A MARRIED couple who retired from their life in London to run a guesthouse have raised hundreds of pounds in sales of a homemade marmalade in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Jane, 53, and Neil McNair, 61, both from London, have owned the Low Mill Guesthouse in Bainbridge, Richmondshire for several years.

The married couple, who had worked in very different trades, decided to take on the challenge of running their own B&B in 2010.

The couple said they spent almost a year refurbishing the guesthouse and turning it into a project of their own.

But following years of serving hundreds of guests from far and wide, and the making of their own homemade marmalade, the couple decided to turn their profits into charitable donations.

Mr McNair said marmalade-making was inspired by an effort to reduce the B&B’s food wastage.

The Northern Echo:

HOMEMADE PRODUCE: More than 200 jars were produced

He said: “I just thought I’d make marmalade one year.

“We used to buy lots of food, and ended up throwing so much away.

“So, I thought I’d make some, and quite a lot of people kept asking if they could buy it.”

But after significant interest, Mr McNair, a former builder, and Mrs McNair, a former vet practitioner, said they brainstormed the idea to donate all 100 per cent of the proceeds raised from each sale, to the charity.

He said: “Our nearest accident and emergency is around an hour and fifteen minutes away, but only ten to 20 minutes in an air ambulance.

“That time could be the difference between life and death – in rural areas of North Yorkshire, like Richmondshire, their service is vital.”

The jars of marmalade were sold for £3.50.

The majority of sales were raised from guests, but Mr McNair said visits from members of the public were not unusual.

He said: “We sell it from the guest house mainly, some buy up to ten jars.

“That is how we sell it, a lot of them buy it because we are supporting the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.”

Earlier this month, the McNair’s handed over a cheque for around £800 to representatives of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

It is claimed that it costs the Yorkshire Air Ambulance around £12,000 per day to keep both of its helicopters in flight and fully-maintained.

The air ambulance, which operates from a site near Thirsk and a site near Wakefield, has an annual expenditure of around £4.4 million.

Mr McNair said he would continue to make the popular-selling marmalade.

He said he had bought a further 200 jars, and anticipated another successful run of fundraising the cash.

He added: “I have started making it again, I have bought another couple hundred jars and quite a few of them have already been sold.”

Michelle Raine broke her pelvis in five places, after a tractor she was driving slipped down a hillside and overturned in August.