THE Yorkshire Air Ambulance has thanked the public for its "overwhelming" support following the theft and destruction of one of its flight helmets in Shipley last week.

While attending a 999 call in the West Royd area of Shipley last Thursday evening, a bespoke flight helmet worth £2,700 was stolen from the aircraft.

The helmet was found and returned a short time later, but it had been damaged beyond repair and would need to be replaced.

A charity run entirely on public donations, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance would have needed to use funds which could have been put towards life-saving work to replace the helmet.

A GoFund Me page was set up to raise money to replace the helmet, and the charity said it has been approached by a number of individuals offering to pay for a new helmet.

Abby Barmby, director of marketing and communications, said: “The charity has been absolutely overwhelmed by the expressions of support since the incident in Shipley on Thursday evening.

"As well as being inundated with messages of support, we have received many donations to contribute towards funding the replacement of the damaged helmet.

"These also include some pledges to fund the full replacement cost of the helmet, as well as a generous offer from a supplier to replace the helmet for us.

"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made a donation and offered their support.

"Any monies donated to the YAA will contribute towards the £12,000 we need to raise every day to keep our helicopters in the air and helping to save lives across Yorkshire.

"We genuinely are blessed to have the most kind and generous supporters – thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”