Campaign launched to save Ottery ambulance

A vital community ambulance has been chosen as the focus of the Ottery Herald’s CAMPAIGN 2012 as they hope to raise almost �50,000.

The Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends bought an ambulance 11 years ago which they use to pick up around 50 people a week.

It has been hugely popular, covering in excess of 65,000 miles, but is now becoming unreliable and suffering mechanical faults.

The league cannot afford to keep the ambulance in service if it is in danger of breaking down with patients on board, and need to replace the vehicle, at a cost of �45,000.

They are looking for the community to help out in any way they can to raise the money they need and protect the vital operation for the local community the ambulance provides

As the Herald’s CAMPAIGN 2012, we will be writing about the progress of the ambulance fund, giving updates on events, how you can get involved, and features on why it is a cause worth fighting for.

The community ambulance operates three times a week to pick people up from their homes and take them to the Linden Centre at the Hospital.

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But the League of Friends want to stress it is much more than that, and as a community service is available for all sports of things.

For example a group of ladies use the vehicle every Wednesday to go swimming in Honiton, the Rotary Club of Otter Valley take out residents from The Priory twice a month, and there are many more who could use the vehicle.

The group is proud the vehicle is so well used, but feels a new ambulance could be utilised by local people even more, and are desperate to get the money to be able to order the new ambulance.

A recent concert at Ottery Parish Church, featuring the Exeter Police and Community Choir and local organist Ben Scott, raised �650 for the fund, but the league needs help coming up with new events.

If you have any ideas for the league of friends to raise money or want to help them organise future events then get in touch.

The ambulance co-ordinator is David Roberts, who can be contacted on 01404 813961, or you can write to the league’s treasurer Paul Ritchie, at 41 Beech Park, West Hill.

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