Corby academy pupils show can-do attitude to boost responders' helipad fundraising

Each helipad needs 80 tonnes of aluminium - about 5.7 million cans

Friday, 14th May 2021, 9:52 am

Children from a Corby school are fizzing with excitement as they have been lending a hand to raise money, prevent valuable metals going into landfill and save lives.

Pupils at Corby Primary Academy in Butland Road have joined other communities across North Northamptonshire to collect as many aluminium cans as possible to build an air ambulance helipad.

Frontline health volunteers North Northants First Responders, who work alongside East Midlands Ambulance Service answering 999 calls, have been collecting the cans to help charity Helipads For Hospitals.

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The Corby Primary Academy community has been collecting their aluminium drinks cans

Corby Primary pupils have been doing their bit by bringing in all their washed, uncrushed cans and collecting them in special wheelie bins provided by North Northamptonshire Council.

Melissa Sturgess, can collection coordinator, said: "We have managed to collect 14 bin bags full of cans in just two weeks.

"We are working with North Northants First Responders who are collecting them. They will be melted down and the aluminium used for the helipad, but they need about 5.7 million cans.

"It's going to be a long process. We collect them from our children and the First Responders collect them from us."

The aluminium cans need to be unsquashed when donated

Helipads For Hospitals was created by a former RAF and Air Ambulance Pilot.

Their aim is to collect 80 tonnes of unwanted aluminium drinking cans to use the raw material in order to form an alloy strong enough to build a helipad on site at hospitals.

The first hospital that they are raising money for is Leicester Royal Infirmary where currently the air ambulance has to land in a nearby park using a land ambulance for the final mile to A&E - losing valuable life-saving time.

Every year in the UK, 16.2 billion cans are emptied with only around 2.5 billion being recycled.

North Northants Community Responders collecting cans from The Cardigan Arms

Stacey Price for North Northants First Responders said: "We have three full ton bags now just from the generosity of the Corby, Kettering, Gretton, Stanion, Geddington and Brigstock, Woodford communities.

"We are overwhelmed with the support from the community and the ultimate aim is to have helipads at the hospitals with the hope that, if one of us ever needs it one day, then, it will be there.

"We are requesting the cans are not squished because we are squishing them ourselves in a special machine and it makes it much easier if they come 'unsquished'.

"We will still accept squished cans although preferred unsquished if possible."

North Northants First Responders are local collectors for the aluminium cans and have been helped by The Cardigan Arms and The Shire Horse pubs in Corby, the Wombles groups and Corby Primary Academy.

Pupils Lois and Joseph have been busy collecting cans from their homes to bring into school.

Lois, seven, said: It's good that we are doing it to help the hospital get a helipad. I don't drink cans but my mum drinks lots of coke."

Nine-year-old Joseph said: "I get my mum to buy beer for my dad in cans, not bottles. I've cleaned the cans too."

Anyone wanting to collect cans for the North Northants First Responders' Helipads For Hospitals appeal should contact them directly.

Stacey added: "If you can collect your unsquashed cans in a black bag and contact us when it's full we will be happy to come and collect at a time convenient for you, in Corby, Kettering and surrounding villages."

To arrange collection please email [email protected] or call 07944 698262.

For further information about Helipads for Hospitals click here