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Home > Media Centre > Industry News > Trading standards to probe 'misleading' Air Ambulance appeal

Trading standards to probe 'misleading' Air Ambulance appeal

Date: 15-Jun-2010

The company, which calls itself Ambulance Service (Trading Co Ltd), is a private firm based in Oxford and has no links with the air ambulance in Hampshire or elsewhere in the country.

Trading Standards in Oxford is investigating the company after Air Ambulance organizers in Hampshire and in Oxford put in complaints.

As well as asking for donations, the leaflets invite people to apply for a 'membership card' either by sending a text message costing £5 or calling a £1.50-a-minute helpline.

The internet address on the leaflet is for a website which refers to a sister company, Air Ambulance Service, and invites people to donate cash to help buy a £5m Eurocopter EC135 helicopter.

Both companies are registered to the same address in Bernwood Road, Bicester, Oxford, by 46-year-old Anthony Durkin.

Patrick Conafray, head of fundraising at Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, which covers Oxford, said: 'We have no link at all with the organization.

I think they are misleading the public and that charities are missing out.

We had Thames Valley Police look into this but they couldn't see that the company was doing anything wrong.

'Sarah Langley, interim deputy head of Trading Standards at Oxford County Council said 'We take all complaints seriously and will investigate any allegations of people being misled in relation to charitable donations'.

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