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Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Fundraising Champions

2016. Ellie Smyth
2017. Harry Smyth

Ellie and Harry Smyth, aged 11 and 13, from County Derry-Londonderry, lost their father, Peter, in a road traffic collision in 2019, and have since raised over £30,000 for ‘Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’.

The ‘Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’ team were the first of the emergency services to attend to Peter, but sadly he could not be saved.  Ellie, Harry and their mother Caroline, have become passionate supporters of the charity, completing sponsored runs and events to raise money for the vital emergency service.  Harry raised £14,000 via ‘Harry’s Run’, a 12 km charity run for the ‘Air Ambulance’ and in 2021, he  participated in the Belfast Dragon Boat race, raising over £4,000.

Following in her older brother’s footsteps, in June 2022 Ellie hosted ‘Ellie’s Ball’, in honour of her dad’s 50th year.  The event raised £16,000 for the ‘Air Ambulance’, which will fund the service for almost three days and is likely to help six future patients. 

Ellie and Harry were presented with their awards by the Prime Minister on his visit to the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland base. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street)

In a personal letter to Ellie and Harry, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“Your efforts to support ‘Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’, after you so tragically lost your father Peter in 2019, have been truly incredible.  

“Through your sponsored runs and Red Tie Balls, you have raised an amazing £30,000 for a charity that does such important work responding to emergencies across Northern Ireland.

“Speaking as a father, there is no doubt in my mind that your Dad would be bursting with pride at everything you have achieved and your determination to help save lives.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, said:

“Congratulations to Ellie and Harry who are incredibly well deserving recipients of this Points of Light award.

“In tribute to their late father, they have done outstanding fundraising and volunteer work to help increase access to emergency and life-saving medical care for communities across Northern Ireland.”

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising from Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, said:

 “We are so proud and grateful for the continual support from Caroline, Harry and Ellie.  They are truly inspirational in their volunteer efforts for our charity, playing a crucial ambassadorial role and contributing greatly to help save lives, brains and limbs.  Each day the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service team is needed on average twice per day for a critically ill or injured person, and this is only possible with continued support of ‘Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’. Thank you Caroline, Harry and Ellie for all you do.”

Ellie said:

“I’m so honoured to be recognised for the fundraising and volunteering we have done for the ‘Air Ambulance’. The ‘Air Ambulance’ is a great charity and very close to our hearts. Hopefully we can encourage others to fundraiser and volunteer for such an important cause.”

Harry said:

“The reason we started fundraising was after my dad was killed in a car crash my mum told me the ‘Air Ambulance’ were first there. We have organised a run, a team for the Dragon Boat race and last year a ball in memory of Dad’s 50th birthday. So far we have raised around £30,000. We are currently planning 5 relay teams now for the Belfast city marathon, this has been our journey so far and many more to go!”

Ellie and Harry’s mother, Caroline, said:

“I’m so incredibly proud of Harry and Ellie, from such a young age have been fundraising and volunteering for this amazing ‘Air Ambulance Charity. We are very grateful to the Prime Minister for taking the time to write and acknowledge their hard work and to highlight our ‘Air Ambulance service within Northern Ireland.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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