Thames Valley Air Ambulance (TVAA) has launched its first ever urgent appeal, as it anticipates a shortfall of £1m in fundraising income due to the pandemic.
The charity serves the areas of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, but has to deploy its doctors and paramedics to work alongside NHS colleagues within the region, because of the coronavirus outbreak.
They're initial estimate is a loss of £1m, though say it could be higher.
The figure would represent more than 10% of the charity's annual income, which would be mossed through community fundraising events being cancelled or postponed.
Neil Harman, Thames Valley Air Ambulances Director of Fundraising said:
“We are truly in an unprecedented situation.
"Never before in our history have we anticipated such a large loss in fundraising over such a short period.
"We do want to reassure the public, that whatever the response to our appeal, we will continue to provide lifesaving care in the immediate future and be on hand to back-up the NHS in our efforts to tackle the pandemic.
"We are calling on those that can give, to back us at this time and help us secure our service well into the future."
(Two critical care paramedics working on the frontline. Picture credits: Thames Valley Air Ambulance)
In TVAA's 21-year history, they have been entirely funded by the public and not received financial backing from the Government or National Lottery.
The charity has been covering the staffing costs of its doctors and paramedics who have been redeployed to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxfordshire to provide care for COVID-19 patients.
In the last financial year, TVAA saw an increase of over 110% in the number of times they were dispatched to patients in need.
The service's teams of paramedics, doctors and pilots were called out to 2,670 patients across the region overall.
Anyone interested in donating to the charity can do so by clicking here.