W Bro John Little SLGR reports

A £15,000 donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation is being used to help the work of Lucy Air Ambulance for Children (Lucy AAC), the only Charity in the UK that flies children to hospital by aeroplane. The Charity was founded in 2011 to ensure that every child could receive the specialist care and treatment that they need in hospitals throughout the UK. The average Lucy AAC transfer flight is 300 miles and takes just 60 minutes. Planes can fly the length and breadth of the country, making it the safest and quickest way for seriously ill children to travel long distances between hospitals.

These charity transfers are arranged for children requiring specialist treatment, diagnostic tests, specialist surgery, including organ transplants, and to be taken to a hospital closer to home, even for end-of-life care.

The Charity works in partnership with air ambulance providers and NHS transport teams throughout the UK, providing the necessary funding to make these flights happen. The NHS does not have any budget for air transfers and relies on Lucy AAC to provide this essential service at no cost.

Without this service, many children would not have access to essential specialist treatment 

Lucy AAC is a small, national charity comprising a team of just four individuals passionate about changing children's lives and are always looking for more ways to grow the Charity. They believe that every child should be able to access the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time. During the pandemic, the reduction in opportunities to raise funds made it difficult for the Charity, but the demand for the service was still rising.

Amanda Homan Green from the charity comments:

"We are continuing to see an increase in the number of referrals we receive from the NHS as awareness of our Charity grows, and the important role that fixed-wing air ambulance transfers play in the care of children becomes recognised. As a result, the independent service that we provide has now become a key part of the NHS infrastructure.

“Every week, a child is referred to our service needing a transfer by plane between hospitals. We believe that safe, long-distance air transfers within the UK should be available for any child who needs one, regardless of distance or cost. As part of the air ambulance network, we cover the whole of the UK with the ability to transfer children over long distances and across regions.

“In addition, planes are less subject to noise and vibration than helicopters, so providing a safer environment for children, especially premature babies and those with respiratory conditions. We can also fly in a wider range of weather conditions meaning that our flights are less likely to be postponed.   With a plane, there is also enough space to ensure a parent is always able to travel with their child. 

“With each transfer now costing in excess of £8,500, sourcing funds is a priority, and the Charity was very grateful to receive a very generous donation of £15,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation in May to help our cause."




This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 49 August 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 49 here.