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Seven friends’ Peak District trek to raise vital funds for children’s charity

Seven Staffordshire University friends have raised vital funds to support the Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) ‘s lifesaving work by trekking across the Peak District dressed as World War II RAF Pilots.

The friends of 31 years – Nick, Graham, Adam, Phil, Jon, Jim, and Jeff Nicholls – who organises the events – meet every December to raise funds for a vital charity. The intrepid group dress up in weird and wonderful outfits and trek across the Peak District through wind, rain and even snow.

After walking over the Peak District, the group retires to the town of Castleton to visit local pubs to encourage the community to help raise further funds for the charity. They are now so well known by the landlords that some even save up their loose change to donate to them every year!

Together in December 2022, they raised a fantastic £464 for the Children’s Air Ambulance, including receiving a donation from someone they met while on the trek. Their funds will support the lifesaving children’s charity, keeping the helicopter flying to save the lives of critically ill babies and children, up and down the UK.

The group were supported by Fiona Franklin, Community Fundraising Executive in the Southwest for the charity. She supported the team with t-shirts, posters, collection tins and flyers with a QR code to their JustGiving page so people could support them en route and make sure the event was a good success.

“I can’t thank Jeff and his friends enough for all they have done for the Children’s Air Ambulance. I am completely blown away by the generosity of people just like them who go out and raise funds to support the lifesaving missions of the charity in any way they can,” expressed Fiona.

“Without their support our service wouldn’t be available for critically ill babies and children in the UK and we are all truly grateful to them,” she added.

The Children’s Air Ambulance is changing the face of paediatric and neonatal care through the high-speed transfer of critically ill babies and children- alongside 11 NHS Clinical Partner Teams – flying them from one hospital to another for specialist care via the clinically designed helicopters which provide a flying intensive care unit for babies and children.

Jeff Nicholls, from Exeter, Devon said, “Every year we dress up in silly outfits and raise funds for a charity. This year we chose the Children’s Air Ambulance. As a service that receives no government funding, we wanted to support them so they can continue to help save the lives of critically ill babies and children.

“The weekend was very cold and exhausting but most importantly fun. The generosity of the people we met has meant we raised a wonderful £464 for the charity.”

The charity is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing lifesaving high-speed transfers for critically ill babies and children in 2023. To help the charity mark this momentous milestone and support it so that its lifesaving missions can continue, why not visit a charity store and grab a bargain, donate preloved items, host a clothing bank, get involved in a challenge event, fundraise, make a one-off donation, or even sign up to volunteer. Your support will help to keep hope alive for patients and their families.