A TRAINING company’s chief executive has kept her feet firmly on the ground to launch an appeal to raise £10,000 for the region’s air rescue service.

Brenda McLeish, of Bishop Auckland's Learning Curve Group (LCG), is backing the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

She has now urged businesses and the public to get behind LCG’s fundraising drive.

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The next fundraiser is a themed Vegas Nights annual charity ball tonight, at Hardwick Hall, near Sedgefield, County Durham.

Ms McLeish said: “Our annual ball receives a lot of support from businesses in this region and is always a great success."

She added: “The air service’s work is incredibly important, and I’m delighted that our staff have chosen it as our charity of the year."

“But we are also looking for individuals and businesses to support all our planned activities, so that we can make this a truly memorable fundraising year.”

Almost £2,500 has already been pledged from launch events which saw employees participate in a 66-mile night-time cycle ride in London and a half marathon race.

Ben McWilliams, of GNAAS, added: “We are very grateful for the support we are receiving from Learning Curve Group.

“As we rely on the support of the public to survive, the charity ball will be a great way to help us raise the money we need to continue the work we do, while also having a good time.”

GNAAS operates three air ambulance helicopters across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, bringing pioneering pre-hospital care to the scene of accidents.

Its crews respond to around 1,000 call outs each year and on board the aircraft are specialist trauma doctors and paramedics.

Tickets are £65, or £600 for 10, and can be booked by emailing lcgball@learningcurvegroup.co.uk or calling Chloe Robinson on 01388-777129.