Slemish is part of Three Peaks fund raising event for Air Ambulance

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

AIR Ambulance Northern Ireland, supported by Boost Drinks, has launched the annual ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ - which includes Slemish Mountain on September 12!

And they encourage everyone to look forward to getting together again and sign up for climbing one, two or three of Northern Ireland’s famous mountains in aid of the life-saving charity.

Taking place during national Air Ambulance month, Air Ambulance NI and Boost Drinks are asking people to register at airambulanceni.org/upcoming-

events to climb Slemish, Cuilcagh in Co Fermanagh on September 19 and Slieve Donard in Co Down on September 26.

Right now, you can sign up to complete one, two or three of the peaks physically, or, for the first time, a virtual challenge has been created for walkers to complete from the comfort of their own home.

You can choose which of the three peaks you would like to virtually complete by climbing the equivalent number of flights of stairs!

The Three Peaks Challenge was set up in 2019 to help raise awareness and essential funds.

So why not ask your workmates, friends or family to sign up and take on the challenge. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) has been tasked 1,393 times to serious and life-threatening situations throughout the province and relies on donations to continue operating.

Air Ambulance NI, in partnership with Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) provides the HEMS for Northern Ireland and requires £5,500 a day from donations and fund-raising to sustain operations.

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising at AANI, said: “The Air Ambulance medical team continue to be tasked out to traumas like Conor’s on average once or twice every day. The life-saving service is there for us every day, and pre-hospital critical care can mean the difference between life and death. Such a crucial service for everyone means that even in these challenging times, fundraising has to continue.

“The Three Peaks involved over 365 people last year, a tremendous effort. That team collectively raised nearly £15k, keeping the team flying for almost three days. So, we’re delighted to be able to offer this again, supported by Boost Drinks. Our supporters are looking forward to walking our beautiful peaks after necessary lockdown protocols are eased; and our events partner at Life will work with us around any necessary social distancing requirements that are needed. We’re also delighted to have the virtual option available for those who wish to register that way now, or if circumstances mean it’s needed for all,” Kerry added.

Air Ambulance NI brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. This Doctor / Paramedic service benefits those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma. Effectively the service brings emergency hospital care direct to the casualty.

“We are thrilled to help launch the Three Peaks Challenge 2020 in partnership with Air Ambulance NI that will raise funds for a life-saving service available to the Northern Ireland public should they need it,” said Kim Jacks, Boost Drinks’ Consumer Brand Manager.

“As our 2020 charity partner we are supporting Air Ambulance NI and encourage people of all abilities to take part and do something very worthwhile.

“You can walk at your own pace and spend quality time with friends and family – which I know will be greatly appreciated after a tough start to the year,” continued Kim.

The registration fee per location / peak costs £20 or £50 to register for all three.

Participants are asked to fundraise a minimum of £55 each to help keep the service operational. To find out more and to donate to the Three Peaks Challenge visit airambulanceni.org

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