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Air ambulance uses mobile to attract donations

LONDON - London's Air Ambulance has introduced a text-to-donate scheme to increase donations.

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The text-to-donate service, hosted by Oxygen8 Communications, operates on a short-code platform. To make a donation, supporters send an SMS to the code LA81. This generates a one off donation taken from the cost of the text message.

Andrew Cameron, chief executive of London's Air Ambulance said: "Although we are partly funded by the NHS and Virgin, the majority of our costs are covered through public donations, charity fundraising events and collection schemes. We hope that the new text-to-donate service will provide another method in which people can easily and quickly donate a small but important amount of money to London's Air Ambulance".

Messages are charged at £1.50 per text, of which 90p goes to the London's Air Ambulance, with the remainder going to the mobile network the message was sent from.

London's Air Ambulance costs approximately £2million pounds per year to run and maintain. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) is based out of The London Royal Hospital in Whitechapel and covers the area inside the boundary of the M25 ring-road.

Each HEMS team consists of highly skilled medical staff, including a senior trauma doctor and a paramedic. On average there are three to six helicopter missions a day and since 1989 almost 20,000 in total have been carried out. It operates 365 days a year during daylight hours.

Colin White, chief executive of Oxygen8 Communications, said: 'The work that the HEMS team do is essential and it is really important to us to assist them in gaining as many donations as possible and maximising their ROI throughout this campaign".

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