Hammers offer helping hand

There was an unexpected visitor to the Boleyn Ground last week when London's Air Ambulance landed on the pitch after being called to an incident nearby.

Consultant Dr David Lockey attended the call-out in Barking Road, just behind the stadium. He said: "We are extremely grateful to West Ham United. Our chief pilot looked at finding another location but there really was no alternative and he went to great lengths not to damage the pitch.

"This enabled us to attend the incident in a time critical fashion. It is vital for us to reach the patient as quickly as possible as every second counts and can mean the difference between life and death."

The London Air Ambulance (LAA) is a registered charity which provides senior medical care to the victims of the capital's most serious incidents, ranging from road accidents and falls to shootings and stabbings. Each team consists of a specially trained trauma doctor, who can deliver life saving procedures normally only found in hospitals, as well as a specially trained paramedic.

Last year alone, the team attended 1,741 missions like last Tuesday's. In the past, the invaluable service has been involved in responding to a number of London's major incidents including the Paddington Rail Crash and the 7 July terrorist attacks.

The charity, whilst part funded by a grant from the NHS and contributions from corporate sponsors, is also dependent on donations from the general public. You can help to keep the service in the sky by logging on to www.londonsairambulance.com to donate or to sign up for the LAA lottery.

Or, if you're feeling a little more active, get involved with the next fundraising event, The Spitalfields Pancake Race, which is at 12.30pm on 16 February.

Air ambulance