FORMER-professional rugby union player Matt Perry has pledged his support for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by becoming an ambassador for the charity.
Matt, who lives in Bath and whose mother and sister live in Wiltshire, said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a fantastic charity. Not many people know Wiltshire Air Ambulance is self-funded and I’m honoured to come on board as an ambassador to help support it.
“Its helicopter can reach anyone in Wiltshire within 11 minutes from its base in Devizes to help people in life-threatening situations and take them quickly to the most appropriate hospital for further treatment.
“The professionalism of the team is outstanding. The pilots and paramedics attend so many different accidents and traumas, from road traffic collisions to sporting injuries and catastrophic medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests, and give the best possible care.”
During his 12-year rugby career Matt played for Bath, England and the British Lions. At 23 he became the most capped full back for the national team with 36 caps. He played in the 1999 World Cup as well as the Lions tour to Australia in 2001. He also won the Heineken European Cup while playing for Bath.
After injury forced him to retire from the sport in 2007, he began working in business coaching and now runs his own company, Transition 15, based in Bath, helping individuals, teams and organisations.
Matt will be showing his support for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by running the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday, March 4.
He said: “This is my first half marathon and running it is a small thing I can do to raise awareness about Wiltshire Air Ambulance. I’d like to complete it under three hours. The Bath Half is a key fundraising event for the charity and it will be great to be part of the team that is taking part on the day.”
Matt is also impressed by the charity’s new airbase at Semington, near Melksham, which is nearing the end of construction and is close to achieving its fundraising target.
The new facility will bring together the helicopter, aircrew and charity team and secure the charity’s future.
He said: “The new airbase is a fantastic facility that will further enhance the operation and delivery of Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s lifesaving service. The new site is centrally located so the helicopter will still be able to reach all parts of Wiltshire within 11 minutes.”
David Philpott, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We’re delighted that Matt Perry has become a charity ambassador for us.
“Matt played rugby at the highest level and is an inspiration to many people. His support for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, including running the Bath Half Marathon, will help boost awareness about our charity and the funds we need to raise to continue to save lives.”
Find out more about Wiltshire Air Ambulance here