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Bristow Donates Funds and Kit to Malawi Volunteers

May 23, 2014

A local team of volunteers set to embark on a mission to Malawi next week has received a fundraising boost thanks to Bristow.

The seven-strong team of volunteers from Shetland will spend two weeks based in the Monkey Bay area of Malawi in Southern Africa assisting in orphanages, hospitals and schools through the Malawi Volunteer Organization.

One of the team is Sumburgh-based search and rescue winchman and paramedic John Thomson. John will be using the medical skills and experience he has gained through his role as a trained search and rescue paramedic to assist across the region’s hospitals.

Bristow has purchased or donated a list of medical kit needed for the trip and has also agreed to match the £1275 raised by John in the lead up to the mission. The donation is being made as part of the Bristow Uplift program which aims to promote employee charitable giving and encourage staff to participate in their local communities.

“We are extremely grateful to the local community for all their support in our fundraising and to Bristow for donating the match funding and necessary kit. We are looking forward to getting out to Malawi to begin putting this generous support to good use.”

Alongside fellow team members Jenny Wylie, Nicola Duthie, Tracy Webb, Magnus Johnston, Jenny Teale and Mark Wylie, John has been rallying support from the local community for several months through a series of events from pub quizzes and cocktail parties to a four-hour non-stop danceathon. The team’s fundraising total has now passed the £13,000 mark thanks to Bristow’s contribution.

Speaking of the trip, John said: “We are extremely grateful to the local community for all their support in our fundraising and to Bristow for donating the match funding and necessary kit. We are looking forward to getting out to Malawi to begin putting this generous support to good use.”

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries with over half of the population living below the poverty line. Much of the population live in rural areas where orphanages, hospitals and schools are under-funded and teachers are responsible for classes of 150-200 children. Many orphans have lost parents to HIV and AIDS and outreach clinics are required to support patients in hard to reach areas.

Picture: Bristow winchman and paramedic, John Thomson.