A SERVICE focused on saving Essex lives is set to receive a substantial cash injection.

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, who are based in Earls Colne, will receive £140,000 from the Government as part of a national drive to fund air ambulance charities.

The cash is a slice of a £6million sum awarded to Air Ambulances UK for distribution to the country's 21 air ambulance charities on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

The funding is an emergency injection to help air ambulances cover the increased costs and spending they have faced as a result of taking on vital extra roles during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In April, the trust announced the critical care team based at their Earls Colne airbase would be available to assist the NHS with the transfer of patients between hospitals.

The charity also supported the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust at Basildon Hospital, Broomfield Hospital and Southend Hospital.

They supplied a Pre-hospital Care Doctor from the trust's team, to assist with patient transfers between the three hospitals.

Patient liaison managers from the charity were also part of a 'family liaison team' at the temporary NHS London Nightingale Hospital where they supported families affected by Covid-19 as well as carrying out their core work.

EHAAT Fundraising and Marketing Director Pam Withrington said: “We are pleased to receive this money from the Government during these uncertain times.

"It follows a period in which our crews have continued to provide a 24/7 life-saving service to the critically ill and injured of Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas and gone above and beyond to support their NHS colleagues.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on our fundraising this year, with events and initiatives being cancelled or postponed because of the lockdown.

"In order to make up for an expected shortfall in donations of around £500,000, it is vital that we continue to raise funds to support our life-saving service, and this money will really help us to cover unbudgeted Covid-19 costs.”

The trust say that while the £140,000 grant is substantial, they would also like to take the opportunity to appeal for for people's continued support which is a vital part of keeping the charity running.

To find out more about the charity’s work and how you can support it, visit ehaat.org or call 0345 2417 690.