THE strength of the emergency medical charity Magpas is in its volunteers and supporters.

Three years ago Magpas chief executive Daryl Brown stood in Cambridge asking people whether they had heard of the charity. No-one had. Now Magpas is used as an example for air ambulance charities.

"The work we have been doing has meant that we now have a higher level of public support than ever before," he told The Hunts Post. "Because of this we now have regular donations which means we can improve our services to the area.

"Without the help and support of the public we wouldn't be able to continue. Despite the poor economic times, people are still being generous and spreading the word about Magpas - that's one of the most important things.

"It's not just money that people are donating, but time is also valuable. We have people who will come in to count coins or make a cup of tea. It really puts everything into perspective when people - former patients, their families, the rest of the public - want to donate to us."

One of the next stages for Magpas is to increase its corporate sponsorship, with businesses sponsoring doctors or paramedics, vehicles or new specialist equipment.

"A paramedic asked me to buy a special gauze - called Celox - which the military uses in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it was too expensive. Days later Truckfest and companies behind it asked to donate money to be used on something extra, not just the day-to-day running costs. This meant I could buy the Celox, and 10 days later it saved Tom Connolly's life after he fell from a tree and cut his neck open with a chainsaw."

Mr Brown added: "I wanted to say a huge thank you to all our supporters, fundraisers, volunteers, The Hunts Post, and everyone involved in keeping us going and providing life-saving emergency care at the roadside and in homes."