The Great North Air Ambulance Service’s (GNAAS) recycling team are to move to a new location before the end of this year - to help them continue to raise the necessary £7.7 million for the charity's continued operation. 

The GNAAS clothing recycling team are relocating from Newton Aycliffe to the charity’s headquarters near Eaglescliffe by the end of the year.

Second-hand items such as clothes and books are regularly picked up by the recycling team and then sold to buyers within the UK and across Europe, raising vital funds for the charity.

The GNAAS is a lifesaving healthcare service, operating throughout the North East, North Yorkshire, and Cumbria. They cover 8,000 square miles by operating two helicopters and rapid response vehicles 365 days a year.

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With specialist doctors and paramedics on board, the air ambulance effectively brings the hospital to the most critically ill and injured people, giving them the best chance of survival.

2022 marks the service providing 20 years of life-saving care, during which they have responded to more than 23,500 incidents across the region. They do not receive Government funding and must therefore raise £7.7m a year through public donations to remain operational.

One way necessary funds are raised is through their recycling scheme. GNAAS’ Trading Company has been collecting used clothing and office supplies since 2004 with all of its profits donated to the charity on an annual basis.

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Despite covid and the war in Ukraine impacting the Trading Company’s activity, their most recent donation to the charity was £200,000, which will fund over 40 air ambulance call-outs to locations that would be otherwise inaccessible.

The team from the Trading Company are now preparing to move from their current location in Aycliffe’s Business Park to the charity’s headquarters in Urlay Nook, Eaglescliffe.

They will be joining their charity services colleagues who moved into the building in April 2019, and the critical care team who relocated their operations from Teesside Airport in August 2020.

David Stockton, chief executive officer at GNAAS, said: “With the lease agreement coming to an end at the current Newton Aycliffe site, the move will allow us to reduce our overheads, increase interoperability between the teams at HQ and will provide an opportunity to re-invest these savings to support the future growth of the Trading Company and its subsequent fundraising for our front-line service.”

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The Trading Company are continuing to operate this month but a phased move to the charity’s HQ has begun; they aim to be fully operational in their new home in the first week of January.

Julie Jameson, facilities manager at GNAAS, said: “We’re very excited to welcome the Trading Company to our HQ and have so many of our teams under one roof. We’d like to thank Cleveland Containers who very kindly gave us a discount on two containers as well as JMI, Applebridge, Hawthorns Logistics, KT Transport, Premier Road Markings and 3C Services who are helping to make the transition run as smoothly as possible.”

The new address for GNAAS’ Trading Company will be Progress House, Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe, TS16 0QB. Donations can be dropped off on-site, or to arrange a collection of pre-loved clothing from your home call 01325 308 139.