Phoenix Group, Europe’s largest life and pensions consolidator, is donating £50,000 to charity partner Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) as part of a UK-wide package of community support in response to COVID 19.

Phoenix, which has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, announced a one-year partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance in February 2019, which was due to end this Spring. Given the importance of the role that the service is providing in the face of COVID 19, Phoenix is now extending this to the end of 2020.

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has been dedicated to remaining on the front-line throughout the current pandemic, providing critical care to the most seriously ill and injured patients in the country. The charity, which works alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service, operates two air ambulances which service one third of the UK’S land mass, tending and airlifting patients from Scotland’s most rural and remote locations.

Phoenix’s donation will assist with operational funding of the charity’s life-saving service, which has so far responded to more than 2400 emergency call-outs nationwide. Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of individuals and organisations to help save lives.

Susan McInnes, Group Director, Scotland for Phoenix Group and CEO of Standard Life Assurance, said: “The life-saving efforts of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance are vital and they need more funds during these difficult times, so they can continue to help those in need. We really value the great work they are doing and are very proud to support them.

“Our donation and extended partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance is part of Phoenix Group’s wider commitment to support communities across the UK battling the effects of COVID 19. At this time of economic and social uncertainty all charities are vulnerable and we recognise how critical it is that financially able businesses help charities with their critical work.”

David Craig, Chief Executive of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), said the “tremendous” donation came at a crucial time: “Like other charities, SCAA is experiencing a significant downturn in our fundraising income as community activities and key events are cancelled.

“This extremely generous donation from the Phoenix Group will help save lives as our crews continue to operate across the whole of Scotland, wherever required.

“We want to thank the Phoenix Group for its outstanding support – both through this vital donation and our ongoing rewarding partnership in Scotland,” said Mr Craig. “It is only through support such as this that SCAA will fly on through this unprecedented global crisis and help save and improve lives nationwide.”

Earlier this month Phoenix Group, which has offices in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, announced it would be donating a total of £1 million to support the important work of charities, giving £500,000 of this to charitable organisations working in the communities where the Phoenix Group has regional premises. This includes three other local Air Ambulance Charities in the UK. In recognition of the pandemic’s wide impact, charities providing services to support those who are more vulnerable, including older people, the homeless and vulnerably-housed, are amongst those receiving funds in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria.

Phoenix has also donated £500,000 to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, which will help older people who desperately need support during this unprecedented health emergency.