DLA Piper kicks off new charity partnership with summer of family friendly fun challenges

22 July 2020

DLA Piper’s staff voted to support the Midlands Air Ambulance as their Birmingham office charity of the year just before lockdown began in mid-March

Midlands Air Ambulance is the largest air ambulance service in the UK, responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances across the region and two critical care cars across Birmingham, the Black Country and Worcester.  The charity responds to some of the most traumatic incidents including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions and sports injuries.

The charity is particularly dear to the DLA Piper team as the service saved the life of one of their Birmingham lawyers. It was after a serious road traffic collision that Simon Wright found himself in their care. Simon was travelling to meet with family for Sunday lunch when a driver on the opposite side of the road lost concentration and their two vehicles collided. Thanks to the speed and expert care of the Midlands Air Ambulance team, Simon was able to make a full recovery after a six week stay  in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

However, as the effects of the pandemic intensified around the region, it became clear that the services of Midlands Air Ambulance were in demand more than ever.  This, coupled with restrictions on planned fundraising events and the temporary closure of its charity shops, meant that the organisation faced a serious funding shortage.

So the corporate and social responsibility team at DLA Piper swung into action with an idea to help boost funding for the service, launching the MAAC 6 Challenge – six family-friendly fun challenges for staff to take part in during the six week school holiday.  The challenges are who can cover the most miles by running or walking over six weeks, a drawing competition of the air ambulance (judged by Pam Hodgetts from MAAC and her team), the ‘Big MAAC’ challenge to make a tastiest looking vegan or meat burger, a Geoguesser game to identify landmarks from cities around the world where DLA has offices, a poetry competition and a team quiz.

In addition to the MAAC 6 Challenge, DLA Piper has pledged to extend their partnership with the charity until the end of 2021 to allow more time for the firm to raise funds after lock-down ends.

Simon Wright said, “It is great to see the firm and colleagues select Midlands Air Ambulance as its charity partner. From personal experience, the service plays a crucial role in pre-hospital care and lifesaving intervention across the Midlands and are entirely charity funded. We really look forward to working with the MAAC in the coming 18 months to fundraise for and support the charity wherever we can.”

Trevor Ivory, Birmingham Managing Partner, said, “The firm has had a first-hand insight, through Simon Wright, into the vital and valuable work that the Midlands Air Ambulance do for the region.  DLA Piper is proud to support such an important charity and we hope that our MAAC 6 Challenge will provide a boost to their funds.  We look forward to working with them on many other fundraising initiatives over the next 18 months.”

Pam Hodgetts from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said,   “Working with DLA Piper is extra special due to the personal connection with Simon, it really helps bring a passion and drive to the partnership when the employees have seen first-hand the value of the work we do. The pandemic has made office fundraising very difficult, so all of us at the charity are very impressed and excited by the way the DLA Piper team have adapted to create the MAAC 6 Challenge and have agreed to extend the partnership for a second year to help us recoup some lost opportunities.”