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Parents to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Published Wednesday 23rd of October 2013 03:23:59 PM

Parents of children at St Margaret's Preparatory School, Calne will be going the extra mile to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance in coming weeks. The school has chosen the emergency helicopter service as its charity for the year and one of the parents, Stuart Foulstone, has already flown to Zambia to raise money for this worthwhile cause by taking part in the Zambezi Challenge, which involved four days of white water rafting. The former RAF officer who lives in Devizes with his wife Sandra and children Charlotte, 12, James, ten and William, seven, said: 'I wanted a challenge and after a lot of research this seemed to be the best one for me. I did a lot of strength work in the gym but prior to the challenge I had not actually been on the water at all.' He spent four days covering more than 100 miles of the fast moving river, accompanied by crocodiles, hippos and bull sharks. He paid for the trip himself, so all money he raises will go to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Another of the school's parents, mum Clare Ward, also has a very special reason to support the cause. She has taken on the challenge of running three half marathons in three months in memory of the teenage daughter of one of her best friends who died in August. Mrs Ward, 40, who has twin boys Harry and Freddie in the nursery of St Margaret's and daughter Florence, eight, in Year 3, said her friends were hugely grateful to the air ambulance crew who attended the scene.
Paramedic Matt Baskerville joined fundraiser A�a Exton when they visited St Margaret's during National Air Ambulance Week to talk about the work of the air ambulance to pupils and staff. Matt described how the speed of the helicopter along with the skill of the crew, and the inaccessible areas where the helicopter can land, can be the difference between life and death. The children and staff were amazed to hear that from the time the call comes to HQ in Devizes, the crew can be at an emergency anywhere in Wiltshire within eleven minutes day or night.
Headmistress of St Margaret's, Mrs Karen Cordon said 'The Air Ambulance is a unique charity whose sole aim is to save the lives of people living in Wiltshire. From next year they need to find in excess of £2.5m a year in order to keep the helicopter flying that's £6,850 a day! We are very excited to be involved in raising money for such a worthwhile cause and wish our parents the very best of luck in their endeavours. I know there are other St Margaret's parents who are also raising money in their own way, including a group of Dads who recently walked 55 miles to and around the 7 Wiltshire White Horses a big thank you to all of you.'
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