Barnsleyy Alton Towers crash victim backs air ambulance appeal

Sam Silverwood, South Yorkshire regional fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance with Leah Washington and Joe Pugh and Gemma Newbould, fundraising ambassador for the Co-operative Bank Yorkshire region
Sam Silverwood, South Yorkshire regional fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance with Leah Washington and Joe Pugh and Gemma Newbould, fundraising ambassador for the Co-operative Bank Yorkshire region
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A South Yorkshire teenager who lost her leg in a rollarcoaster crash is urging people to support the emergency services that saved her life.

Leah Washington, aged 18, from Barnsley, was hurt alongside boyfriend Joe Pugh, 18, on The Smiler ride at Alton Towers in June.

She had to have her left leg amputated and Joe shattered both knees when two carriages collided.

Leah is now asking people to support a new fundraising drive for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The teenager has been keen to raise awareness and money for the service after being treated on the scene and airlifted to hospital by air ambulance paramedics.

Her grandmother, Thelma Walton, asked their local Co-operative Bank to support a fund raising event the teenager had organised with Joe.

This led to a special festive campaign, running across 86 branches in the north and Scotland until December 11, to raise money for local air ambulance charities.

Leah said: “All the branches will be trying to raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance which is just brilliant.

“It’s so important to support them. The air ambulance is something you never think you will ever need but I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.”

The YAA, which provides an emergency service to five million people, needs to raise £12,000 each day to keep its two helicopters flying.

Each bank branch will be holding fundraising events.

n People can also donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/coop-bank-air-ambulance-yorkshire2015