A SCARBOROUGH fundraiser and her “little helpers” have been honoured with a volunteer award from Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Jean Dixon received the award on behalf of all the volunteers who help run the charity’s stall in Scarborough Market Hall in recognition of their continued support.
And Jean was shocked to receive an extra honour at the recent awards ceremony in Harrogate.
She was presented with a certificate from Alexandra Holford, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, in recognition of “great and valuable services to the community”.
Jean said both of the awards came as a complete surprise, adding: “It didn’t hit me til afterwards - it was rather emotional!
“But it’s a nice recognition to have and I’m really proud of it.
“We’ll display both the awards here at the market.”
As Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s team leader for Scarborough, Whitby and Filey, Jean is a familiar face at the charity’s fundraising stall.
She is assisted by three other volunteers on the stall and another helper who collects in funds from donation cans all over the area.
Jean has been supporting the air ambulance as a volunteer for eight years, but has been helping raise funds since the organisation started in 2000.
She said: “Up to now we’ve raised £350,000 in Scarborough from a mixture of things, including the stall, collection buckets, donations and private fundraising.
“The support has been wonderful – people are always willing to help.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance operates two helicopters: one is based at Bagby, Thirsk and the other at Leeds Bradford Airport.
The service is provided free of charge and costs £7,200 a day to run.
The helicopters cover a huge area, which includes six motorways, and are never more than 10 minutes away from a hospital.
Each flight costs around £1,6000, largely owing to the high cost of fuel.
Jean said: “Fuel is definitely taking a lot of our money up, but if a situation calls for an air ambulance, we’ll send one. Time is precious and the first ‘golden hour’ really matters.”
She added that at the moment the service is only operational during the day, but in the near future the charity is hoping to introduce night flying, giving the service even more opportunities to save lives.