Donation of £300,000 delights life-saving Perth-based charity SCAA

Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt presents SCAA chief exec David Craig with £300,000 cheque -Credit:handout/UGC
Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt presents SCAA chief exec David Craig with £300,000 cheque -Credit:handout/UGC

The life-saving Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, which has a base in Perth, has received a £300,000 boost from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

SCAA chief David Craig was presented with the cheque at a special winners event in the Fair City last Saturday which commences a new long-term partnership with the charity.

The £300,000 SCAA donation – awarded by Postcode Care Trust - comes just as the Perth and Aberdeen-based crews recorded their busiest ever year with more than 1,000 call-outs.

Mr Craig said: “This money will enable us to continue funding for the life-saving service, effectively going out and saving people in their most traumatic time of need.

“We are a charity that doesn’t receive any government funding. We are wholly reliant on public donations and support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery just to sustain the service.

“We now need just about £7.5 million every year, so the money we receive today will go a long way towards that.”

SCAA first took to the skies in May 2013, flying time-critical missions to those seriously ill or injured anywhere across 30,000 square miles of mainland Scotland and 100 inhabited islands.

SCAA chopper out on a mission -Credit:handout/UGC
SCAA chopper out on a mission -Credit:handout/UGC

Since then, SCAA has responded to around 5,800 call-outs from Orkney to the Borders and the Western Isles to the east coast saving countless lives and providing life-saving pre-hospital emergency care.

The Perth and Aberdeen airport crews include 12 paramedics seconded from the Scottish Ambulance Service and four pilots on two EC135 helicopters, leased from Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore.

They are online 12 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be airborne in less than five minutes after receiving an emergency call – and can reach 90 per cent of Scotland’s population within 25 minutes.

Last year, they took to the air a record 718 times - marking a three-per-cent increase on the previous year.

A further 230 responses were made by SCAA in their Rapid Response Vehicles.

Mr Craig said: “In the last 12 months we had the busiest year in the history of the charity with over 1,000 call-outs.

“We are effectively a life-saving charity covering all areas of Scotland, responding to road traffic collisions, cardiac, stroke…all those types of emergency which require immediate expert care to the scene of an incident, treat the patient and then rapidly transport them to hospital for further care.”

Last Saturday’s People’s Postcode Lottery announcement was the biggest ever in Scotland at £10.2m, with one Perth street picked as the winning postcode.

Every ticket was worth £340,000, but Bridge of Earn man David Crowder tripled his prize by playing with three –netting himself over £1million.

Two others banked £680,000 with two tickets and eight pocketed £340,000 each with one ticket.

They were joined at a special event in Perth’s South Inch by 522 other players living in six villages - Aberargie, Abernethy, Bridge of Earn, Forgandenny, Forteviot and Glenfarg – across the wider PH2 9 postcode area.

They won cheques ranging from £8,629 to £43,145, depending on the number of tickets they played with.