Great North Air Ambulance Service launches £10,000 raffle

Great North Air Ambulance Service training day at Urlay Nook HQ. Photograph: Stuart Boulton

The medical director for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) is inviting the public to support the charity by playing their £10,000 top prize raffle.

Chris Smith has been a doctor at GNAAS for more than 13 years and plays an important role in delivering clinical care, which has saved countless lives.

He’s also an emergency medicine consultant in the Accident and Emergency department and a doctor in the British Army.

He said: “My work at GNAAS differs from other roles I’ve had in one important way; it is entirely charity funded, meaning that we rely on donations to be able to do our life-saving work.

“Our annual raffle raises crucial funds to ensure GNAAS can be ready for anything. Thanks to our supporters our raffle last year raised over £114,000, funding 25 call-outs and potentially saving 25 lives.”

Last year’s raffle winner Lynn Gould, 56, from Darlington, had been supporting GNAAS for over a decade by taking part in the charity’s weekly lottery and annual raffle but couldn’t believe her luck when she was announced as the raffle winner.

She said: “I was a babbling idiot on the phone, I was just like, oh it’s real, it’s real.”

After getting over the initial shock of winning, Mrs Gould visited the charity’s headquarters near Eaglescliffe, in the North East, where she met Dr Smith, who gave her an overview of the critical care team’s working environment including a tour of the aircraft.

After getting a behind the scenes look at the charity, she said she would encourage everyone to get involved in the raffle, as well as the lottery, to help support their work.

She said: “You just don’t know when you’re going to need them. Any accident can happen at any time, and it’s nice to know there’s somebody that can help you and get you to a hospital quicker.

“With the raffle and the lottery there’s obviously a chance of winning, so it’s the best of both, you’re helping a charity and you might get something back at the same time.”

Dr Smith added: “Every £1 ticket you buy in our raffle will enable us to save local lives, whether that’s funding a mission, facilitating research into advanced medical techniques or training the next generation of life-savers. Help us be ready for anything by playing our raffle today.”

Raffle tickets cost only £1 each, for the chance to win £10,000, a break in the Lake District worth more than £1,000, or £500 in cash.

Tickets can be bought by visiting gna.as/raffle_2023 or calling 01325 487263.