A County Derry paramedic has channelled her experience working on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic into a painting to raise money for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI).
Emma McClughan hopes to raise over £2,000 from selling prints of her painting, which has captured the imagination of her friends and colleagues.
Her image captures the worry felt by the crews in the ambulance and on the Air Ambulance in the form of a guardian angel and hope is represented in the form of a rainbow.
The Magherafelt woman initially posted her painting on social media and was overwhelmed by the response and positivity of the comments, with people offering to buy the painting outright.
Having worked closely with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), Emma decided to donate any money raised from the sale of the prints to Air Ambulance NI.
Breige Mulholland of AANI welcomed the donation and reiterated the importance of fundraising activities for the charity.
“We are so touched that Emma has used her talents in such a heartfelt and positive way in recognition of all that NIAS and AANI do 365 days of the year,” she said.
“As a charity, we need to raise £2m a year to keep the HEMS operational. Due to the virus all fundraising events in aid of AANI have been axed and our community are no longer able to support in the usual ways.
“Yet trauma incidents continue to occur, and public support is crucial. We thank Emma for her creativity and generosity.”
NIAS Chief Executive, Michael Bloomfield, also praised Emma’s generosity.
He said: “The fact that Emma’s first thoughts were that this should be sold to raise money for the Charity Air Ambulance speaks to her as a person.
“It reflects a generosity of spirit which is so common among our young people and which is getting a chance to shine, like a rainbow, in these dark days.
“I am constantly in awe of NIAS staff. Every day they give their all for patients and many go over and above what is expected of them.
“They are all being asked to give more at this time and I am so proud of the manner in which they have risen to the challenge.
But over the past couple of months, we have all been lucky to have been given an insight into some of their other talents – musical, dancing, poetry and now artistry.
“This image is one that has touched the hearts of many in the way in which it shows that we are all in this together and that there will be brighter days for us all to enjoy again.”
Prints of Emma’s painting can be purchased from the Air Ambulance website – www.airambulanceni.org.
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