Chairman His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson Q.C. opened the meeting at 1030a.m. advising of five apologies. He also warmly welcomed a new member Allan Anderson and an attending guest Richard Cobbald. His well received icebreaker for this morning paid reference to the recently appointed Bishop of Ripon with a non related anecdote about two bishops and aspects of their secular life!!

Under “Initial Notices” a reminder of the Church Christmas Fayre on Saturday November 25th at 10a.m. was given and John Taylor advised that the Christmas Lunch on December 12th was now fully subscribed.

A welcome and regular returning Speaker for today was Mike Bevington who would give us a “Yorkshire Air Ambulance Update”. He reminded members that Yorkshire Air Ambulance, motto “Saving Lives across Yorkshire”, was divided into four geographical quarters, North, South, East and West with each having a Regional Fund Raising Manager and an Assistant Community Fund Raising Manager supported by establishing a team of Volunteers.

Formed in 2000 as an independent charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves some 5 million people and attended 1543 incidents last year with 322 in North Yorkshire alone. 2013 saw the Y.A.A. move to a new flagship airbase at the Nostell Estate where one helicopter is located and Topcliffe also provides a base for a second helicopter and there is a Head Office to be found in Elland. In 2016 two new Airbus H145 helicopters became operational at a cost of £12 million. These new vehicles had the benefits of reduced running costs, longer flying hours and night-time operations; also they had bigger internal space and were fitted out with state of the art medical equipment including a specialist stretcher. The crew of each helicopter includes a pilot, two paramedics and up to two passengers if required with recent developments seeing the addition of a Doctor. The Y.A.A. service covers 4 million acres in Yorkshire and operates within 20 minutes flying time of a major trauma centre. It is in service 365 days a year from 6a.m. to 12p.m. (18 hours) There is a dedicated Air Desk at Nostell Air Base which is advised of all Yorkshire ambulance incidents and determines priorities which could include road accidents, pedestrian incidents, motor cycle and cycle crashes , sport and leisure mishaps and episodes relating to Industry or Farming etc.

The increasing costs of the service are currently £12K a day reflecting medical advances and technical developments, increasing activity and longer operational hours. Mike touched upon the cross regional support that may happen with other Air Ambulance Charities and other medical rescue liaisons.

He finished by reminding the audience that no funding support is made by Central or Local Government  and the charity is dependant on support from individuals and groups and pointed us in the direction of the Y.A.A. website which details the role of volunteers in fund-raising, recycling through their textile banks and the importance of Gift Aid with donations.

An interested and appreciative audience asked questions during and after the talk and individual donations were gratefully made and received  at the end of the meeting. A total of £113-40 was given by individuals and £40 from Forum funds gave a total donation to the Service of £153-40

The Vote of Thanks on behalf of 45 attendees was given by John Corby.



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