Landowners have formed a unique partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) to help the charity progress its lifesaving work.
Scottish Land & Estates is offering its support to the SCAA as the organisation looks to progress its vital services for a third year.
Since its launch in 2013, the SCAA has responded to nearly 600 time-critical callouts from its base at Perth. A large number of these callouts have been to rural areas, with the helicopter flying anywhere in Scotland – as and when asked through the 999 service – and proving vital during emergencies where land-based ambulances can be restricted by distance, travel time, flood, landslides, weather or inaccessible terrain.
This amazing work has prompted Scottish Land & Estates to establish a partnership with the SCAA to support its ongoing commitment to rural Scotland, and increase its ability to continue to provide a lifesaving service to all those who live, work and visit rural Scotland.
Scottish Land & Estates chief executive, Douglas McAdam, said the synergy between the two organisations in terms of supporting rural communities and land users made the partnership a natural one.
Douglas said: “Anyone who lives or works in rural Scotland or visits rural areas benefits from the security of knowing SCAA is there – even if they have not used it.
“This vital frontline service is key to our members’ businesses with regards to the health and safety of staff and guests in isolated rural locations, as well as being vital to their families and the local community.
“The people who use estates recreationally for activities such as walking, mountain biking, fishing and horse-riding also benefit from the added air ambulance capacity offered in Scotland by SCAA. The helicopter – which relies on us all for funding – has proven that it can save lives by reducing attendance times, particularly where the geography and topography of the land is a factor. The first hour in such cases is critical to saving lives”
Scottish Land & Estates is to support SCAA through a number of channels, including marketing initiatives and a joint initiative to recognise safe landing zones on members’ land throughout Scotland. This is in addition to direct giving options as the SCAA channels funding towards an upgrade of its existing aircraft.
“SCAA has been there for landowners and users for the past two years and we owe them a great debt of gratitude – we all benefit from what they do. Now it’s time for us to be there for them and ensure this vital service stays in the air,” Mr McAdam continued.
SCAA chairman John Bullough believes Scottish Land & Estates could prove a vital ally in its fundraising and profile-raising endeavours.
John said: “The presence of SCAA increases the country’s helicopter air ambulance capacity by 50 per cent, which is good news for rural landowners, users and workers everywhere. It means that whenever and wherever tragedy strikes, there is an improved chance of getting fast, efficient, life-saving resources to the scene.
“We are delighted to work with Scottish Land & Estates in a variety of ways to encourage those who own, enjoy and work on the land to support a charity which supports them 365 days a year.”
The announcement of a new partnership with SCAA comes at the same time as Scottish Land & Estates launches a number of new membership categories.
Three new categories – Supporters, Equestrian and Student – have been established in response to a rising demand to access the services of Scottish Land & Estates.
As part of each of these three categories, a £10 donation from the membership subscription will be made by members which will be passed onto Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.
Mr McAdam added: “We have witnessed a noticeable increase in the last few years in the number of people wanting to access the services and expert advice that Scottish Land & Estates can provide. We have also experienced a significant amount of interest from people who want to support the work undertaken by the organisation and its members.
“Our existing membership categories were not always ideal for everyone but we hope by broadening the categories available, more people can play their part in a successful rural Scotland and at the same time, support Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance in doing so.”