A WILTSHIRE chain of opticians has raised more than £1,000 to help Wiltshire Air Ambulance continue its life-saving work.

Haine & Smith, which has outlets in Chippenham, Marlborough, Melksham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Trowbridge and Warminster, chose the WAA as its Charity of the Year in 2019.

Due to many fundraising activities being postponed and cancelled by the pandemic, the practice decided to keep raising funds for the helicopter service during 2020/2021 too.

Thomas Pears, Haines & Smith partner and technical director, said: “Unfortunately, lockdown stopped us taking part in the usual fundraising activities, however we still raised more than £1,000 just from the collection boxes in our practices which is amazing."

"Thank you to everyone who contributed.”

WAA fundraising manager Des Regan said: “We need to raise £3.75 million each year to continue flying and saving lives.

"We receive no regular direct Government or National Lottery funding, so rely on generous donations from the public and local businesses, such as Haine & Smith.

"We can’t thank them enough for continuing their support for us throughout the coronavirus pandemic, when times have been so tough for everyone.”

Haine & Smith’s donation will help provide the essential helicopter emergency medical service for Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding counties.