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Hall & Woodhouse raises over £250,000 for Air Ambulance charities

Hall & Woodhouse (H&W), the leading independent family-owned Dorset brewer, has raised £268,365 in aid of eight local air ambulance charities – including Wiltshire Air Ambulance – in the past two years.

At the beginning of 2018, H&W’s team members voted to make eight air ambulance charities their official charity partner until 2020. Through the partnership, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Devon Air Ambulance Trust, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance, Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance, London’s Air Ambulance and Thames Valley Air Ambulance are all equal beneficiaries of the amount raised.

Over the past two years, 53 pubs in H&W’s managed house estate across the south, came together to raise as much money as possible through a variety of fundraising initiatives such as quiz nights, sponsored events, family fund days and challenge events.  

H&W holds its annual Dorset Beer Festival in June, which sees members of the community enjoy beer, live music and locally produced food at the Blandford Brewery. Over the course of the two-year partnership this particular event raised £23,000.

In recognition of National Air Ambulance week, which takes place in September every year, more than 30 team members from 11 different H&W pubs bravely undertook an abseil decent of the Spinnaker Tower. Participants in the nerve-racking 170 metre descent, included teams from The Lulworth Cove Inn, The Crown Hotel in Blandford and The Old Granary in Wareham. All participating in the challenge helped to raise over £5,000 in the process.

Additionally, over £25,500 was raised by 38 houses featuring a ‘charity dish’ on their pub menu over a 12-month period. 25p from the sale of each dish went towards the charity partnership when guests purchased Ham, Egg and Chips.

Lucinda Gray, company charity champion of H&W, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have raised such a tremendous amount for eight local air ambulance charities. We set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £250,000 over the two years, but with dedication, kindness and teamwork I am incredibly proud and humbled that our team have smashed this.

“Our houses and the team at the Brewery in Blandford have worked tremendously hard to stay on track of this target and we are grateful for their support. They have enabled us to give back to the local communities in which the air ambulance charities serve. Every penny we raise will allow them to continue saving lives, further enhance their operations, or purchase new items of specialist equipment which could help keep someone alive until they reach hospital.”

Valerie Whistler, partnerships co-ordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance (pictured in the yellow polo shirt), said: “It is extremely rare for eight air ambulance charities to have an opportunity to be the beneficiaries of one ‘Charity of the Year’ initiative, which makes the Hall & Woodhouse charity partnership extremely unique.

“It’s been a fantastic and hugely worthwhile partnership. Collaborating with Hall & Woodhouse and our fellow air ambulance charities, we’ve shared ideas and worked together to build strong relationships with the pubs in our communities.

“We are truly grateful to Hall & Woodhouse and all the individual Hall & Woodhouse pubs for working so hard to raise this immense sum of money. 

“Without any direct Government funding we rely on the generosity of the public and businesses, like Hall & Woodhouse, to raise the money needed each year to keep our helicopter flying and saving lives.”

Hall & Woodhouse is a local independent family company that brews award-winning Badger ales and runs a collection of around 180 beautiful pubs and inns across the south of England. The business is dedicated to supporting the Dorset community and its causes, having invested more than £30million into the county over the past five years, on top of their regular and extensive charity donations.

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