Air ambulance staff 'heartbroken' after thieves steal charity donations from Northamptonshire warehouse

Goods worth thousands were headed to shops to raise funds for flying doctors

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 2:10 pm

Air ambulance staff are 'heartbroken' after callous thieves targeted a Northamptonshire warehouse full of stock heading for charity shops.

Donations ranging from collectable items such as figurines and ornaments, through to fashion and jewellery stock were all stolen, potentially worth thousands to the charity.

Kerry Martin, the air ambulance service e-commerce and product manager, said: “Our hard-working staff and volunteers have been heartbroken by this attack.

"For thieves to target a charity that raises vital funds to help save lives is beyond belief.

“The air ambulance service exists to provide lifesaving care to those in greatest need but, instead of money going towards the vital service, we now need to incur the cost of the damage made in gaining access to the warehouse as well as losing the income the stock would have generated.

“We really need support at this time and would greatly appreciate any donations of additional stock.”

■ Anyone wishing to support the charity can visit or call 0300 3045 999.

Staff at the Daventry warehouse are 'heartbroken' following this week's break-in. Photo: @WNDLRAirAmb

A Nortthamptonshire Police spokesman confirmed the break-in occurred sometime between 5.20pm on Tuesday (May 4) and 7.40am on Wednesday morning at the warehouse on Daventry's West March industrial estate.

They are appealing for local businesses in the area to check CCTV and security cameras for anything suspicious and anyone with information to call 101 using reference number 21000245422.

Charity shops provides funds to operate the life-saving air ambulance services in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The charity gets no government funding, relying on donations and fund-raisers to provide cash allowing them to fly critical care paramedics and doctors to emergencies using one of their two state-of-the-art Westland helicopters in a few minutes.

Shops raise vital funds for the charity

Between them, the local crews carry out 1,800 rescues a year — each rescue mission costs approximately £1,700.

The service had already projected a £2.2million loss for 2020 after being forced to close its shops during the Covid-19 lockdown and Tuesday's theft comes just a few weeks after charity shops were allowed to reopen, having been shutdown again since December.