Gates, which has locations across Essex and Hertfordshire, is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a family owned and operated Company during 2020 by supporting Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’s (EHAAT) life-saving work.

Founded in 1920, leading car retailer Gates has dealerships in Bishop’s Stortford, Enfield, Harlow, Hertford, Potter’s Bar, St Albans, Stevenage and Woodford Green.

To mark their centenary milestone Gates have not only generously offered EHAAT the use of a Ford Mondeo throughout 2020, it has also helped to future-proof the Charity’s `blood on board’ initiative by supplying a Ford Kuga to Essex Voluntary Blood Service (EVBS).

The Ford Mondeo Estate will carry EHAAT’s distinctive branding and enable staff to travel between the Charity’s two airbases, fundraising offices, shops and events across Essex and Hertfordshire.

Gates have also worked closely with EVBS to supply the Ford Kuga which EVBS have purchased at cost with a grant awarded by The Henry Surtees Foundation.

Each day a volunteer from EVBS travels between Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and the EHAAT bases at North Weald and Earls Colne to deliver blood products that are replaced daily and replenished as required.

Having access to a car to help with this work will mean that the EVBS volunteers do not need to take to the roads by motorbike in bad weather. It will also help reduce the risk of blood products freezing or overheating whilst on board motorcycles therefore reducing wastage of this vital material.

The vehicle will greatly support EVBS’s infrastructure in helping meet its commitment to the region’s hospitals and EHAAT’s Critical Care teams thereby safeguarding the future delivery of pre-hospital blood transfusions and giving the most seriously injured the chance of survival and a good recovery.

As well as carrying blood supplies for EHAAT, EVBS transports blood products and milk for premature babies between hospitals across the East of England.

Pam Withrington, Fundraising and Marketing Director at EHAAT said: “As a charity which receives only limited support from Government, we depend on the generosity of individuals and businesses such as Gates. We are extremely grateful to the company for these generous gestures. We look forward to being part of their centenary celebrations.

“The blood bikers are an amazing group of volunteers, and without their hard work and dedication we would not have been able to carry blood supplies. Since March we have given blood to well over thirty patients, who would not have received it without their efforts. As winter closes in, anything which makes their work a little easier is very much welcomed and appreciated.”

Mr Heath Greenall, Chairman and fifth generation of the Gates family, said: “We are delighted to support both Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust and Essex Voluntary Blood Service, and thereby the local communities in this our 100th year”.

Carol Weller, Chair of EVBS said: “Having access to a car to help with our work will mean that hospitals can be served a lot better in the cold harsh weather.  As well as carrying blood supplies for EHAAT, EVBS transports blood products to all the hospitals of Essex and East London as well as donor milk for the Herts milk bank and the Rosie unit at Addenbrooke’s. The Ford Kuga that Gates has supplied is going to help a large number of patients across Essex and we are all extremely grateful to Gates for making this possible.