A village twinning committee forced to disband after 'Brexit' and Covid as well as an ageing membership has donated £700 to Cornwall Air Ambulance as a last hurrah.

Mabe Twinning Association presented the cheque at the charity’s headquarters in St Mawgan, Newquay earlier this month, where they met staff and crew, and learned about the crucial work the air ambulance team does every day.

Mabe has long been twinned with Primelin in Brittany; however, the effects of Brexit and COVID-19, combined with dwindling group numbers and an ageing membership on both sides of the Channel, have made the viability of more visits unfeasible.

While the friendships formed in Cornwall and Brittany are still as strong as ever, a pot of £700 raised for future exchanges was left over after the twinning came to an end, and the group decided the cash should be given to a local charity.

Denise Davey, former secretary for the Mabe Twinning Association, said: “We were all bowled over by the professionalism and dedication of the crews, and felt ourselves extremely lucky to live in a county served by such a caring bunch of people.

“It must take a very special sort of person to rush to help the injured and to deal with outcomes that cannot always be positive.

“We made our donation, but that was just a drop in the ocean compared to the staggering amounts needed to keep the operation under way. They are totally funded by the charity and the good will of the people of Cornwall, receiving no government subsidy whatsoever.

“Having seen the work they do, we can assure anyone wishing to make a donation that their money would be well spent.”

Upon arrival at the St Mawgan base, members of the Mabe Twinning Association were given a short briefing of Cornwall Air Ambulance’s history and day-to-day workings, before meeting the duty crew and their pilot.

The group also saw the charity’s new helicopter, as the team were grounded due to low cloud cover.

Cornwall Air Ambulance paramedics respond to medical emergencies across the Duchy in an average time of just 12 minutes, and 20 minutes for the Isles of Scilly. Patients are transferred to Royal Cornwall Hospital, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth or even to hospitals as far afield as Bristol and Swansea.

The charity’s work is currently being showcased in Cornwall Air 999, a television programme shown at 9pm on Fridays on Quest TV and on Discovery Plus.