Publican fundraising for air ambulance after crew saved her son’s life

24 September 2019
Sharon Alford and Ciaran O'Connor The Bell Inn.

An Essex publican is raising funds to thank Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) for the part the Charity’s Critical Care Team played in saving her son’s life.

In February Ciaran O’Connor from Great Bardfield near Braintree was involved a serious road traffic collision in the village. Ciaran is now back studying music and his mother Sharon Alford is keen to help the life-saving charity.

Sharon and Ciaran run The Bell Inn in Great Bardfield. Next month (October 11th to 13th) she is organising a German-themed festival called ‘Oktobellfest’ to raise money for EHAAT.

“The air ambulance was quickly at the scene and thanks to the amazing work of all the emergency services who were present and the surgeons at Addenbrooke’s hospital, Ciaran has made an amazing recovery.

A few weeks after the incident a planned quiz night in aid of EHAAT went ahead thanks to the support of Sharon’s customers and neighbours.

“We temporarily closed the pub while we dealt with the initial shock of the accident, but our local community came together and organised a rota of volunteers to help us keep it open.

“Although Ciaran was still in hospital, where I was keeping a permanent bedside vigil, we decided to go ahead with the quiz to raise money for EHAAT. After what happened, this worthy cause meant even more to us. As soon as we announced it, we were inundated with support and donations of cash and raffle prizes.

“The pub was packed to the rafters. It was an emotional night, with everyone cheering on both Ciaran and EHAAT. Thanks to our wonderful customers, we raised over £1,000 for EHAAT.

“As a family we have been humbled by the kindness of the community we live and work in, and we are so thankful to EHAAT for the Charity’s passion to save lives. Each mission costs the Charity £2,200, so we have made that our target.”

Sabi Stafford, Fundraising Manager at EHAAT said: “It’s great to hear that Ciaran is doing so well after the accident.

“Without access to National Lottery funding and with only limited support from Government, EHAAT couldn’t exist without the support we receive from the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire. Ciaran, Sharon and their family have shown a real commitment to the charity, and we can’t thank them enough for what they are doing.”

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.