Theme park’s ‘Ultimate’ ride

The Ultimate Ride-a-thon in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance
The Ultimate Ride-a-thon in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Thrill seekers paid £100 each to stay on Europe’s longest rollercoaster for a stomach-churning 60 minutes.

Seventy-six passengers splashed out to ride the Ultimate rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley theme park in Ripon.

The thrill seekers notched up 15 miles in ten laps over the course of an hour.

The Ride-a-Thon charity event was raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which is Lightwater Valley’s nominated charity.

Although some of the intrepid riders may have been left feeling a bit green around the gills the ambulance charity bosses and park chiefs were delighted with their fundraising efforts.

Ashley Young, marketing manager of Lightwater Valley said: “We think the Ultimate Ride-a-Thon is a really fun way to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

“We’re extremely proud to be able to nominate the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as our chosen charity of the year.

“The people working for Yorkshire Air Ambulance provide an absolutely brilliant service, saving lives on a daily basis across Yorkshire - but it’s a charity and without help from the donors, they simply won’t be able to afford to keep flying.”

Each rider pledged to raise a minimum of £100 each for the privilege of riding the Ultimate for an hour.

Their generosity raised at least £7,600 - just a few hundred pounds more than it costs per day to keep both of Yorkshire’s Air Ambulances maintained and in the air.

The charity only receives help through secondment of paramedics from the NHS, through Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

To keep both ambulances in the air per day costs around £2.65 million per year and the ambulances fly seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The charity serves a population of around five million people across four million acres from two bases, Leeds Bradford Airport and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk.

The charity was set up in 2000 with the second ambulance arriving in October 2007.

On average, when a patient has been reached by the YAA, they will always be only ten minutes from the nearest hospital and 15 minutes from the most relevant treatment centre. In some cases, this can save people’s lives.

The charity relies on volunteers for additional support and to help promot closer working relationships within the local communities, increasing fundraising opportunities, developing new initiatives and also providing valuable skills and experience.

Volunteering roles are flexible and can be on a regular or occasional basis.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, contact North Yorkshire Regional Fundraising Manager Tony Doveston e- mail:

For more information on the YAA log onto