Colne’s Emma and Leighton feature on “Helicopter Heroes”

ON SET: Rav Wilding filming for BBC One's 'Helicopter Heroes' (s)
ON SET: Rav Wilding filming for BBC One's 'Helicopter Heroes' (s)

PRAISE has soared in for the tireless efforts of the air ambulance after a Colne mother and son featured on BBC One’s “Helicopter Heroes”.

Emma Matthews (31) and her son Leighton Cawdrey (10), of Birtwistle Avenue, were involved in a serious accident back in July, while they were making their way to Park Primary School, where Leighton is a pupil.

The pair were crossing Skipton Road at around 8-40am, close to the junction with Russell Avenue, when they were hit by a Hyundai car.

Ms Matthews suffered a fractured pelvis, while Leighton suffered a broken leg, and one casualty was taken to Leeds General Hospital by the North West Air Ambulance, while the other made the same journey in the Yorkshire Air Ambulance .

The air ambulance’s work was filmed at the time by the BBC, and has recently been shown as part of “Helicopter Heroes”, a programme hosted by Rav Wilding, which explores the life-saving work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Following the broadcast, many people took to Twitter, to show their appreciation to the air ambulance and praise them for their efficiency during Ms Matthew’s and Leighton’s accident.

One Twitter user wrote: “Watched HH earlier. I live in Colne where the RTA from the episode today was.

“Glad mum and son are on the mend, brill team.”

Another ‘tweeter’ said: “Watching Helicopter Heroes... admire the pilots and paramedics so much.”

And writing on the Helicopter Heroes Facebook page, one social networker said: “I love watching Helicopter Heroes because it raises awareness of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance... you never know when you might need it and without it some of the patients featured in the programme would not be alive today.”

Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney has also expressed his appreciation to the air ambulance. He said: “The air ambulance provide a vital and important service to the North-West and with the majority of their money coming from fundraising we should do what we can to support them.

“I’ve seen first hand the air ambulance in action, while refereeing a local football game. A player broke his leg and the ambulance couldn’t reach the pitch

“Within minutes the air ambulance was on the scene dealing with the injured player. It truly is a remarkable service.”

Responding to the praise, Abby McClymont of the YAA said: “Helicopter Heroes is invaluable to the YAA with regards to educating people about the work of Air Ambulances, not only in Yorkshire but across the UK.

“The programmes give supporters valuable insight into the day to day operations of the YAA and how their fundraising efforts can so vitally help support our daily running costs.

“Many people have heard of the YAA, and have an idea of what we do, but sometimes it can take being rescued by us, or watching the programmes for people to fully grasp that we are actually an independent charity, and also the seriousness of the majority of incidents we attend.

“We are also extremely grateful to people such as Emma and Leighton in allowing us to feature their stories on Helicopter Heroes, helping us to raise more awareness of our vital charity.”

And Lynda Brislin, chief executive at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, added: “It’s great that programmes like Helicopter Heroes can give an insight into the life-saving missions we carry out every day, helping give people like Emma and Leighton Matthews the gift of time when they need it most.

“We’ve had a fantastic response from viewers over the past few weeks, particularly on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and the broadcast has led to use gaining new supporters, which is great news as we rely on public donations to fund the vital service of our two helicopters, which cost over £4.2 million to run each year.”