750 people lit up Southampton Common in aid of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance at the charity’s glow in the dark fun run, Dash in the Dark, on Saturday 23 September.
Crowds of all ages filled the route in their funkiest fancy dress, neon face-paints and fluorescent glow-sticks to support their local air ambulance. They were all part of the jubilant atmosphere helped along by local steel drum band Panatical and cheerleading group Liberty Pride.
So far, £30,000 has been raised through ticket sales and fundraising initiatives, with every penny going towards bringing life-saving care to critically ill and injured patients in the region.
Participants included patients and relatives who have first-hand experience of needing the life-saving skills of the air ambulance crew, including Sapphire whose father was treated by crews from the air ambulance service when he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2021. Sadly, he was unable to be saved.
“We’ve been supporting the charity ever since the air ambulance tried to help my dad. I think it’s important that people know it’s supported by donations and that we try and help as much as they can. It saves a lot of people, and I just didn’t know. I brought everybody from my work and family. For some reason I said I was going to do it in roller skates – I don’t know why because I don’t know how to roller skate. But I’ve got everyone with me in case I fall over.”
Keith Wilson, Director of Income and Engagement, said:
“Dash in the Dark has steadily become one of the highlights in people’s calendar. Every year people return to our feel-good 5K; whether it’s their first or 50th 5K, it’s a warm and welcoming environment for people in our community. A huge thank you to each person who joined us on the night and to all those who sponsored their friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues. Your support is saving lives every day.”
Around £150,000 has been raised since the first Dash in 2019 – enough to fund 45 life-saving missions.
The pilots, paramedics, doctors and dispatchers have responded to more than 1,200 emergency missions so far this year.