Hall & Woodhouse, the leading independent family-owned Dorset brewer, has raised £114,287 in aid of eight local air ambulance charities in the past year, of which Devon Air Ambulance is one.

At the beginning of 2018, Hall & Woodhouse team members voted to make the eight air ambulances their official charity partners until 2020. Through the partnership, Devon, Dorset & Somerset, Great Western, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Thames Valley and Wiltshire Air Ambulance will receive support from the company.

A fundraising-packed calendar

Throughout the year, 52 pubs in the brewer's managed house estate across the south, came together to raise as much money as possible through a variety of fundraising initiatives such as quiz nights, sponsored events and family fun days.

In June 2018, Hall & Woodhouse held its annual Dorset Beer Festival, at which members of the community enjoyed beer, live music and locally-produced food at the Blandford Brewery. Over the course of that weekend, teams raised an impressive £12,000.

In the following month, six Hall & Woodhouse team members raised £8,000 by taking part in their first Jurassic Coast Challenge, tackling a gruelling 58km hike from Poole to Weymouth in 30-degree heat. The group set off from Poole at 10am and walked continuously for 18 hours through the night, before arriving triumphant in Weymouth at 4am.

What's more, over £3,400 has been raised by 38 houses featuring a ‘charity dish’ on their pub menu from October 2018 to January 2019. 25p from the sale of each dish went towards the charity partnership.

Lucinda Gray, Company Charity Champion for Hall & Woodhouse, said:

We are absolutely thrilled to have raised such a tremendous amount for the local air ambulances. Last year we set our fundraising target at £100,000 for the year and are proud to have smashed it.

Our houses have worked tremendously hard to stay on track of this target and we are grateful for their support, enabling us to give back to the local communities the charities serve. Every penny we raise will allow these charities to continue saving lives, further enhance their operations, or purchase new items of specialist equipment that could help keep someone alive until they reach hospital. We aim to raise a total of £250,000 at the end of our two-year partnership and are already well on our way to achieving this.

Tracy Owen, Fundraising Manager of Devon Air Ambulance, added:

It is extremely rare for eight air ambulance charities to have an opportunity to be the beneficiaries of one ‘Charity of the Year’ initiative, which makes the Hall & Woodhouse Charity Partnership extremely unique. It has been our pleasure to work with the three H&W houses in Devon over the past year, and we are staggered at the amount raised so far.

Hall & Woodhouse is a local independent family company that brews award-winning Badger ales and runs a collection of around 200 beautiful pubs and inns across the south of England. The business is dedicated to supporting local causes, having invested more than £30 million into the county over the past five years, on top of their regular and extensive charity donations.

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