THE success of any charity can be put down to their business model and for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, their 26-year history shows they have the formula just right.

With offices in Calne and Devizes, WAA serves the entire county of Wiltshire up to 19 hours a day, 365 days a year at a cost of £3.25m annually.

For chief executive David Philpott, he believes its mammoth task of raising £8,904 a day can be put down to several key components but, most importantly, the tireless efforts of his staff.

He said: “It is our staff, our paramedics and our volunteers that are absolutely critical for the success of our charity and without them, we couldn’t do it.

“I have been in the air ambulance industry for 15 years and I think if you are not careful, as an air ambulance charity, you can present yourself as wanting to be faster and attending more incidents. What we try to do is be safe and inspire our staff to take pride over their work and do the best we can.

“One thing we strive for is to get the best possible people to do the jobs. All of our staff are hand chosen and they are all capable and we give licence to people to get on with it. My motto for them is that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission so I have faith in them doing things they think are beneficial for the charity.”

With nearly 100 volunteers who represent WAA at county-wide events, the charity’s vision and aims remain at the heart of the brand and one of its biggest generators of money is its lottery, which raises thousands every year.

Its mission statement of ‘We Save lives’ along with its values of excellence, integrity and communication, have placed WAA on strong footing for the future as it looks to move base to Semington which will enable its helicopter, aircrew and fundraising team to all be under one roof for the very first time – something which Mr Philpott believes makes the most business sense.

He added: “Our new base feels me with excitement for the way we will work in the future but also for our team. It will be great for Semington and Melksham to have that on their doorstep but we are under no illusions of the challenges we still face including raising £5.1m for its build.

“Telling the stories of people’s lives being saved is an important part of how we fundraise but it is also important to tell stories of people who we haven’t been able to save because they have been part of our narrative as well.

“People need to be reassured that we operate to a high standard and over the years we have been able to show the public that if they need help, Wiltshire Air Ambulance will be there for them. Our support is a testament to how well we do.”