Skeleton bob world champion launches air ambulance campaign

This Is Wiltshire: Shelley Rudman with, from left, pilot Kevin Read, paramedic Ross Culligan and pilot George Lawrence.             (DV681) by diane vose Shelley Rudman with, from left, pilot Kevin Read, paramedic Ross Culligan and pilot George Lawrence. (DV681) by diane vose

QUEEN of the ice Shelley Rudman pledged her support to Wiltshire Air Ambulance when she visited its Devizes base to launch a fundraising venture on Saturday.

The skeleton bobsleigh world champion visited with her daughter, Ella, to back the Just Text Giving campaign, which coincided with the launch of National Air Ambulance Week.

They were shown around the unit and introduced to the work of the paramedics and police observers, including finding the air ambulance mascot, Whiskey Bear, with the thermal imaging camera.

Pewsey-born Miss Rudman, 32, decided to support them after a family member was taken to hospital by air ambulance following a motorbike accident in May.

She said: “The air ambulance does an amazing job and this was made more real to me when my cousin’s husband seriously injured his leg and needed to be airlifted to hospital.

“When I was asked to launch the campaign I thought it would be a great way to not only highlight the brilliant work the air ambulance does but also to say a big thank you to the crew for the exceptional treatment they gave to my family.”

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, who lives in Corsham, was due to visit on Tuesday but was thwarted by bad weather.

The 69-year-old rock star was to fly from London to Devizes in his distinctive helicopter, decorated with a cloud motif, but was unable to complete the journey because of fog.

He said: “I’m really sorry I was not to be able to make it.

“We spent a lot of time in a café staring out of the window and collecting global weather information.

“I still intend to visit at the next possible opportunity.

“It’s a cause dear to my heart. It really is some of the most challenging flying of all.”

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