8 Feb 2024
We are thrilled to announce that our Black and White Gala, held on 7 February at Raffles London, raised an outstanding £1.2 million, surpassing all previous galas.
This incredible amount will provide vital funds towards the replacement of our two aging helicopters, for which we need £15 million by September 2024, therefore helping to ensure our life-saving service will continue to be there for London in the future.
Our royal patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, attended the evening and met with some of our medical and operational crew. He spoke to the audience in support of the charity. He said:
“We gather tonight to help as many people as possible benefit from top class care in the silhouette of London’s Air Ambulance’s flying lifelines.
“As a former pilot for East Anglia Air Ambulance, I know just how vital the work of air ambulance teams across the country is and the truly life-saving difference it can make to deliver urgent medical care wherever injury strikes.
“Here in London, the current aircraft have served magnificently. But our capital city needs a new fleet. And we are Up Against Time. The clue really is in the appeal's name. By September, we need the two new red birds – decked with the latest kit such as night vision – in our skies.
“You wouldn't be here if you needed much persuading, I know. But just wait to hear Milana's story later of how the Air Ambulance, and its incredible teams, have given her a second chance at life.
“Anyway, an enormous thank you to all for being here tonight and for supporting such a wonderful cause. You are all, each and every one of you, lifesavers.”
Also speaking at the gala was Milana, both a patient of the service and a member of the gala committee. She said:
“I am best placed to say that this really can happen to anyone. I wouldn’t wish it to happen to anybody ever. But if it does, we need to make sure London’s Air Ambulance can be there to save their life too. Together, tonight, we can make sure that London’s Air Ambulance Charity is able to give another person that chance.”
You can read her full story here.
The event was attended by a number of VIP guests, including Tom Cruise, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Grammy-award winning band Sister Sledge who gave an amazing performance. During the evening, generous supporters bid for the numerous money-can't-buy prizes during the auction. Thank you to everyone who donated a prize and also to the event’s corporate sponsors, including Chopard, Corsair, Akademy Club and Viaro Energy for making the evening such a success.
Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance Charity, said: “Every day London’s Air Ambulance is up against time to save lives in London. Our helicopters get to the scene within 11 minutes to deliver life-saving care. But it has become increasingly difficult to operate them. We have a discontinued model and there is a lack of spare parts available worldwide.
“We cannot operate an emergency service if we need to wait for months to replace a part. When a life is on a line, we simply cannot afford to lose time.
“That is why the support at this evening’s event will help save lives in London: by raising this money we move closer to our fundraising target of £15 million so we can replace our helicopters.
“We are honoured to have the support of HRH The Prince of Wales and have him attend the gala tonight. We would like to thank our Patron and those who made the evening possible, including our Philanthropy Board and sponsors Chopard, Hinduja Foundation, Corsair, Akademy Club and Viaro Energy. Their belief in our cause means we can continue to be there for everyone in London, whenever they need us.”
As a charity reliant on donations, it is only thanks to our supporters that we can continue to reach London’s most critically injured in time. We’re so thankful to everyone who supported this event and continues to support our Up Against Time appeal.