[caption id="attachment_4821" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Wales Air Ambulance corporate manager Anna Evans with staff of Airbus UK in Broughton, Flintshire, where the mock helicopter was recently revamped.[/caption]
A bright red Wales Air Ambulance mock helicopter will be the centre of attraction for young and older showgoers at the FUW Pavilion during this year's Royal Welsh Show (July 19-22).
The Wales Air Ambulance charity, which provides emergency air cover for the whole of Wales for those facing life-threatening illness or injuries, is FUW president Gareth Vaughan's 2010 chosen charity appeal.
"I am pleased that the FUW and the Wales Air Ambulance have come together to try and raise the profile of my appeal during the Royal Welsh Show," said Mr Vaughan.
"The cost of running the charity's three airbases at Swansea, Welshpool and Caernarfon is over £5m per year and the service has carried out over 11,000 missions to date. I invite FUW members and their families to pop in to the Pavilion during the show and enjoy free light refreshments with us and perhaps make a donation to the appeal."
The helicopters can travel at 140mph - over two miles per minute - reaching most parts of Wales within 15 minutes and each aircraft has the capacity to carry one pilot, two paramedics and two patients.
Since the charity's launch on St David's Day in 2001 it has responded to around 1,500 emergencies a year, saving countless lives in the process.
Owing to the diversity of the landscape in Wales, the service is vital for reaching remote countryside and busy towns and cities when time really matters. From mountain tops to back gardens, the helicopters can be anywhere in Wales within just 20 minutes of an emergency call.
In heavily congested urban areas, the ability to land within close proximity of the patient has proved critical in response to road traffic accidents. Equally, a helicopter can make a vital difference in rural locations, saving valuable time in areas where a land ambulance simply cannot reach.
Wales Air Ambulance fundraising manager for South Wales Rhodri Davies said it is widely believed that a patient's chance of survival and early recovery is significantly increased if they receive the right care within the first hour, otherwise known as the "Golden Hour".
"The fast response times of the Air Ambulance crews and their ability to reach such difficult locations increases the chances of a patient receiving definitive care within this crucial hour," said Mr Davies.
Wales Air Ambulance is funded entirely by the people of Wales - relying on public support to help keep their three helicopters flying 365 days a year. The service does not receive any government or National Lottery Funding.
The money is raised through charitable donations, fundraising events, and membership of the Wales Air Ambulance "Lifesaving Lottery".
For more information on Wales Air Ambulance and how you can help please visit www.walesairambulance.com or contact your nearest fundraising office on 0844 85 84 999.