Royal patron announced for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

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Prince Andrew, the Duke of York is to become patron of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The announcement was made when he officially opened the ambulance’s new northern airbase at RAF Topcliffe, near Thirsk.

His Royal Highness praised the work of the YAA, which covers South Yorkshire, and said he was proud to be able to take on the role of Royal Patron.

Peter Sunderland, Chairman of the YAA said: “We were absolutely delighted when we heard the news the Duke of York had agreed to become our Royal Patron.

“We have always had close links to His Royal Highness as he has been our Honorary Chief Pilot for a number of years, but for him to become our Royal Patron is wonderful news.”

He said Prince Andrew had been shown around RAF Topcliffe and found out more about the work of the emergency helicopter.

Mr Sunderland said: “It was lovely to hear him talk about the excellent work our charity does and how he had been closely following our progress over the last few years too.

“To top it off, Prince Andrew’s acceptance of Royal Patronage couldn’t have come at a more apt time given it is Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee year.

“There have been so many wonderful fundraising events organised to commemorate this special occasion as well as raising money for the YAA.”

The YAA operates two life-saving helicopters from RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk and Leeds Bradford International Airport.

They run every day, 365 days a year.

But the YAA has to raise in excess of £2.6million each year to keep the helicopters in the air.