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Warwickshire woman runs in memory of her dad to help save lives

Warwickshire woman runs in memory of her dad to help save lives

Last Sunday, Melanie Baines, said she “felt proud to wear” the iconic yellow air ambulance vest as she completed an isolated half-marathon run for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA).

The 37-year-old, from Lower Quinton near Stratford-upon-Avon, chose to tackle the heat and complete the run in memory of her father, Chris, who sadly passed away in November 2014, where WNAA were called out to attend.

Melanie said: “The fact the air ambulance came out so quickly means the world to me, so in return I chose to run the Shakespeare Half Marathon in my dad’s memory, to mark what would have been his 70th birthday.

“As restrictions on movement were imposed due to Coronavirus, and the half marathon cancelled, I chose to still run it on my own locally. I wasn’t letting down the people that had sponsored me by not doing the distance as the money I have raised so far will go towards the cost of WNAA’s many vital lifesaving missions.”

This was Melanie’s second half marathon of the year, the first being an isolated run in March, and it coincided with a national effort where the public were 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.

Through her running efforts, Melanie has not only set personal best records for herself, but she has also managed to raise a fantastic £550 for the lifesaving service.

“It’s sad and disappointing when a race you have been training for has been cancelled or postponed. I was heartbroken when I received the email saying the half marathon was cancelled.

“I’d trained for months and spent a lot of time making people aware of my challenge and asking for sponsorship. However, I thought that nothing would stop me so I decided to run the distance alone – it’s for such a worthy cause.” Added Melanie.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the charity. Due to the closure of its retail division, suspension of its reuse collections and cancellations of fundraising events, the charity is facing a projected net loss of at least £2.18M for the months April to June.

WNAA Legacies and In Memory Administration Executive, Irene Wayness, added: “We would like to thank Melanie for her determination to still do the challenge despite the restrictions, and for her great donation– a truly remarkable accomplishment to help our charity when we need it most.”

Your local air ambulance crews are continuing their lifesaving missions through this difficult period, providing vital, critical care support to the NHS and relying on donations – click here to see how you can support them