MEMBERS of the public are being asked to donate pennies and pounds to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity via a virtual bucket collection to help keep lifesaving medics in the skies in the face of fundraising losses of around £5million.

The Lye based charity relies on collection tin and bucket donations to fund the yearly fuel consumption for all three of its rapid response service’s helicopters.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the MMAC has been unable to hold bucket collections and other fundraising events to help keep pulling in the pounds - and charity bosses are forecasting a £5million fundraising income deficit this year as a result.

Despite the funding shortfall, demand for the service has continued to rise as lockdown lifts - with missions increasing by a third over recent months.

The charity is therefore appealing to anyone who can spare a few pennies or pounds to donate online at

Emma Gray, fundraising and marketing director for the charity, said: “As a number of our popular fundraising events have been postponed or cancelled, opportunities for bucket collections have become scarce.

"We would welcome any support that local people can provide to help bridge the 48 per cent gap we are expecting to experience this financial year.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, demand for our pre-hospital emergency care service has not faltered, which is why we have moved our focus to online methods of fundraising to make sure the donations continue for our important lifesaving cause.”

Anyone able to donate can do so online at or via text - by texting MISSIONPOSSIBLE, followed by the amount to be donated, to 70085 - for example MISSIONPOSSIBLE £3.

People can also send a one off donation direct to the charity through its website:

Donations can also be made via the charity's Facebook page.