500, was a record for him and he praised everyone for their incredible generosity.”

Organisers were delighted with raffle prize donations from organisations including Tesco St Stephens, South Cave Falconry, Nando’s, York Racecourse, Beverley Racecourse, Lambwath pub and Leaf Hospitality.

Andy Stubbs, Service Co-ordinator at Airco, said: “I meet regularly with the Trust’s Patient Services Manager, Virginia Hemingway, who asked if we could help raise funds for a new minibus.

“We agreed the cause was fantastic and would provide us with a great opportunity to bring our contacts together for a fund-raising/networking event that would be fun but would ultimately have a serious and worthwhile objective.

“I feel we achieved this and, as a result, hope to replicate the event on regular occasions to support the ongoing finance requirements for the bus.”

The volunteers will attempt to raise £3,000 per year to help pay for the new vehicle, which is expected to arrive in January. www.airco.co.uk