There’s nothing like being strapped into the stocks by your potential constituents and having things thrown at you for giving you time to reflect.
Luckily for me they were only wet sponges and it was all for charity, but it did give me the opportunity to appreciate once again just how much vital work in this country gets done quietly and competently by the voluntary sector.
We were raising money over two weekends at the Whitacres & Shustoke Show and the Fillongley Show (‘soak a local politician’ – 50p for three sponges) in aid of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
Many people don’t realise that, with the exception of two helicopters in Scotland, our network of Air Ambulances is run entirely by the voluntary sector, free from Government targets and interference.
These are truly remarkable organisations. Some 30 helicopters undertake over 19,000 missions a year at an average cost per mission of £1,229, and this service is run entirely on charitable donations and sponsorship.
As a soldier I served with 19 Airmobile Field Ambulance, and have been responsible for coordinating emergency medical response by helicopter for NATO’s Multinational Task Force in Bosnia. I am only too aware of the need for a capability like the one provided by our Air Ambulances.
That’s why the North Warwickshire Conservatives are committed to supporting the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) whenever we can – even if I have to a get soaking now and then to prove it! We raised £110 – that’s 660 sponges!
That all of this is achieved with no taxpayers’ money is tremendous. It just goes to show that we shouldn’t always look to Government to provide solutions.
Anyone interested in learning more about the work of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance can visit their website.
And for more photos of me getting a soaking, go to my website.