A TEENAGER has raised at least £500 for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity with a sponsored skydive.

Amy Phillips made the jump from an airfield in the Swindon area on Saturday to celebrate her 17th birthday.

She chose the charity after reading that it did not receive any government or national lottery funding.

Amy, from Malvern, visited its base, at Strensham, near Tewkesbury, with her family recently, and was given a tour of one of the helicopters by two of the critical care paramedics.

She said: “They save so many lives every year, but this doesn’t come cheap.

“Each mission cost £2,500 and more than £9 million is needed each year to keep its three air ambulances operational.

“It was an amazing feeling throughout the whole skydive experience knowing I’m doing it for a wonderful charity. So far I’ve raised about £500 from having sponsor forms out and about.

“It was also an incredible experience when I had butterflies in my stomach hanging out the side seconds before jumping out of the plane, but once I was out, it was an amazing view.”

The helicopters operated by the charity respond to incidents including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions and sports injuries.

The aircraft are able to reach remote locations to attend to patients who are unreachable by land ambulance.

Since 1991, it has been called out over 52,000 times, making it one of the busiest air ambulances in the UK.