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Critical crew hoping for runaway marathon success

Your local air ambulance’s frontline crew will trade their boots for trainers when they bring the London Marathon to their Coventry airbase in support of the UK’s 2.6 Challenge.

On Sunday 26 April Critical Care Paramedics Sophie Birt and Gavin Alexander, and Doctor Stuart Maitland-Knibb will run the 26.2-mile marathon distance up and down the runway at Coventry Airport – all to raise vital funds needed to keep the service on the front line.The event will coincide with a national effort where the public are asked to take part in an activity-based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to charities such as Your Local Air Ambulance.

Every day of the year, your local air ambulance is helping to save more lives and their dedicated crews are continuing their lifesaving missions through this difficult Coronavirus pandemic – providing vital, critical care support to the NHS.

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the charity. Due to the closure of its retail division, the suspension of its reuse kerbside collection service and the postponement of its door-to-door lottery canvassing, the charity is facing a projected net loss of at least £2.18M for the months April to June.

These losses are further impacted by the cancellation of many fundraising events and supporter-lead initiatives as these have not been possible during the lockdown period.

Critical Care Paramedic, Sophie Birt, says: “We continue to support the NHS through our frontline, lifesaving services and as a healthcare charity, which receives no government funding, we rely solely on donations from the public, which we need now more than ever.

“Stuart, who was meant to run the London Marathon this year, Gavin and I hope to raise as much as possible for our service and we would also like to encourage people out in our local communities to join us by doing their own 2.6 challenge.

“Let’s all come together to take part in a fundraising activity and raise anything you can for our charity, the only requirement is that you must follow Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.”

Members of your local air ambulance crew are not only taking part in the marathon on Sunday. Critical Care Paramedic, Adam Nash, will also be joining the 2.6 challenge as he cycles an epic 260km on his turbo trainer for the lifesaving service.The 2.6 Challenge will launch on Sunday 26 April and end on Thursday 30 April.

If you wish to donate to the critical care crew on their fundraising mission, click here

To find out more on how you can participate in your own 2.6 Challenge for your local air ambulance, click here