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19th Oct, 2021

Dedicated volunteer shortlisted for Air Ambulance Service award

A DEDICATED volunteer from Harbury has been shortlisted for The Air Ambulance Service’s Volunteer of the Year award.

The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) – which operates the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire, Derbyshire Leicestershire & Rutland, and national Children’s Air Ambulances – will be hosting its inaugural gala award evening, in association with Sloane Helicopters, to celebrate and showcase the incredible heroic work of its people and partners.

Held at the Vox in Birmingham today (Friday), the celebration evening will be hosted by Jamie Laing and Shirley Ballas and will recognise charity heroes across 15 different categories.

Sponsored by Identity UK and Workwear Pro Direct, this award is given to the volunteer who has gone above and beyond for the charity – and Karen Bench has done exactly that.

Known as the Air Ambulance lady in the village of Harbury, everyone takes their donations to Karen’s house, and she’s now got a collection from the charity’s Daventry warehouse once a month.

Karen has raised £6,000 since October 2019. Despite having a disability, she has been able to be creatively fundraise in a way suitable to her circumstances – gaining a huge amount of community interaction.

Karen says her reason for supporting the charity is because the lifesaving service gave her an extra seven years with her dad, as there is no doubt if he hadn’t of been taken by air, she would’ve lost him in 2012.

Karen was shortlisted along with three other TAAS volunteers by an independent panel of judges, all distinguished leaders in their field, as they sifted through lots of nominations.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Karen for her continued support for our charity, and to congratulate her on her thoroughly deserved shortlisting for this award,” said TAAS CEO Andy Williamson.

“This is no ordinary industry awards event, here you will see first-hand how lives are saved, how families are kept together, how individuals go above and beyond the norm and how this charity makes a huge impact on our society. This Friday night will be celebrating courage, creativity and compassion and the true spirit of human endeavour.

“Everyone on the front line is a hero, especially through the covid pandemic. But there are also many more heroes behind the scenes, like Karen, that make all of this happen.”

* Leamington-based marketing agency StrategiQ has been shortlisted for The Air Ambulance Service’s Large Business Partner award.

The charity appointed StrategiQ as its website agency at the end of 2018, and since then the team have helped to shape and grow TAAS’ online presence through their expertise of web design and development, search strategy, video creation, and more.

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