Clothes cleaning earns £31,000 for Great North Air Ambulance

The first clothing collection by Jordan Mattinson at Whitehaven RUFC

Residents of Whitehaven have raised £31,000 from 31 tonnes of clothing for the Great North Air Ambulance since 2020.

Jordan Mattinson, 29, started organizing clothing drives in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to support the air ambulance and was helped by his friend Kevin Farrington.

Mr Mattinson said: “We decided to use the empty Whitehaven Rugby Club and take advantage of the free time we had. Little did we know that the first collection would bring together more than 10 tons of clothes.

“The impression of seeing the clothes pile up on the first collection was incredible, there were convoys of cars coming to deposit what they considered to be unwanted objects, and little by little filling the rugby club.

Whitehaven RUFC Volunteers with Jordan Mattinson

After his first successful fundraiser for the charity, Mr Mattinson went on to host them at Whitehaven RUFC and Hensingham ARLFC, and members of both clubs helped out on the days.

He said: “Without them this would not be possible, we have always had an abundance of helpers every day of donation we have made.

“It shows how much the local community appreciates the services of the air ambulance.”

Mr Mattinson believes he has collected 31 tonnes of clothing, which equates to a donation of around £31,000.

He said: “I’d like to hit £100,000 and I won’t stop collections until we do, but I imagine once we hit that we’ll want even more.”

The importance of raising funds for the air ambulance touched Mr Mattinson in September 2021, when his grandfather suffered a fall on his 80th birthday, which left him with a stroke and a brain haemorrhage .

Hensingham ARLFC Volunteers with Jordan Mattinson

The North West Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance came to his aid and treated him at the scene before taking him to hospital by road.

Mr Mattinson said: ‘Without the air ambulance, I have no false illusions that my grandfather would no longer be with us, which really makes the collections we do at home and feel great more poignant.

“If anyone is considering doing a drop off day, my advice would be to do it 10,000%, it’s great with your friends and the GNAAS drivers. It’s such a satisfying and rewarding feeling that a few hours of your time putting bags in vans can literally help save lives. We will definitely do more and hopefully see more people follow suit too.

To arrange a clothing drive on behalf of GNAAS, contact the charity’s collection team on 01325 308 139 or complete the contact form on their website: https://www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk/our- work/contact/

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