London Air Ambulance has today launched an urgent fundraising appeal as it needs to replace its two helicopters quickly.

The air ambulance service gets 89% of its funding from public donations and is launching the campaign, Up Against Time today.

It comes as the charity shared they need to raise £15 million by 2024 to replace both aircraft after news they are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. 

Volunteers, staff and off-duty crew from across the organisation will be collecting donations on the streets of London throughout the morning.

They also added that they are looking to raise awareness by publishing new polling data as part of the campaign launch with research finding that only 38% of Londoners know the service is primarily funded by public donations.

News Shopper: PAPA (Image: PA)

This is after 36% shared that they think the service is funded by the NHS or central government. 

However, the organisation shared that its role includes getting medics to the scene quickly so they can provide complex treatment to critically injured patients with life-threatening or life-changing injuries, who do not have time to make it back to the hospital.

Last year, London Air Ambulance assisted 1,714 patients at the scene – an average of five a day.

Dr Hurst said: “When patients are so seriously injured there is no time to reach hospital, our medics give life-saving treatment at the scene – like open chest surgery and blood transfusions.

“But we’re a charity, and without public support, we wouldn’t be able to reach our patients in time to help them.

“Right now, we have an urgent need to replace our helicopter fleet – the current helicopters are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

“It’s only with the backing of the public that we can continue to serve all those who live and work in London when they need us most.”

Those wishing to donate can do via the London Air Ambulance website here.