Air Ambulance NI to benefit from country music star’s concert

Derek Ryan SM Farm
RIGHT: Derek Ryan visiting the headquarters of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland ahead of his concert to help raise funds for the charity with, from left, Dr Campbell Brown, Susan Bloomer, concert organiser, Emma Boylan, HEMS Paramedic, Joanne Hale, concert organiser, and Dave O’Toole, Chief Pilot.

Country music singer songwriter Derek Ryan will perform a special show on October 17 at Killylea Church Hall to help raise much needed funds for the charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI).

The show forms part of Derek’s new ‘Song Writer Sessions’ tour, a series of 11 evenings of intimate, acoustic performances with special guest Niamh McGlinchey which will take place across the months of October and November.

The charity partnership comes after sisters Joanne Hale and Susan Bloomer approached Derek to see if he would dedicate a show in their hometown of Killylea to support Air Ambulance Northern Ireland.

Joanne and Susan are two of AANI’s many registered fundraising volunteers who are doing what they can to raise awareness for the charity, which has just celebrated its first year in service.

The charity, AANI, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the region and responds to seriously ill or injured patients 12 hours a day, seven days per week. The fundraising will play a part in helping to raise the £2 million required each year to keep this vital service operational.

Speaking about their fundraising efforts, Joanne said: “My sister and I began to fundraise for AANI after the death of a family friend and the charity has become very close to our hearts.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Derek will be performing this special concert in aid of AANI and hope the event helps to raise plenty of money for the charity.

“We are also organising a tractor run as part of our fundraising efforts and this will be the third year we will be doing it for the Air Ambulance, along with two other charities. It will take place at Killylea Church Hall on October 27 and we’re expecting a great turnout!”

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to have the support from Derek Ryan and from Joanne and Susan who, along with all of our fundraisers, go above and beyond to help raise awareness and funding for the charity. Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2 million each year to maintain this service so events such as this are crucial.”

o Derek Ryan will perform at Killylea Church Hall on October 17.

Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £20 and can be purchased from the Spar, Killylea or through Eventbrite, www.eventbrite.com/e/derek-ryan-songwriter-session-killylea-church-hall-tickets-47302809978

From its base near Lisburn, the air ambulance can reach any part of Northern Ireland in approximately 25 minutes.

Its primary role is to deliver advanced critical care, benefiting those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma, by bringing urgent medical assistance directly to the patient at the scene.

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