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Driver Awareness Training Raises £115k For HIOWAA

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Staff from Hampshire Constabulary’s Driver Awareness Training Team celebrated a new milestone today by raising a total of £115,000 for the Air Ambulance.

Staff from Hampshire Constabulary’s Driver Awareness Training Team celebrated a new milestone today by raising a total of £115,000 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance fund.

For the past five years it has raised money each year for the air ambulance as its chosen charity since May 2012.

The money has been raised by having collection pots within the training rooms and highlighting the invaluable work of the Air Ambulance at the appropriate times during the awareness course, with the contributions coming directly from the course attendees.

The Driver Awareness Training team is part of the Roads Policing Unit that sits within the Joint Operations Unit (JOU) for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police. They look after the driver awareness courses that drivers could be offered as an alternative to a fixed penalty after being detected committing a road traffic offence.

The current confirmed total is £113,243, but it is expected to become a total on £115,000 once all the pots have been counted.

In addition, the team have donated an iPad for the Air Ambulance to use as a raffle prize during their own fundraising.

Bob Nicholas, Senior Trainer, Driver Awareness Training said: “We are often shocked by the generosity of those that come on our driver awareness courses.

“It has been staggering, when we first started I don’t think any of us expected to collect as much as we have.

“It was one of our trainers that suggested it originally and I think we all expected that we’d get a bit but not a lot, but we’ve been absolutely bowled over by the generosity people have shown by what they’ve donated in the pots.

“Sometimes the pots are only at a venue for a week before they are full up, people often put £20 notes in, there have been on occasions several multiple notes put in by the same person. It’s incredible and we’d like to say thank you to all those who’ve contributed.

“On the course there is a natural link to highlight Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Air Ambulance’s invaluable work. At the start of course we talk about road death figures, the general trend is predominantly down and we often ask the course attendees why they think that is?

“We introduce them to the fact that there’s better medical care and that the Air Ambulance makes a huge difference to those crashes that happen remotely, where often a road ambulance could be travelling to and from the scene and that crucial ‘golden hour’ is gone.

“Whereas the air ambulance could be there within 8 – 10 minutes and bring an awful lot more to the scene quite often. You don’t know how important the Air Ambulance is until you need it, and you never know when it could be you that needs help.

“We make it clear that the pots are there, that it’s our chosen charity and we leave it to their discretion if they’d like to donate.

“Often DAT courses are prone to negative comment but the feedback we get in Hampshire from those attending courses is really positive."

Rachel Leaman, Head of Income Generation for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, said: ‘We are incredibly grateful to the Joint Operations Unit for the Hampshire and Thames Valley Police for the phenomenal sum that they have raised for us to date through their Driver Awareness Training Courses.

“It costs over £9,000 a day to keep our life-saving service operational and it is thanks to the generosity of the public, and schemes such this, that we are able to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.”

An Air Ambulance helicopter landed this morning at Hampshire Constabulary’s Training and Support HQ in Southampton, when staff, crew and volunteers from the service received a presentation from the Joint Operations Unit’s (JOU) Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hardcastle, the JOU’s Road Policing Unit Superintendent Simon Dodds and staff from Hampshire’s Driver Awareness Training.

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