Dual Finalist: EHAAT shortlisted in two Heart Hertfordshire Hero Awards
Essex & Herts Air Ambulance is excited to announce we have been shortlisted in two categories at The Heart Hertfordshire Hero Awards 2024: the Green Initiative and Fundraiser awards. The evening, which will “celebrate and honour the unsung heroes” across Hertfordshire, is set to take place on Friday 16th February at Sopwell House, St Albans.
EHAAT is proud to be among the top three finalists for the Green Initiative award, which highlights our environmental sustainability efforts across the whole of the charity, with work that has been rigorously measured and validated by Carbon Footprint Ltd – having achieved a reduction of 21.2% in absolute emissions.
Key initiatives such as the development of our North Weald airbase, which achieved an A-grade Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, the installation of photovoltaic panels at both our airbases and headquarters, and our transition to a fully hybrid fleet of rapid response vehicles (RRVs), all mark significant steps forward in our environmental strategy. Our green initiatives also extend beyond the improvements to facilities and vehicles, with our donation centre and nine charity shops providing sustainable and ethical options for people eager to dispose of their unwanted goods and buy preloved items – promoting reuse and recycling to reduce landfill.
Last month, the charity was officially recognised for our environmental efforts by qualifying to use the Carbon Footprint Standard branding on all our marketing materials. We remain on the front foot, developing responsible initiatives that benefit our local communities and protect our planet. Cliff Gale, our Special Projects Adviser, is thrilled to see the progress the charity has made so far.
“We are doing everything we can to help mitigate our environmental impact, reduce our carbon footprint and carry out carbon offsetting measures, including planting trees. We are also closely monitoring future innovations, such as the development of sustainable aircraft fuel. There has been a huge shift here at EHAAT from top to bottom, and we are looking to our future. Sustainability is now a standing item on our board meeting agenda as we drive forward to be as carbon neutral as possible.”
Recognising Steve Dukes’ Remarkable Fundraising Journey
In parallel with our environmental efforts, we are also thrilled to see Tottenham Hotspur’s kitman, Steve Dukes, deservedly recognised as one of three finalists for the Fundraiser Award. As a charity, we rely on the generous support of local people and businesses to keep our life-saving service operational. Each and every one of our amazing fundraisers makes a meaningful difference to our mission, helping us raise the vital funds we need to continue bringing the hospital to the patient in their hour of need.
Steve has a deep and personal connection to our cause, and has been raising money for the charity in memory of his late father Charlie, who tragically lost his life after a cycling accident in May 2020. Since then, to ensure his dad’s legacy lives on, he has set up the ‘Charlie Dukes Fund’ and has been supporting his local life-saving charity, which provided an invaluable service at the time of Charlie’s passing.
In 2021 and 2022, Steve held two high-profile auctions of sporting memorabilia, which raised an impressive £88,000, and in May 2023, he organised a Tottenham Hotspur fundraising match at Bishop’s Stortford FC – where the halfway line is the meeting point between Essex and Hertfordshire. Tickets sold out within just 24 hours, with supporters eager to witness the reunion of iconic players from the Harry Redknapp and Martin Jol eras, including Jermain Defoe, Ledley King, Michael Dawson, Robbie Keane, Edgar Davids, Sandro, Aaron Lennon and many more. The match saw Steve’s fundraising total reach £140,000, and he is planning another fundraising football match next year.
Steve was recently featured in our 25 Year Celebratory Issue of Flight For Life and was asked how his father would have reacted to the incredible outpouring of support for his fundraising efforts. He said: “Probably something along the lines of ‘don’t cause all this fuss just for me,’ but at the same time, he’d definitely be humbled by the efforts of everyone involved. I still think it’s surreal that he’s not with us. At times, it does scare me, but that’s why I’ve decided to do the charity work I do.”
At Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, we are grateful to amazing people like Steve, raising vital funds and positively impacting our mission. As emphasised by Emma Barker, Head of Income Generation, Steve personifies what it means to be a Heart Hertfordshire Hero.
“We’re thrilled to be shortlisted in both the Green Initiative and Fundraiser categories at The Heart Hertfordshire Hero Awards. This dual recognition not only celebrates the charity’s commitment to sustainability and community support but also honours outstanding individuals like Steve, who play a crucial role in fuelling our journey, enabling us to provide advanced pre-hospital care to those in need.”