Hall & Woodhouse, the leading independent family-owned Dorset brewer, has raised £114,287 in aid of eight local air ambulance charities in the past year.

At the beginning of 2018, Hall & Woodhouse’s (H&W) team members voted to make the eight air ambulances their official charity partner until 2020. Through the partnership, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, Great Western, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Kent Surrey Sussex, London, Thames Valley and Wiltshire Air Ambulance will receive support from the company.

Throughout the year, 52 pubs in H&W’s managed house estate across the south, came together to raise as much money as possible through a variety of fundraising initiatives such as quiz nights, sponsored events and family fun days.

In June, H&W held its annual Dorset Beer Festival, which saw members of the community enjoy beer, live music and locally-produced food at the Blandford Brewery. Over the course of the weekend, £12,000 was raised.

In the following month, six H&W team members raised £8,000 by taking part in their first Jurassic Coast Challenge. The group tackled a gruelling 58km hike from Poole to Weymouth, in 30 degree heat. The group set off from Poole at 10am and walked continuously for 18 hours through the night, before they arrived in Weymouth at 4am, having conquered the challenge.

In addition over £3400 has been raised by 38 houses featuring a ‘charity dish’ on their pub menu from October 2018 to January 2019. 25p from the sale of each dish went towards the charity partnership when guests purchased that particular meal.

Lucinda Gray, Company Charity Champion of Hall & Woodhouse, said:

We are absolutely thrilled to have raised such a tremendous amount for the local air ambulances. Last year we set our fundraising target at £100,000 for the year and are proud to have smashed it.

Our houses have worked tremendously hard to stay on track of this target and we are grateful for their support, enabling us to give back to the local communities in which the charities serve. Every penny we raise will allow these charities to continue saving lives, further enhance their operations, or purchase new items of specialist equipment which could help keep someone alive until they reach hospital. We aim to raise a total of £250,000 at the end of our two-year partnership and are already well on our way to achieve this.

Speaking on behalf of all eight charities, Tracy Bartram, Communications Manager at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, added:

It is extremely rare for eight air ambulance charities to have an opportunity to be the beneficiaries of one ‘Charity of the Year’ initiative, which makes the Hall & Woodhouse Charity Partnership extremely unique. It has been our pleasure to work with the 52 H&W houses over the past year, and we are staggered at the amount raised so far. With the approximate cost per air ambulance mission being £3,000, this means that in the first year the houses have potentially funded 38 life-saving missions.