Cornwall Air Ambulance

HPhoto of Holly, family and the air ambulance crew stood in front of the red air ambulance helipcopterselen Martin, director of Access Cornwall shares the story of how the Cornwall Air Ambulance saved her daughter Holly’s life.

Everyone in Cornwall knows how important Cornwall Air Ambulance is. 

As a charity it receives no funding from the Government at all and yet it’s a vital service to everyone living and visiting Cornwall. It’s an essential emergency service that saves lives! 

Last year alone they attended 1,160 missions which is a rise of 10% from other years. 

According to their blog Cornwall Air Ambulance saw a 10% rise in missions in 2023 – these included hundreds of incidents relating to trauma, medical emergencies and cardiac arrests. 

 On the 12th of April, 2021 we found out first hand how vital their service is. On this day, my daugther Holly fell from her horse. It was just a normal day, she was doing everything right and wearing a new riding hat, but despite this, the fall was severe and she suffered severe brain injuries.  Put simply, without all the gory details, she wouldn’t have survived without the Cornwall Air Ambulance crews superior training, medical equipment and, well…. Speed! 

We had talked for a while about going to visit the crew and how we might fundraise for the charity as a small way to say thank you. There is nothing we can do that will ever pay back what they did for us but we will do what we can for each and every charity that’s helped us since that fateful day. 

Holly sat in her wheelchair, proudly next to her art work gallery displayThe opportunity came up for Holly to be a guest artist at a local gallery Coast, Colour, Canvas based at Roskilly’s nr. St Keverne. We decided to use that week as a fundraising week. Holly sold her art work in aid of Cornwall Air Ambulance and towards her ongoing Music Therapy (see previous blog).

The week was a huge success with some incredible feedback and compliments and ended as a sell out! Holly raised in excess of £225 for both causes. A huge achievement for a new artist on the block! Thank you to Coast Colour, the gallery, they took no commission on sales and fully supported Holly and myself in our fundraising. They have already invited her back next year. 

Following on from her fundraising Holly was invited to visit the Cornwall Air Ambulance station in Newquay. Communications and Media Manager, Sarah Yeoman, arranged a time when two of the crew that helped Holly would be on site. 

Now, helicopters are a bit of a trigger for me. I am unbelievably grateful but the sound and sight fills me with anxiety. It was a weird feeling to go into the hangar with the beast itself but man I’m glad I did! They say not to meet your heroes but this instance is very different. Mick and Martin were so kind and welcoming. We felt like we weren’t rushed and had all the time in the world to ask questions. Saying thank you felt so feeble when they did so much for us but I hope they know how heartfelt it was! 

With all those shouts the crew attended you’d forgive them for not remembering every single one but they could recall details I’d forgotten. They could tell me times and facts about the journey which baffled and amazed me. It was reassuring that everything that could have been done was done.

You may or may not have heard that Cornwall Air Ambulance is currently fundraising for a second Air Ambulance. This is what Hollys fundraising will go towards. 

A lovely message from the Air Ambulance Crew thanking holly for her fundraising effortsFor now, this won’t mean two helicopters on call but will mean when one is off for repair and servicing (approx 3 months of the year) they can still keep up the same high level of care and service that they offer. The courtesy helicopter currently provided during this time is small and harder to work in. 

As a result of Holly’s fundraising she is now a Heli Hero 2 which means her name will be written in the yellow chevrons on the bottom of the second helicopter. What an honour! 

If you’d like to be a Heli Hero please visit their website for more details.Support Our Cornwall Air Ambulance #Heli2 Appeal Today ( 

So to end this I just want to say one more thank you to EVERYONE that works at Cornwall Air Ambulance. We will continue to fundraise for you and we wish you every success in your current campaign for the 2nd helicopter. You are all heroes!


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