Following the successful roll out of their ‘Be A 999 Hero’ Schools initiative in schools across the county, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) will be launching a full Education Programme in September this year.
The Education Programme will build upon the ‘Be A 999 Hero’ initiative, launched in November 2014 with the support of Knight Frank, and designed to teach young children about the work of the Air Ambulance and what they should do in the event of an emergency.
HIOWAA will be appointing a full time Schools and Youth Fundraiser to develop the ambitious Education Programme and facilitate opportunities for youth engagement with schools, associations and clubs to provide education on being a 999 Hero. Plans for building a children’s microsite are already in place, as well as a series of animated Air Ambulance characters that children will be able to interact with on line.
According to a recent survey of 757 parents carried out by parenting forum Mumsnet, many young children are not being taught vital lessons about what to do in an emergency. Nearly half of all parents surveyed had not taught their children how to dial 999, and many children thought that the emergency number was 911. Others commented that locked smartphones stuck on the ‘enter passcode’ screen were a source of concern.
HIOWAA Head of Income Generation, Rachel Scholes Hamilton commented:
“As a charity we want to reach out to more young people within our community, equipping them with the necessary skills to a make a 999 call at the appropriate time and in the right way, and encouraging them to become 999 Heroes.
“Our Education Programme is a really exciting step forward for the charity and I’m looking forward to meeting our 999 Heroes of the future”.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance flies seven days a week and attends an average of two to three missions a day, many of them life saving. The charity receives no government, statutory or national lottery funding for operational purposes, and is entirely dependent on gifts received from members of the public, companies and grant-making bodies to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.