One of Northern Ireland's leading beef and lamb processors, ABP, has raised an "impressive" £10,000 for Air Ambulance NI.
The meat processor held a Summer Steak BBQ for its farmer-suppliers in Armagh City Hotel, in support of the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) centenary charity appeal.
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Ivor Ferguson, UFU president, extended his gratitude to all those who supported the event.
“Thanks to ABP and those that attended the BBQ for their generosity and support, we are that much closer to hitting our ambitious target of raising £100,000 for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland," he said.
'A vital service'
The Air Ambulance provides a vital service to the rural community and has already proven its necessity in recent months.
During the helicopter’s first call-out, 11-year-old Conor McMullan was rescued after his head was crushed against a wall by a reversing tractor on his family’s farm in Castlewellan, Co. Down.
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The rescue happened days before the service had even officially launched. The team had been out on a training exercise at the time and were able to get to the farm in rural Co. Down in just minutes, saving his life.
“The air ambulance gets emergency medical help to hard-to-reach places, fast," said Ferguson.
"It is something we all hope we will never need but will be forever grateful that is there if we do, the money raised through our centenary appeal will help ensure the service continues to be available,” he added.
George Mullan, managing director of ABP in Northern Ireland said the company was very pleased to be able to lend its support to the appeal and congratulated the UFU on its success so far.
"I would like to thank everyone who supported our Summer BBQ and helped raise funds for our two nominated charities, Air Ambulance NI and Cash for Kids NI,” he said.