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Air ambulance fundraising challenge goes virtual

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has joined the ‘virtual’ world and launched a Coast to Coast Virtual Challenge which aims to keep supporters active for the whole month of May, while also raising funds to support the work of the critical care team who continue to deliver the service for 19 hours every single day, by road and by air.

Like many other charities, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s fundraising has been seriously affected by COVID-19. Their annual Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge was due to take place on Sunday 17th May and was once again sold out. However, like many other events, it had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Subsequently, the charity has been working hard to come up with new fundraising ideas and ways in which they can engage with supporters to raise awareness and funds.

The ‘Coast to Coast Virtual Challenge’ is suitable for all ages and abilities. It involves taking part in ‘active’ exercise – at home or as part of your permitted daily exercise following UK Government guidelines, over a distance of 55 miles, 11 miles or any distance that you feel is a challenge to you. This does not have to be completed all at once, simply add your daily distance to your running total and head towards your final goal.

Supporters can use whatever ‘active’ means they have available – cycle, run, walk, scoot, row etc. and use exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines or whatever they have available at home. Taking part as a group or a team is also looking a popular option, with tools like ‘Zoom’ or ‘House Party’ bringing people together.

Tracy Bartram, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Communications Manager, said: “We have been humbled by the wonderful messages of support the charity has received over the past month. Back in March we announced our 20th Anniversary and issued a special edition of our Beeline magazine which contained so many different ways that the local community could support us over the coming year, enabling us to be there for the next 20 years and beyond.

“Many people were due to fundraise on our behalf, but due to the current pandemic are no longer able to do so. Some have asked how they can still do their bit to help us and our Coast to Coast Virtual Challenge is a great way to get involved. Whatever activity you decide to do, please remember to stay safe and ensure to follow government’s advice on exercise and social distancing.

“To join in, simply donate £5 when you accept the challenge. If you would like to try and raise more, you can set up a fundraising page on our website and ask your family and friends to sponsor you. Every penny raised really will make a big difference and enable us to continue saving lives. On behalf of the patients that need us, thank you for all your continued support”.

To get involved:

  • Accept the challenge and pledge a one-off donation of £5 by visiting:
  •  If you would like to raise more funds by asking your family, friends and colleagues to sponsor you, simply set up a fundraising page by visiting:
  • Set your own exercise schedule (if you are considering 55 miles, this would equate to just under two miles a day)
  • No evidence is required that you have completed your miles, but if you want to clock them yourselves you could do this by using apps such as Strava/MapMyRun or others available on your devices
  • Post a photo or video on social media to show that you are taking part in the challenge – this might inspire others to do the same. Make sure you tag @dsairambulance and use the hashtags #c2cvirtualchallenge and #dsaa55miles or #dsaa11miles

To join the Coast to Coast Virtual Challenge visit:

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