The Children’s Air Ambulance is to launch its lifesaving service in the New Year following the unveiling of its helicopter.

The service, whose South West office is based at Torquay’s Lymington Road Innovation Centre, is now starting to transfer specialist paediatric teams between hospitals with the transfer of critically ill children starting in 2013.

“TCAA is a national charity which will provide critically ill children and babies with an air transfer service to specialist paediatric intensive care units ensuring children get the care they need without a long road journey,” said South West head of fundraising, Nicola Howkins. The service – the first of its kind – is now in need of volunteers to help with fundraising events.

One fundraising event which has been organised is a performance of the musical The Bodyguard taking place at the Adelphi in London on December 6. The charity is holding a spectacular gala night at the West End musical and tickets – buy one get one free – are available from 0845 130979 or visiting

The charity has also been donated a dolls house which will be raffled at the launch of the service next year.

Nicola added: “People are extremely supportive and receptive to us and we have many events organised but we urgently need volunteers so that we really can generate the best possible support in the South West. In January we have a store collection planned for every day of the month and we need people to participate in these so we can raise as much money as possible. We would also like to organise more talks and events if we had additional help.”

Torbay mayor, Gordon Oliver, said the Children’s Air Ambulance will provide an extremely valuable provision for sick children when it is launched next year.

He added: "The new service will save children a long ambulance ride by road giving them the opportunity to get specialist treatment sooner and a greater chance of recovery. I’m pleased we are able to support this superb charity by providing a base for its South West operations at Torquay Innovation Centre, which we operate as part of our business support programmes through Torbay Development Agency”

To volunteer visit or call Nicola on 07760 993771.