Published: July 7, 2010
Air ambulance charity issues warning over 'confusing' leaflets

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Charity has this week warned residents in Burnham-On-Sea not to be confused by a commercial company which has been carrying out doorstep collections of clothing, jewellery, toys and other items.

The company is called Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co Ltd) but has no official connection with the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Charity.

The charity said on Tuesday (July 6th) that
it is not known whether any money raised by the company has ever been given to an air ambulance charity.

The firm is putting leaflets through people's letterboxes - like the one pictured here - complete with a photograph of a yellow helicopter, which is very similar to the one flown by Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

But the charity's manager, Charlotte Routley, told "It is causing distress to people when they later find out that this is a profit-making commercial company which has nothing to do with us at all."

"As well as taking away vital funds which could help keep our Air Ambulance flying over Dorset and Somerset, this company’s activities have even led to people mistakenly complaining to us about receiving frequent requests to donate items."

"We would like to make it absolutely clear to residents in Dorset and Somerset that our charity does not collect anything from doorsteps."

"Instead, we work with our recycling partner Bag It Up Ltd, which has recycling banks in easily accessible locations all over Dorset and Somerset where people can take the items they want to donate."

"The only people who are likely to knock on somebody’s door on behalf of the DSAA are our Flight for Life Lottery fundraisers, who will carry official identification but will never accept any money on the doorstep."

She added that the charity relies solely on donations from the public to raise the £3,800 a day it needs to keep its life-saving helicopter flying.

Pictured above is one of the leaflets being used by Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co Ltd)

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