FIREFIGHTERS plan to give an appeal for air ambulance funds a timely lift.

The lads from Blue Watch at Grangetown fire station will be joined by family and friends on Sunday when they carry a ladder to the top of Roseberry Topping, near Guisborough.

The fundraisers aim to raise sponsorship to help operate the emergency helicopter.

Firefighter Ed Parrish has organised the event, along with a collection on Saturday outside BHS in Middlesbrough town centre.

He said: "The Great North Air Ambulance Service has limited funding so we are keen to help with fundraising for our colleagues in this vital emergency service.

"We need as many sponsors as possible to help us make the ladder lift a great success.

"The helicopter used in this service saves lives in our area, so we are keen to support it all we can.

"This will be the second time we have done the ladder lift to Roseberry Topping and we are hoping for a good turnout on the day, as well as generous donations to the collection in Middlesborough town centre the day before."

Regional television personality Pam Royle, patron of the Great North Air Ambulance, will be part of the team carrying the ladder.

She said: "Firefighters are always willing to help the community and colleagues in other emergency services.

"I hope members of the public will respond in their usual magnificent way to help our worthy cause this weekend."

The ladder lift starts at Captain Cook's Monument, Gribdale, at 11am.