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HRH The Princess Royal ‘work in progress’ visit to new Magpas HQ

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Magpas Air Ambulance welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to see progress on their £7m new headquarters and training centre at Alconbury Weald.

The HQ will bring together separate departments that are split over two sites about 15 minutes from each.

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and on Friday popped in to Cambridgeshire to see progress on the charity’s new £7m HQ

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and on Friday popped in to Cambridgeshire to see progress on the charity’s new £7m HQ

Architects MCW describe the new building as “a flexible and collaborative environment.

“This new facility provides a northern focal point on arrival at the new Alconbury Weald development and will form part of a new community that interconnects with the ever-growing Huntingdon area”

The building includes a flexible visitor centre, training facilities and accommodation to help expand on its highly rated teaching courses.

 

Architects MCW describe the new building as “a flexible and collaborative environment”. Visual provided by MCW

Architects MCW describe the new building as “a flexible and collaborative environment”. Visual provided by MCW

A large open plan office and fund-raising space will allow for easier collaboration and future flexibility.

The project has been in the pipeline for several years after the site of its former operations base at RAF Wyton was sold for development.

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and on Friday popped in to Cambridgeshire to see progress on the charity’s new £7m HQ. Guests included Cllr Stephen Ferguson (right) and Cllr Michael Burke

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and on Friday popped in to Cambridgeshire to see progress on the charity’s new £7m HQ. Guests included Cllr Stephen Ferguson (right) and Cllr Michael Burke

The need to relocate proved beneficial, as the charity’s team of over 50 doctors and critical care paramedics, operating a 24/7 service by air and road, has been outgrowing the building for many years.

Now, Magpas Air Ambulance will have the opportunity to not only enjoy a bespoke new airbase fit for 24/7 operations, but also relocate to a site situated closer to the region’s major trunk roads, which will reduce vehicle dispatch times by up to 15 minutes.

By co-locating the charity’s operations and support staff too, the new base will be more efficient, reducing charity overheads and improving environmental impact.

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and in September 2021, launched the Future 50 Appeal to fund the new airbase.

 

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and in September 2021, launched the Future 50 Appeal to fund the new airbase.

HRH the Princess Royal is patron of Magpas and in September 2021, launched the Future 50 Appeal to fund the new airbase.

The Future 50 Appeal was set up to raise £3 million to complete the build.

The new HQ will be operational by summer.

County council chair Stephen Ferguson was among civic guests to welcome the Princess Royal.

He said everything Magpas achieves “is through public fundraising.

“It is one of the worthiest causes that I know, so please donate generously because you never know when you, or your loved ones, might need their help.”

One of the founders

Dr Neville Silverstone MBE, 95, was one of the Magpas founders in 1971.

He was at Friday’s royal visit.

“I never expected and never thought it would get to this point,” he said.

“I am fantastically proud because it was just an idea.”

Magpas Air Ambulance experienced its busiest year in four years last year as the charity responded to 1,335 emergencies, across 11 counties in and around the East of England.

In 2022, Magpas Air Ambulance received more emergency calls between 3 pm-4 pm than any other time of day, and throughout the year, more than 460 activations occurred during the night shift (7 pm–7 am).

“This is only possible thanks to Magpas Air Ambulance’s advanced doctors and critical care paramedics working around the clock to keep communities in the region safe,” said Natalie Church, Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Operations.

2022 another busy year for Magpas

“Our doctors and paramedics have had an extremely busy year.

“With activations increasing by 6%, they have done everything possible to continue delivering lifesaving pre-hospital care to patients, wherever they are.

“It’s important to remember that behind the data, every statistic and figure is a person whose life is on the line, and it’s the incredible Magpas Air Ambulance medical team who make crucial differences for those patients every day.”

Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Fundraising and Marketing Lucy Chapman said:”As a charity, Magpas Air Ambulance can only continue to save lives and keep families together 24/7 thanks to donations from the people and communities we serve.

“There are so many ways you can help keep Magpas Air Ambulance continue flying this year—from taking on one of our exciting challenges such as our Mission: Obstacle Dash or skydiving; to volunteering with us in the office or out and about at events; or playing our winter Superdraw, which is a great way to help our team save lives while being in with a chance of winning £5,000.”

 

 

 

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