Huddersfield people who have played a big role with Yorkshire Air Ambulance have received special recognition awards.

The charity held an annual awards evening in York where individual fundraisers, companies and volunteers were honoured.

Retired Huddersfield businessman Peter Sunderland received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 20 years of service to the charity.

Mr Sunderland, who lives in Kirkburton, stepped down as chairman in June. He joined the YAA in 2004 after retiring as a company director, bringing with him a wealth of business experience. He became chairman in 2006 and helped transform the charity.

As an independent charity, Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on the generosity of the public and fundraising initiatives to sustain its life-saving operations.

Martin and Janet Thornton (above) won the Individual & Supporter Organisations Award. The couple have played a pivotal role in the success of all YAA events with Huddersfield Town.

The annual Pedal for Pounds bike ride has run since 2011 and Martin and Janet have been “unwavering in their support” with event preparations during that time. The couple worked alongside their friend Bob Taylor. Sadly, Bob died in March 2022.

The Community Groups Award went to Huddersfield Tractor Fest, held on farmland in Kirkheaton.

Barbara Hirstle and the team from Hirstle Fabrication have been supporting YAA and The Kirkwood through their Huddersfield Tractor Fest event since 2019.

In 2021, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the event successfully took place and the following year the event had a flying visit from the air ambulance. Tractor Fest has raised an amazing £22,692.91 for the charity so far.

Peter Sunderland (right) with Sir Geoffrey Boycott

Other noteworthy recipients include Huddersfield-based Shepley Spring which received the Outstanding Partnership Award while the Chairman’s Award was presented to Yorkshire cricket legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott and his wife Lady Rachael for their exceptional contributions and support to Yorkshire Air Ambulance over the years.

Vickie Cowan, regional fundraising manager for South & West Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the exceptional contributions in West Yorkshire.

“It is heartwarming to witness the dedication and determination of our community in supporting Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s vital mission.

“This evening is dedicated to these outstanding individuals and organisations and I couldn’t be more pleased to honour their incredible work.”