London's Air Ambulance to enable text donation

Wednesday, 17 December, 2008

Leading interactive communications provider, Oxygen8 Communications, has been selected by London's Air Ambulance to provide the charity's first text-to-donate scheme, in order to help increase the charitable donations necessary to maintain and run HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services).

The text-to-donate service, hosted by Oxygen8 Communications, operates on a short-code platform. Any member of the public wishing to make a donation to the charity can simply send an SMS to the short code LA81, which generates a one off donation via the cost of the text message. Messages are charged at £1.50 per text, of which 90p goes to the London's Air Ambulance, with the remainder going to the mobile network the message was sent from.

HEMS is based out of The London Royal Hospital in Whitechapel and covers the area inside the boundary of the M25 ring-road, attending incidents involving 'major trauma' in this area. Each HEMS team consists of highly skilled medical staff, including a senior trauma doctor and a paramedic. On average there are three to six helicopter missions a day and since 1989 almost 20,000 in total have been carried out. Operating 365 days a year during daylight hours, London's Air Ambulance costs approximately £2million pounds per year to run and maintain.

Andrew Cameron, Chief Executive of London's Air Ambulance explains, "Although we are partly funded by the NHS and Virgin, the majority of our costs are covered through public donations, charity fundraising events and collection schemes. We hope that the new text-to-donate service will provide another method in which people can easily and quickly donate a small but important amount of money to London's Air Ambulance".

He continues, "As this is the first time that we have used an interactive donation service, we were looking for a communications provider that could provide us with a suitable solution as well as high levels of support and guidance.

Colin White, CEO of Oxygen8 Communications, comments "We are delighted to be working with London's Air Ambulance, to provide a text-to-donate service. The work that the HEMS team do is essential and it is really important to us to assist them in gaining as many donations as possible and maximising their ROI throughout this campaign".

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