A PARAMEDIC is using pedal power to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance.
Tim Austin, who works for the Welsh Ambulance Service from Caerphilly Ambulance Station, is taking part in the Paris Roubaix Challenge this weekend in order to generate funds for the charity.
The 30-year-old will be cycling 145km along roads and difficult cobbled sections this Saturday (7 April 2018), following the same route as professional cyclists taking part in the main event the next day.
Tim, who lives in the Rhiwbina area of Cardiff, is part of the Joint Response Unit which responds to incidents in the Aneurin Bevan Health Board area alongside special constables from Gwent Police.
In his job he regularly sees the excellent care provided by those working on the four Wales Air Ambulance helicopters, who provide emergency air cover for people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
Tim said: “My main reason for wanting to do it is that I tend to interact a lot with the Wales Air Ambulance at incidents where critical care is required, and as they’re a charity I wanted to give something back.
“I used to do a fair bit of cycling when I was younger and represented Wales once, but mostly it was club level racing.
“I’ve been training a lot on the turbo trainer at home, but I’ve not been on the bike properly for years so it will be very challenging.
“So far I’ve raised about £1,100 including Gift Aid. I’ve set the target at £2,500, and I’m hoping to raise enough for at least one mission which they estimate costs about £1,500.
“The Wales Air Ambulance is a very worthwhile charity to support as you never know if you will need their help some day.”
Each year £6.5 million is required to operate the service, which can be there for anyone in Wales within 20 minutes and relies solely on charitable donations.
You can donate towards Tim’s fundraising efforts by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/timaustin87