July 13, 2011 9.47 am This story is over 153 months old

Residents warned over fake charity appeal

Fake appeal: An ambulance service is warning residents to be careful of fake charity appeals.

Lincolnites are being warned that a company sending leaflets requesting clothing for an unknown air ambulance service could be hoax.

The leaflets are not associated with the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust (LNAACT), and police are currently investigating.

The leaflets, which have been reported across the county, are just branded ‘Air Ambulance Service’ and ask for decent quality clothes to be left in bags.

They claim the clothes will be sold to raise money for the service, making it appear as though the company is supporting air ambulances.

Sadly, the charity is not recorded as existing.

Plus, the small print states that “photographs of air ambulances are only for display purposes” and “Air Ambulance Service is not associated with any local helicopter emergency medical service”.

Chief Executive of the LNAACT Peter Aldrick said: “Despite first impressions, these people are not from a registered charity, and they have no connection with any air ambulance service operating within the UK.

“It appears to be a profit making company trading on the good name of the air ambulance network and diverting the generous support provided by the public for its own benefit.

“This matter has been brought to the attention of the Police, Trading Standards, and the Charity Commission.

“Supporters of the Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance are advised not to support this appeal and to warn others about this matter.

“All our own clothing collection bags are clearly marked that they are in support of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance .”

One Lincolnshire resident who received a leaflet was Maggie Woodward, Welton.

She said: “When I received the leaflet asking me to donate clothes I was very suspicious, because I used to work for the local air ambulance and it didn’t look like something that they would send out.

“Also, at the bottom of the leaflet it said that they weren’t raising any money for an air ambulance in this area. The leaflet didn’t say what they do, or where their air ambulance is, if it exists at all.

“If they are not funding for any air ambulance I think what they are doing is absolutely disgusting.”

Anyone who receives a leaflet that appears to be from the LNAACT and are suspicious it may not be from the charity should contact the Lincolnshire office on 01522 548469.

To help or donate to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, visit the website.