Deepest Wiltshire books support important local charities with more than £30,000


Wiltshire Air Ambulance – COVID – Essay

Three Wiltshire charities have received a total of £11,000 – proceeds of the sale of Deepest Wiltshire, the second in the Deepest Books series by Gay Pirrie-Weir and Fanny Charles.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the military charity SSAFA each received £5,000 and there was also a donation of £1,000 to the Salisbury Hospice.
The book is a portrait of the county looking at its history, how and where people work and live, the army, food and farming, the arts and Salisbury Cathedral. These donations follow the £20,000 already given to Wiltshire Community Foundation for the Covid Recovery Fund, bringing the total so far raised by the book to £31,000.

The work being funded
The donation to SSAFA has come at a critical time, says Simon McNeill-Ritchie, the charity’s regional fundraising officer, ‘as we try to fund another casework support officer for Wiltshire. Each case we help, on average, costs about £250, so your contribution will help us to help 20 veterans and their families to turn their lives around.’
It costs £4 million a year to keep Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s lifesaving service operational – that is around £11,000 per day. The charity relies on donations to continue saving lives – like all air ambulance services it receives no regular direct government funding or Lottery grants.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance operates up to 19 hours a day, every day, says Cas Loudon, the senior community engagement and volunteer officer.
On average, it is called to three incidents a day in its helicopter and two critical care cars. In 2022 it undertook 1,061 missions. The air ambulance paramedics are trained in critical care skills and, together with the specialist medical equipment they use, they are able to provide gold standard medical care to patients. The service was further improved in November 2021, when the number of pre-hospital consultant shifts was increased.

Every donation helps
Alex Oram, community fundraiser for Salisbury Hospicecare Trust, says the funds from Deepest Wiltshire will be put to excellent use in helping Salisbury Hospice to provide the specialist palliative care that means so much to so many in our community. ‘Provision of this service is only made possible by the support we receive from generous local people.
Every donation really does go a long way towards helping us plan for the future and of course to continue to support the vital work of the hospice and its community teams.’
One recent event – the collection of Christmas trees – raised more than £24,500, ‘which was fantastic and thanks to the huge support we receive from those in the community, and our wonderful team of volunteers,’ says Alex.

• Deepest Wiltshire is available to order from or email

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