MORE than £100,000 has been raised for a Hampshire charity by people caught speeding on the county’s roads.

Staff from Hampshire Constabulary’s driver awareness training team celebrated the new milestone of raising £115,000 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance fund.

Since May 2012, the team has collected cash for the air ambulance by having donation pots in the training rooms and highlighting the work of the charity.

The contributions have come directly from the attendees of the course, which is offered as an alternative to a fixed penalty after committing a road traffic offence.

Bob Nicholas, senior trainer, said: “We are often shocked by the generosity of those that come on our driver awareness courses.

“It has been staggering, when we first started I don’t think any of us expected to collect as much as we have.

“It was one of our trainers that suggested it originally and I think we all expected that we’d get a bit but not a lot, but we’ve been absolutely bowled over by the generosity people have shown by what they’ve donated in the pots.

“Sometimes the pots are only at a venue for a week before they are full up, people often put £20 notes in, there have been on occasions several multiple notes put in by the same person. It’s incredible and we’d like to say thank you to all those who’ve contributed.

“On the course there is a natural link to highlight Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Air Ambulance’s invaluable work.

“At the start of course we talk about road death figures, the general trend is predominantly down and we often ask the course attendees why they think that is?

“We introduce them to the fact that there’s better medical care and that the Air Ambulance makes a huge difference to those crashes that happen remotely, where often a road ambulance could be travelling to and from the scene and that crucial ‘golden hour’ is gone.”

In addition, the team have donated an iPad for the Air Ambulance to use as a raffle prize during their own fundraising.

Rachel Leaman, head of income generation for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Joint Operations Unit for the phenomenal sum that they have raised for us to date.

“It costs over £9,000-a-day to keep our life-saving service operational and it is thanks to the generosity of the public, and schemes such this, that we are able to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.”