FORMER chairman of Craven District Council Wendy Hull handed over a cheque for £2,209 to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The money was raised last year, when Cllr Hull was chairman of the council, through initiatives including the chairman’s charity swim and council staff raffles.

“A huge thanks to everybody for all their fundraising efforts. It has been really appreciated and I’m delighted to be donating this money to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance for the fantastic work they do, saving lives on our roads and hillsides,” said Cllr Hull.

“We’re very grateful for the outstanding service they provide across the whole area.”

Linda Stead, regional fundraiser, said: “We have to raise £12,000 a day to keep our two helicopters flying and saving lives across Yorkshire. We’re very grateful for this generous donation – it’s fantastic. Without donations such as these, we wouldn’t be able to run this service at all.”

One swimmer, Clare Danek, who raised more than £500, said: ““I took part in the swim as I fancied a new year challenge and a reason to get in the pool regularly during the cold winter months.

“I didn’t think I could swim 32 miles as I’m not a particularly strong swimmer, but I thought it was worth a go, and towards the end I was swimming much further each session than I’d imagined possible - and feeling much stronger as well. I was also motivated by swimming to raise money for such a good cause - who knows when any of us might need the services of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance."