Colleagues at North East law firm Hay & Kilner are set to step out into the night in response to an emergency call for a vital regional charity.

A ten-strong team will be undertaking a 20-mile night walk on Friday 12 April from the firm’s central Newcastle headquarters to Wylam in Northumberland and back to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Members of the firm voted to adopt GNAAS as their dedicated charity for

2024 and are organising a series of individual and team-based activities to raise as much money as they can for their chosen cause.

The Service recently issued an urgent plea for more funding from the region after revealing that rising costs had put it at risk of running at a deficit, which could potentially mean it might not be able to afford to answer emergency calls.

It provides a full helicopter emergency medical service which covers around 8,000 square miles across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, swiftly bringing pre-hospital care to those in urgent need.

GNAAS operates three helicopters, each of which has an onboard team consisting of a pilot, a specialist pre-hospital doctor and a paramedic, and also operates two rapid response vehicles carrying the same life-saving equipment, which are activated when helicopters are unable to fly due to extreme weather or breakdown.

The organisation is looking to raise around £8.5m to cover its expected 2024 running costs, and receives no statutory funding, meaning it relies entirely on donations, fundraising and grants.

Bethany Herbertson, solicitor at Hay & Kilner and head of the firm’s CSR committee, says: “Any of us could need the help of the Great North Air Ambulance Service at any time and the possibility that they couldn’t afford to provide support in an emergency situation is their worst possible prospect.

“Taking on this challenge at night adds an element of danger and fear for those of us who are scared of the dark, and without the motivation of seeing the scenery around us, we will need to support each other all the way, especially if the weather is as cold and wet as it has been recently!

“We’re aiming to finish at around 1am and we’ll hopefully all make it back in one piece having raised as much as we can for this invaluable organisation.”

Hay & Kilner is one of North East England’s leading independent law firms and provides comprehensive legal advice across every aspect of the law to businesses and individuals from both within and outside the region.