UFU climb high for the NI Air Ambulance

UFU president Ivor Ferguson and UFU staff get ready for the centenary walk. Participants aim to climb 5 peaks across 6 counties between 7am and 10pm on Monday June 4 to raise money for the NI Air Ambulance. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
UFU president Ivor Ferguson and UFU staff get ready for the centenary walk. Participants aim to climb 5 peaks across 6 counties between 7am and 10pm on Monday June 4 to raise money for the NI Air Ambulance. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Ulster Farmers’ Union staff are gearing up for the centenary walk, in aid of the NI Air Ambulance, the UFU’s chosen charity in its centenary year.

President Ivor Ferguson said the aim of the day is to raise money for the NI Air Ambulance, a service which the UFU sees as vital for rural dwellers.

He added: “Our members are spread out all over Northern Ireland. Should there be an accident, it could be on a side of a mountain where only a helicopter could reach. The Accident and Emergency team on board the Air Ambulance talk about the ‘golden hour,’ in a rescue. If called to an accident, the chances of saving a life or improving the outcome is vastly improved if the doctor and paramedic can get there in under 60 minutes.”

The walk will take in five peaks in each of the NI counties. The peaks and counties are Slieve Gullion in County Armagh, Cuilcagh in county Fermanagh, Sawel between the borders of counties Tyrone and Londonderry, Slemish in county Antrim and Slieve Croob in county Down. Participants will be on their feet from 7am with an estimated finish time of 10pm on Monday June 4.

Thirty would-be hill walkers have signed up for the test and already many are in training. Walkers will be supported by other volunteers providing transport and food.

The Air Ambulance needs around £2.5 million pounds a year to keep it operational. One call-out to an emergency costs on average £5,500 pounds.

The UFU’s goal is to raise £100,000 for the air ambulance this year. If you would like to make a donation go to centenary.ufuni.org and click on ‘Donate.’