Jo sells her jams for life-saving air ambulance service

Jo, right, with customer Sheilagh Matheson, from Northumberland

By Betsy Everett

As Joanne Jones of Askrigg waited two and a half hours for an ambulance when she fell and broke her wrist, it made her realise what a valuable service the Yorkshire Air Ambulance provided.

Although her injury wasn’t life-threatening, other people’s can be, and she has seen the “helicopter  heroes” pay at least five visits just to her own village this year.

“Where would we be without it?” she asks. “I’ve read that they need £12,000 a day – a day! – to keep the air ambulance going yet they have to rely totally on donations. It’s ludicrous. What price a life?” says Joanne as she stands outside her house selling home-made jam to raise funds.
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“I wanted to do something to help a service that is so vital to us all, especially in a place like Askrigg” she says.

With jam jars donated by friends and family, gingham cloth ‘caps’ for the jars cut from old school uniforms, and fruit bought at reduced prices from supermarkets, Joanne asks for a minimum donation of a pound a jar for a huge variety of jams. Next on the list, when the autumn harvest begins, will be chutneys and pickles.

With a business to run – she does sewing and mending at home and takes her burger and hot dog van, On the Hoof, out on the road – she still finds time to make and bottle all the preserves herself.

She would appreciate donations of fruit and vegetables from anyone who finds themselves with an excess and she can be contacted on 01969 650106.

Before moving to Askrigg Joanne lived near Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, where she was a member of a motor scooter club.

“I use to come over to the Dales and I know what the dangers are. If you come off the road in a rural area like this the air ambulance can save your life. It’s a fantastic service,” she says.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a charity. It provides a rapid response service to five million people in cities, towns, and rural areas throughout Yorkshire, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To learn more about it or donate go to http://www.yaa.org.uk