Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraising hero Bob retires after 20 years with charity

A popular fundraiser who regularly visited this area to collect cheques from local groups has retired.
Bob Smailes has retired from Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraising.Bob Smailes has retired from Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraising.
Bob Smailes has retired from Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraising.

Bob Smailes, North East Regional Fundraising Manager for Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has officially retired after an incredible 20 years of service for the charity.

Bob helped grow the charity and mentored and supported many of their past and present fundraising staff.

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Over his 20 year career at the YAA, Bob has raised around £12million and it is estimated that he has driven 300,000 miles visiting fundraisers and supporters, many who have now become firm life-long friends.

Many people will know Bob as ‘Mr Air Ambulance’ due to the rapport he has built within the East and North Yorkshire regions.

Helen Callear, director of fundraising North East, said: “Bob has been an outstanding fundraiser almost from the very start of the charity’s journey, and we have all learned a lot from him, enjoyed many happy times with him and I know that he will always hold a special place in everyone’s hearts. Bob has time for people, understanding and engaging with donors and colleagues alike, with warmth, character, and energy.”

Bob said: “I’m very proud of where the charity has come over the last 20 years, from a small portakabin at Leeds Bradford Airport to the state-of-the-art leading air ambulance charity it is today.

“I have attended so many incredible events and met lots of wonderful supporters and donors over the years, and I’m sad to say goodbye to charity after 20 incredible years.”