GMI Construction Group has announced the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) as its long-term North East charity partner.

The independent company, which is based on Teesside, has a strong track record of supporting good causes in the areas in which it operates.

It chose GNAAS because of the life-saving service it provides to people and communities throughout the North East and Cumbria.

Lee Powell, GMI’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are proud to stand up and be counted in the areas where we operate by supporting local worthy causes. GNAAS is an outstanding emergency service, which is there when the worst happens, and their intervention often means the difference between life and death.”

Garry Oates, the company’s North East Operations Director, added: “Its ability to provide a rapid response to treat badly injured or seriously ill people has far-reaching benefits because saving a life does not just impact on the individual, but also their families, friends and colleagues.”

GNAAS, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has responded to more than 23,500 calls since it became a charity in 2002.

It costs £6.7 million a year to keep the air ambulance service running with GNAAS totally reliant on donations.

Its teams – travelling in two helicopters and rapid response vehicles – provide pre-hospital care to and rescue hundreds of badly injured or sick people every year.

David Stockton, GNAAS Chief Executive, said: “The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to present challenging times for charities and corporate support and partnerships are vital to enable us to continue our life-saving work across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

“We are extremely grateful to GMI Construction Group for choosing us as their charity partner as without support such as this we could not continue as a world-class leader in pre-hospital care.”

The charity’s achievements during the last two decades include introducing doctors on board their aircraft, the use of rapid response vehicles, running successful pre-hospital training courses for clinicians from around the world, delivering blood transfusions to 500 patients and its highly trained doctors and paramedics performing successful roadside life-saving procedures such as open-heart surgery.

Previous GMI Construction Group projects in the North East include the 450,000 sq. ft Thorn Lighting factory in Spennymoor, the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM) in Sunderland, and the DWP offices in South Shields.

One of the largest privately-owned construction companies in the North of England and the Midlands, it is currently the lead contractor delivering a two phased plan creating 620,000 sq. ft of industrial and advanced manufacturing space at Hillthorn Business Park, Washington, and four retail units at North Durham Retail Park, Pity Me.