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Below: Misleading logo
on AAS's website
Note - Genuine Air Ambulance charities: Don't confuse this company (called "Air Ambulance Service" or AAS) with legitimate local/regional Air Ambulance service organisations (which are all registered charities).
For details of these, see the website of The Association of Air Ambulances in the UK (AAA):
Also, don't confuse this company (called "Air Ambulance Service" or AAS) with :
Also see Wikipedia:
Most of the position described on this page is as at August 2010.
The page was expanded in July 2011.
See our homepage for the latest information on air ambulance collection scams.
Website of the company (AAS): www.airambulanceservice.org.uk
In Spring 2010, reports began to appear in local newspapers in England concerning two related organisations (both were limited companies) :
Their agents were delivering clothing leaflets door-to-door asking people to give them unwanted clothes and other goods (including jewellery). Their leaflets informed householders that they would be revisiting the streets a couple of days later - to collect the bagged items.
Within weeks, these collections became highly controversial - with newspaper headlines describing them variously as "misleading", "bogus", "a charity scam" and "fake".
Journalists reported that the police, trading standards and local council licensing departments were investigating.
People said they were being misled by the leaflets - the leaflets gave the impression that the collections were in aid of not-for-profit local air ambulance charities. However, it became apparent that AAS was not a charity and had no connection with local air ambulance charities.
The leaflets included a photograph of a yellow emergency air ambulance helicopter. Later, it emerged that the photo of the helicopter on the leaflet belonged to Essex Air Ambulance charity at the time - thus reinforcing the misleading impression given.
Below: The top of a clothing collection leaflet from "Air Ambulance Service":
Local air ambulance charities (and their supporters) became extremely concerned at the activities of AAS - but were powerless to stop them. They had to rely on publicising the 'scam', in the hope that the public would steer clear of AAS.
"Widow weeps": A newspaper in Burton-on-Trent featured an elderly lady who had given AAS over £1,000 - believing them to be her local air ambulance charity. The headline read:
"Widow weeps over bogus air ambulance cash plea" See:
(see below for an extract from this article)
Investigations by newspapers, the BBC, regulators, charities and other parties showed (or appeared to show) that :
In autumn 2010 a complaint was made to the ASA concerning a clothing collection leaflet produced by Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co) Ltd. The complainant felt that the leaflet was misleading.
On 19 January 2011 the ASA issued their adjudication - they upheld the complaint. In other words, they decided the leaflet was misleading.
The ASA told the company (AASTC) to take the following action :
"The circular must not be used again in its current form."
For more information see :
On 15 April 2011, the limited company called "Air Ambulance Service" (AAS) changed its name to "ST ANTHONY REPATRIATION LTD".
AAS had been exempt from using the word "Limited" in its name.
However, the new company does use the word "Limited".
Also on 15 April 2011, the closely-related company called "Air Ambulance Service (Trading Co) Ltd" (AASTC) changed its name - to "ST ANTHONY (TRADING CO) LTD".
These name changes were welcomed by genuine air ambulance charities.
Around Spring 2011, the design of the leaflets from AAS changed (see image below) - and a new company name appeared on them - namely "E&N Textiles Ltd". The details of E&N are as follows :
On another page, we've given details of questionable clothing collections operated by a Birmingham-based company called "Air Ambulance Support Community Interest Company" (AASCIC). When we compiled the page in mid-2010, there was no obvious link between them and "Air Ambulance Service" (AAS). However, a link has now emerged: Around 13 July 2011, Companies House (Cardiff) reported two crucial changes regarding AASCIC:
This new director is also director of E&N Textiles Ltd (see details above), and the new registered office is the same as that of E&N Textiles Ltd. As at July 2011, E&N Textiles Ltd is the company running the clothing collections in aid of "Air Ambulance Service" - according to the leaflets.
Registered company no: 07677566
Date of incorporation: 21 June 2011
Registered office: 236 Lozells Road, Birmingham
This registered office is the same as E&N Textiles Ltd and AASCIC (details above).
We assume the director is Evaldas Guoga.`
A Google search at mid-July 2011 showed that Mr Guoga had 3 trading directorships.
The WHOIS lookup on Nominet's website states that this domain name was registered on 7 May 2010, to "Contentys Ltd t/a [trading as] Local Link Up" of Lancaster. At July 2011, the top of the website's homepage has the following warning paragraph :
"PLEASE NOTE: We are in no way linked with Charity Bag collections. Please be aware of the leaflets that are being distributed around the UK. If you get a leaflet please check it carefully, if it is not a valid charity please inform Fraud Action at www.actionfraud.org.uk, or your local police."
This website appears to have no connection with :
Licensing: In our view, the new version of the leaflet (see image below) still gives the impression of being in aid of a "good cause" ("charitable, philanthropic or benevolent" as defined in the House to House Collections Act 1939). There are many features in the leaflet which lead to this conclusion - for example :
Therefore (in our view) any collections made using this leaflet require a licence from the licensing department of the local council, in accordance with the 1939 Act. We understand that the collectors have never applied for licences. Therefore, it appears that their collections have been unlicensed and illegal.
Action by the police: Commentators have suggested that the collectors could be prosecuted by the police - for example obtaining property by deception.
Contact details: The new leaflets (see image below) give no postal address, no voice telephone number and no email address.
The following web address is prominently displayed: www.airambulanceservice.org.uk
This address is quoted four times. The leaflet invites readers to visit the website to learn more about the organisation, to sign up for free membership and to see terms & conditions.
However, (as at July 2011) we understand the website has been unavailable since October 2010. This makes the leaflets misleading and potentially fraudulent.
Arguably, this web address should not be used now anyway. The address was based on the name of the company called "Air Ambulance Service". But the company changed its name on 15 April 2011 to "St Anthony Repatriation Ltd" (see details above).
In November 2011 and early 2012, five of the companies listed above were closed down in the High Court by the government's Insolvency Service. See our homepage for details.
Also see the List of prosecutions of collectors page for details of successful prosecutions of two of the companies listed above.
- This 5-page document gives "Company Register Information" and details of appointments (the directors and company secretary).
Extract from a news article on the website of Burton Mail (local newspaper, Staffordshire), 23 June 2010 (our thanks to the publishers)
Copy of the text in the leaflet above (as editable, searchable text, E&OE) : *
AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE
(E&N TEXTILES) Ltd, Registered Company Number 07468711 (commercial collections)
We need clean, quality, re-usable baby, Children & Adult CLOTHING
and SHOES also, Handbags, Belts, Soft Toys, Perfumes, Mobile Phones.
Blankets, Bed Linen, Curtain, Towels
No Bric a Brac or Books please
We collect, sort, grade & transport your textiles to Third World Countries & UK Shops. Your unwanted items are re-used or
recycled, they are fairly traded for profit in the UK & around the world. The environment benefits, our company and many
other people will also benefit because of your generosity. Many Thanks!
Our Collectors can not accept cash or cheques.
For missing bags please text
[Tel:] 075 7794 0492
Please leave your bag in clear view from 8:00am
'Air Ambulance Service' are a FREE membership organisation open to all UK residents. We are working towards providing
financial assistance to cover or reduce the cost of ground and air ambulance medical transportation for patients caught in difficult
medical circumstances (having an unfortunate accident or illness in another city or country). We are a free information provider
and referral service. All ground and air ambulance medical transports are chartered, co-ordinated and carried out by a network of
licensed operators so as to ensure the compassionate care, safety and comfort of the patients.
Please visit our website for full details:
The photo's air ambulance vehicles are for display purposes only and may not be used as part of the services.
Air Ambulance Service is not associated with any local helicopter emergency medical services.
Air Ambulance Service is a free membership organisation, open to all UK residents. Terms & Conditions Apply."