An Edinburgh business owner has generously provided a shirt sponsorship deal to a local youth football team and at the same time has helped raise awareness of a much deserving charity.

Mark Turnbull, proprietor  of Turnbull & Sons Roofing and Building in Edinburgh, was keen to help when Beechwood FC u16s, a youth football team based in the west of the city, appealed for sponsors to help buy new kit for the new season.

As an avid supporter of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) he had an idea that could benefit both causes, so he approached the charity with a novel idea to donate to them his shirt sponsorship on Beechwood’s new playing kit.

“My son plays for Beechwood,” explained Mr. Turnbull. “And as a small local club I know they need financial help to keep going, whilst he SCAA is a great cause that covers hard to reach areas in Scotland and local areas too when time means everything.”

Kate Loades, who works as a Community Fundraiser at SCAA, was delighted at the opportunity to feature as Beechwood u16s shirt sponsor and revealed that supporters of the charity have found many other inventive ways to help save time and save lives although many of the charity’s fundraising activities have been affected by COVID-19.

She said: “We are really grateful for Mark’s kindness and generosity. Opportunities like this are a fantastic way to help raise awareness of SCAA and we hope it will encourage people to support the charity.”

“Mark’s donation is another great example of people’s creativity when it comes to supporting the charity. We have also recently had someone run 13k dressed as Shrek, families sleeping out in their gardens and a fantastic Colouring-In challenge all raising funds and awareness of SCAA.

“Summer would normally be packed full of activities and events but unfortunately they were all cancelled or postponed.

“Operating two air ambulance helicopters responding to time-critical emergencies across Scotland requires SCAA to raise £4million a year.

“We rely on 100% funding from the public, highlighting the scale of the fundraising challenge faced by the charity. Every single donation makes a difference.”

A patient’s chance of survival and full recovery are greatly increased if they receive the right medical care within the first hour of injury or illness. 

The fast response of SCAA and its ability to reach Scotland’s most remote and rural areas saves vital minutes when every second really does count.

The charity saves and improves hundreds of lives every year. This year to date, SCAA’s two helicopters, based at Perth Airport and Aberdeen Airport, have responded to 363 calls.

“We also understand that many people are facing their own challenges as a result of the virus,”  Ms added MsLoades. “We’re hugely grateful for the support we receive from individuals, clubs, companies and groups to help us to keep flying.”

John Robertson, volunteer coach at Beechwood u16s, is also grateful to Mr. Turnbull for the shirt sponsorship:

He said: “A big thanks to Mark for providing the funds for our new playing kit.

 “Beechwood is a small football club and one of our biggest expenses is providing players with kit that fits.

“I had no idea air ambulance helicopters relied completely on public fundraising. I hope appearing as our shirt sponsor can raise awareness and make a difference.”

“We hope it will encourage people to support the charity either through a donation via our website (www.scaa.org.uk), by following us on social media, or organising their own fundraiser.”