A story by a local 13-year old has inspired the club to help raise funds for the county’s life-saving helicopter this weekend prior to our penultimate home game of the season against Yeovil Town.
Poppy Young is one of the Herts Air Ambulance’s youngest supporters and has been writing stories about ‘Heli the Helicopter’s’ adventures since September 2011.
The latest, entitled ‘Football Fever’ focuses on Stevenage FC adding to its trophy collection with victory over MK Dons in a local cup final and features star appearances from manager Graham Westley and players Luke Freeman and Mark Roberts. Inspired by Poppy's creativity and obvious passion, the club contacted the fundraising team at Herts Air Ambulance to discuss how it might be able to help raise further awareness and funds.
As well as publishing Poppy’s story HERE on the official website, the club has arranged for the Herts Air Ambulance team to bucket collect ahead of Saturday’s game. Volunteers from the Charity and Poppy’s family will also be supported by several staff members from Stevenage Waitrose, via their ‘Partner Volunteering Scheme’.
Dave Toyn, Marketing Manager at the club, says, “As a local club we strongly believe it is important to support local charities and good causes within the area such as the Herts Air Ambulance. Poppy’s story about the team’s cup success was a fantastic read and really highlighted the good work that the Air Ambulance team does. We were therefore keen to help out in whatever way we could and look forward to fans showing their support for Boro and the Charity at the same time this weekend.”
Poppy Young, explains, “I want to help the Herts Air Ambulance because not everyone knows about it. It’s brilliant that my story is on the Stevenage FC website for the fans to see and I’m really excited about Saturday because I’ve never been to a football game before. I hope we raise lots of money and encourage other people to raise funds too, to keep the helicopter flying.”
Senior Fundraising Coordinator at the Herts Air Ambulance, Dawn Easby, comments, "I'm always blown away by the passion of our supporters, and Poppy in particular is a wonderful example of the difference one person can make with a little determination! We’re thrilled to be working with Stevenage Football Club in this way and we hope that this bucket collection is just the start of a partnership which will benefit both the Club and our essential life-saving Charity for many years to come.”
The Herts Air Ambulance is a vital life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). It costs in the region of £130,000 per month to cover all charitable costs and aircraft operations including the provision of Doctors. The service enables clinicians and life-saving support equipment to be rushed to the scene of an incident and the patient can be flown to an appropriate hospital. The Herts Air Ambulance receives no National Lottery funding and is reliant upon donations from the public and local businesses to raise the funds needed to keep the Air Ambulance flying. For more information please visit http://www.hertsairambulance.uk.com.
Photo caption: (Left to right) Boro Bear, Dawn Easby (Senior Fundraising Coordinator, Herts Air Ambulance), Poppy Young, Pilot Pete (Herts Air Ambulance mascot), Dave Toyn (Marketing Manager, Stevenage FC)