Retail outlet Gunwharf Quays has selected Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) as Charity of the Year for 2016/2017. With eight million shoppers visiting the South Coast’s leading designer outlet shopping centre every year, the opportunity will provide HIOWAA with invaluable exposure, helping to raise the profile of the charity within the local community.

Ray Southam, HIOWAA Corporate and Community Fundraiser, commented: “We are hugely grateful for this opportunity to be able to reach out to a wider audience and to spread the word about our life-saving work in a new environment.”

Throughout the year the HIOWAA fundraising team will be joined by Gunwharf Quays staff to help raise valuable funds through a series of events at the centre. The team recently visited the retail outlet with their popular ‘Herocopter’ mascot and spent the day handing out flags and posing for photos with children.

Colin Wilding, General Manager at Gunwharf Quays, added: “It’s great to be supporting Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance as our chosen Charity of the Year. The charity provides a vital service which relies on support from the community so we’re delighted to offer our help. Over the next 12 months Gunwharf Quays will be hosting an array of fundraising activities for shoppers, diners and local residents to get stuck into; we look forward to raising as much as possible for this very deserving cause.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week, up to 19 hours a day, and attends an average of two to three missions a day, many of them life saving. The charity receives no government, statutory or national lottery funding for routine operations, and is entirely dependent on gifts received from members of the public, companies and grant-making bodies to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives. To keep the Air Ambulance flying HIOWAA needs to raise approximately £230,000 per month.

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