YAA Volunteer Converts Mini Bus into a Helicopter

A new charity drive has led to the creation of Helivan, a van decked out to look like a Yorkshire […]

A new charity drive has led to the creation of Helivan, a van decked out to look like a Yorkshire Air Ambulance Helicopter.

helivan helicopter yorkshire

Fear not, Transformers are still just toys and a blockbuster film franchise, what you are looking at is not a creation of director, Michael Bay, but the handy work of volunteers from North Yorkshire taking part in this year’s Benidorm or Bust rally.

A team of volunteers run by driving instructor, Robert Scott, spent weeks converting a 15 year old Mercedes Vito Minibus into the signature yellow, Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter, complete with rotating propellor. The team will be joining over 200 cars in the Benidorm or Bust rally to raise money for the YAA, travelling over 1700 miles from Blackpool to Benidorm.

With some Top Gear-style challenges along the way, the route will take the drivers from Blackpool to Dover, Calais to Poitiers, through Bordeaux and over the Pyrenees to Zaragoza before reaching their destination in the popular Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm.

The ‘Heli-Heroes’ helivan was created by team members Robert Scott, Mick Hammond, Howard Cowton and Jeremy Brambles. Though a YAA helicopter could probably do the journey in half a day, the team will be driving solidly for 4 days to reach their destination, and their efforts will be greatly recognised by the charity.

Hoping to Raise £12,000

Team leader, Robert, who lives in Hunmanby, near Filey, is hoping to raise £12,000, which is the daily cost of keeping the YAA’s two helicopters in the air all year round. He said:

“I know people who have had to be airlifted to hospital and it is such a great charity providing a life saving service for people in Yorkshire.

“I’ve done the Benidorm or Bust before and it’s a great few days. We’ve spent a lot of hours making a steel frame to go on the roof, the rotor blades and creating the fiberglass helicopter tail. It’s been spray painted yellow and branded up and looks great.”

Robert is a registered volunteer for the YAA and has previously raised thousands of pounds through the sale of raffle tickets to win a new Suzuki Swift car from Scarborough’s GT Garages.

He added: “We’ve had so much support from a range of local companies who have given us their services and time free of charge. It’s been incredible and we can’t thank them enough.”

Supporters include Boro Tyres of Scarborough and All Signs in Bridlington and major sponsors include Castle Howard, Sledmere House, Morrisons and Sainsburys.

3 Other Teams Representing YAA

There are three other teams representing the YAA at Benidorm or Bust, they include Vicky Turner and dairy farmer Mark Stephenson from Old Malton who will be driving Daisy the Robin Reliant – AKA Mad Cow.

It is so important that people help raise money for the YAA, they are a service that save lives and aid people everyday but receive no direct government funding.They need people to dig deep and give what they can to keep the service running day to day.

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