Crafty colleagues at North East law firm Hay & Kilner have been showing their Christmas sewing skills to raise hundreds of pounds for a vital regional charity.

Rosie Lovett, Kath Chismond and Lynn Liddle knitted and crocheted well over 100 Christmas decorations, trees, snowmen and snowballs before putting them on a fundraising sale at the firm’s headquarters in central Newcastle.

The gifts all sold out in under a day, with £400 being raised for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Members of the firm voted to adopt GNASS as their dedicated charity for 2024 and are now planning a series of individual and team-based activities to raise as much money as they can for the organisation next year.

Hay & Kilner has also donated Newcastle Theatre Royal tickets to the Service’s online advent calendar, which is currently offering free prizes every day in the run up to Christmas Day that have been provided by a range of regional businesses.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service 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.

It has two staffed bases, at Langwathby near Penrith and Eaglescliffe on Teesside, and operates three helicopters, each of which has an onboard team consisting of a pilot, a specialist pre-hospital doctor and a paramedic.

It 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, and which are used for its 24-hour service across the North East.

GNAAS 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 our team was very keen to support this incredibly important charity in 2024.

“Our clever colleagues’ Christmas crafts gave us a lovely festive way to make an early start to our year of fundraising and we’ve already got lots of plans in place to raise as much as we can in the coming 12 months.”

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.

Around £40,000 has been raised for the firm’s recent dedicated charities, which have included Tiny Lives, The People’s Kitchen, If U Care Share, the Newcastle West End Foodbank and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund.