ONE of Hampshire's biggest employers is helping to keep the county's flying doctors in the air.

ExxonMobil, which operates Fawley refinery, has donated more than £50,000 to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) over the past ten years.

Pre-Covid the money helped fund science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) activities as part of HIOWAA’s outreach programme.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson said the air ambulance service was a "perfect example" of STEM being used in the real world.

They added: "Throughout the pandemic donations have helped support the welfare of crew members through a wellbeing programme, and the development of their skills through education and qualification attainment."

Daily Echo: ExxonMobil has donated more than £50,000 to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance over the past decade.ExxonMobil has donated more than £50,000 to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance over the past decade.

Ray Southam, fundraising manager for HIOWAA, added: “We really value the long-standing link we have with ExxonMobil Fawley.

“The wellbeing programme has proved vital, particularly over the past couple of years. Our crew experience numerous severe trauma incidents on a daily basis. Over time this takes its toll on individuals.

"The programme provides confidential advice and support when they need it, as well as many interventions that avoid them reaching the point of burnout.

“Additionally, the education and ongoing development of our crew means we can ensure our crews are trained in the highest levels of critical care and therefore ensure our service remains resilient, operational, and fit for purpose.

“We could carry out open heart surgery at the side of the road if it was necessary to save a life.”

Daily Echo: ExxonMobil Fawley has given more than £50,000 to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance over the past decade.ExxonMobil Fawley has given more than £50,000 to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance over the past decade.

Nick Bone, ExxonMobil Fawley's chemicals site manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to help the air ambulance, which provides an amazing service to our area and has helped save many lives since it started.”

HIOWAA delivers critical care to sick and injured patients, including people involved in traffic collisions and sporting accidents.

The air ambulance and the charity's critical care vehicles carry out an average of six missions a day, many of them life-saving.

A spokesperson said: "Many people do not realise we're a charity.

"Whilst we work in partnership with University Hospital Southampton and South Central Ambulance Service, who are funded by the NHS, we rely entirely on donations from the community."

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