The funeral directors said its staff put forward the names of three different charities with the flying ambulance winning the vote. Over the next 12 months, the group will reportedly embark on a “series of fundraising activities” and attempt to raise thousands of pounds.
Nick Douch, managing director of the group, said: “This will be the fifth year we have had a ‘charity of the year’. Our staff really get behind it and come up with some great ideas to raise money – even during lockdowns.
“We are hoping to get a team together for the air ambulance’s – Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge, which didn’t happen this year but hopefully will in 2021. “The air ambulance is quite literally a life-saver and relies on donations to operate.”
He added: “Everyone knows that the next life it saves could be theirs or one of their loved ones, so there is always plenty of motivation. Our branches will continue to raise money for other charities and good causes in their own communities.”
The company’s previous charities of the year have included Tyler’s Friends, Dementia Friends, Dorset Mind and Cystic Fibrosis.
Lara Battersby, communications officer for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all the team at Douch Family Funeral Directors for selecting Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance as their Charity of the Year.
“It is with thanks to the incredible support and generosity of the public that we have been able to continue providing pre-hospital critical care for our patients, for 19 hours per day throughout the pandemic.”
She added: “With no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery, we rely on the public to help us raise our operational costs of over £5 million a year; each life-saving mission costs approximately £3,000.
“We are extremely grateful to receive this support and wish everyone involved a fantastic year of fundraising.”