A DROITWICH couple who have fund-raised for the Midlands Air Ambulance (MAA) after it helped their daughter following a horse riding accident, have received a prestigious award.
Roger and Diane Cole’s daughter Charlotte was airlifted to hospital after the incident in 2011 but she sadly passed away days after. She was 24 when she died.
Since then, the pair have been enormous supporters of the MAA because, although Charlotte lost her life, thanks to the aircrew that flew her to hospital, they got the chance to say goodbye.
Roger and Diane run CK Racing which sells branded equestrian clothing and merchandise to help raise funds for the MAA and Racing Welfare – Charlotte’s two charities.
Charlotte originally set up the business in 2010 with her partner Matt and, after her death, it was restructured to be a vehicle for fund-raising for the two causes.
The non-profit making website has raised thousands of pounds for the charities over the last four years and the cash collecting is still ongoing.
Roger and Diane also attend a lot of Midlands Air Ambulance events, including the Strensham Open Day in September and the Bike4Life Festival.
Diane told The Standard she could not believe they had won the MAA’s Special Recognition Award.
“The air ambulance is always there when people need them most and it costs so much to keep the three helicopters flying – £2million-a-year for each one.
“That is a lot of public fund-raising.
“Because Charlotte was so young when she died, we knew we needed to focus on something and because the air ambulance crew was so desperate to save Charlotte, we just had to give something back.
“And although we have lost Charlotte, we have gained so much from supporting these causes – the fund-raising provides us with all the therapy we will ever need.
“Charlotte will always be special to us and to see how other people have taken her into their hearts is amazing.
“We could not have done any of this without our friends and colleagues.”
As well as highlighting the Midlands Air Ambulance, another cause close to Roger and Diane’s hearts is organ donation.
Charlotte had signed up to the organ donation register and, after the devastating news that there was no chance Charlotte would survive her organs were donated.
“Five people are alive thanke to Charlotte,” said Diane.
And she added organ donation was something she would encourage everyone to do.
The testimony to Roger and Diane from the Midlands Air Ambulance at the awards ceremony last Friday (July 10) read: “They are extremely positive and always upbeat, despite what they’ve gone through.
“They always encourage their friends and family to support us too.
“The Coles are simply incredible people, and an inspiration to many of us at the charity and the aircrew too.”
The CK Racing website can be found at http://www.ckracing.co.uk/ and for more information on the Midlands Air Ambulance, visit www.midlandsairambulance.com or call 01386 887900.