Dalton Park's contactless wishing well keeps air ambulance flying high

An East Durham shopping centre has come up with a well good way of raising cash to keep the vital Great North Air Ambulance Service flying.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 3:32 pm

Outlet centre Dalton Park has officially unveiled a new interactive wishing well to raise funds for its chosen charity.

Long-time visitors may remember the centre had a wishing well a few years ago into which shoppers could throw coins which would then be collected up and donated to good causes.

And while the new well may look old-fashioned, it is actually bang-up-to-date for Covid times, with visitors able to make a contactless card donation to support The Great North Air Ambulance Service.

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Sophie Bendelow from GNAAS (right) and Sophie Hardy from Dalton Park open the new wishing well

Centre Manager Jerry Hatch said: “We’re thrilled visitors can now make a wish to keep the Great North Air Ambulance in our skies, saving lives.

“When a donation is made with the new wishing well, the LED lights flash and you’ll get a big ‘thank you’ from Dalton Park.

“It is a bit of fun, and anything that drums up support for such a phenomenal charity as The Great North Air Ambulance Service is well worth having!”

Sophie Bendelow, volunteer coordinator from the Great North Air Ambulance service, visited the centre to unveil the new well alongside Dalton Park’s Placemaking, Marketing and Communications Manager Sophie Hardy.

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Sophie thinks the new way of fund-raising will be a major hit with customers: “The life-saving service provided by the Great North Air Ambulance Service is entirely funded by public donations, so all fundraising efforts - however large or small - are vital to help our helicopters stay in the sky,” she said.

“We’ve responded to over 20,000 incidents since 2002 and we’re proud to say our critical care team have remained operational across the region throughout the pandemic.

“We’re delighted to see Dalton Park supporting our service with the new wishing well, and we look forward to seeing shoppers put it to good use!”

Looking ahead to 2022, Dalton Park is hoping to incorporate an interactive element to the wishing well, which would allow loose change can also be accepted in addition to contactless donations.

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