Air ambulance charity chair retires after 19 years

The chair of Yorkshire Air Ambulance is to retire after 19 years at the charity.

Peter Sunderland joined the YAA in 2004 and was appointed chair two years later.

“When I first joined the YAA in 2004 it was a very different organisation from the one that it is today. We had one leased Bolkow helicopter that operated from a Portakabin at Leeds Bradford airport,” said Sunderland.

“The administration was carried out from a small office in Dean Clough Mills in Halifax. Income from donations was very small and hardly covered our costs. A different situation from the very robust and stable position that the charity finds itself in today, and I am so very proud of how the YAA has evolved over the years.”

During his time at the charity it has purchased new helicopters, developed two air bases and gained an air operators certificate.

He will be replaced in July by the charity’s vice chair Mike Harrop, who had a 30-year career in the RAF, including being station commander at RAF Scampton, the former home of the Red Arrows.

The charity’s director of marketing and communications Abby Barmby added: “Peter has truly been the pillar of YAA for nearly twenty years now and will be greatly missed by us all. His caring, yet professional leadership combined with extensive business experience proved invaluable in driving a clear vision, purpose and strategy for the charity over the last nearly twenty years.

“He introduced and implemented a robust financial accounting foundation which has been built on over the years, resulting in the charity being in the strong position it is today. He really has made YAA the respected organisation it is, not just as our chairman but as a true ambassador too -a legacy we will all carry forward.”

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