Jim's birthday gift for air ambulance

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JOINER Jim Holden felt he was 'too old' at 40 for birthday presents - so instead he was given £1140 by family and friends!

But he gave it away again to the 'fantastic' charity which rushed to his father Tom's aid 18 months ago - the North West Air Ambulance.

Jim, who runs his own joinery business at Yew Tree Farm in Chaigley, says he wanted to ensure that the NWAA - which gets no government funding - continues its vital service to the remote rural commnunities.

He says he decided he was too old for birthday presents and asked for donations instead at his 40th celebration party, which was held at Chipping Village Hall.

At the event - which included classic comedy entertainment from 'Three Men in a Bow Tie' - he expressed thanks to all his clients, friends and family for helping him to collect such a fantastic sum.

For the presentation of the cheque to NWAA, part-time paramedic Owen Cookson of Chipping, took the Holden family to the helicopter base at Squires Gate, where they watched the team procedures for an emergency call-out. This included seeing the helicopter take off in 50 knot winds to a road traffic accident in the Lancaster area.

Jim's father, retired farmer Tom, knows himself from personal experience, just how important the service is after he suffered heart problems on the family farm 18 months ago.

Commenting on the service he said "By ensuring quick transfer times to specialist units, this service is fantastic. "They had me from the farm to Blackpool in six minutes - a life saver!"