Great North Air Ambulance Service losing thousands of pounds from charity bag thefts

Charity bosses say they are losing thousands of pounds due to kerbside thefts from bags of donated clothing.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service’s (GNAAS) recycling team has reported a rise in bags of clothing intended for the charity being stolen, leading to a loss of vital funds.

To help combat the issue of bag thefts, the GNAAS trading company offer a service Monday to Saturday, where people can book in a collection at a pre-arranged time, so they can feel reassured that their donated items are going directly to GNAAS’ recycling team.

John Ballan, who manages the charity’s trading company said: “We really appreciate everyone who fills their bags with unwanted clothing and other items to support GNAAS, but unfortunately, we have seen an increase in bag thefts.

Great North Air Ambulance helicopter

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“There have been reports of people in unmarked vans picking up our bags which clearly display our name and logo and are obviously not intended for them.

“Every time one of these bags is not picked up by our team, the charity is losing money, which could have been spent on providing life-saving care in the region.”

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The trading company raises on average £15,000 a month which covers the cost of three missions carried out by the charity’s critical care team.

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In addition to collecting from individuals’ homes, there are several supporters who host community collections at their homes, businesses premises and community centres.

If you would like to book in a pre-arranged collection or are interested in hosting your own community collection, please call 01325 308 139 or message GNAAS’ Facebook page.