Faith leaders from across East Anglia, including Bishop Alan Hopes, took part in the official opening of the extended and renovated East Anglian Air Ambulance operational base and HQ at Norwich Airport last week.
The official opening of Helimed House took place during Air Ambulance Week and was blessed as part of a multi-faith ceremony to wish the air ambulance crews and patients the utmost safety.
Bishop Alan blessed the facility, and was joined by the Bishop of Norwich Graham Usher and by Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Sikh leaders, who offered prayers of blessing from their respective faith traditions.
Some 22 key figures representing the lifeblood of the charity, including former patients, donors, crew, a staff member and a volunteer, cut a yellow ribbon to officially open the base, which was completed earlier this year.
Building the state-of-the-art facility has been a long-term organisational goal, enabling the charity to operate a 24/7 service by air and road for the first time. The new headquarters will help future-proof the organisation, bring more teams under one roof and provide adequate rest and welfare facilities for the Anglia One crew. The new base also includes an immersive training suite for the clinical teams.
Matthew Jones, CEO of EAAA, said: “It was wonderful to be able to officially open and celebrate the new base with so many of the people who have made this incredible facility possible.
“This building provides everything we need for our crews to do their jobs to the best of their ability and will do so for many, many years to come. We’re also very proud to now have a community hub and our own training and conference facilities here, to help us be an even bigger part of the local community which keeps us flying.
“Developing the base was an enormous project and long-term goal of ours and was financed through lots of very generous gifts left to the charity in supporter’s wills over recent years. These gifts have been used to safeguard the future of our operation across Norfolk and East Anglia and we’re incredibly grateful to now have such a world-class facility to call our home in Norfolk.”