The bank made the donation after its employees, customers and members of the public voted for the local charity they wanted to see receive a Christmas gift this year.

Serious or life-threatening situations can happen to anyone at any time, and on average, the Air Ambulance medical team is called to help two individuals each day who are in critical need of pre-hospital care. The charity’s helicopter operates 365 days a year, for 12 hours a day. The HEMS team attend some of the most traumatic medical incidents across NI – providing essential, pre-hospital care which can be the difference between life and death.

Danske Bank CEO Vicky Davies said: “As a local bank, being able to support our society is something that is really important to us – especially after the impact that Covid-19 has had on all our local charities.

“We’re really delighted to be able to donate £12,000 to five fantastic local charities, - all of which are very close to the hearts of our colleagues at Danske - with the biggest donation going to Air Ambulance NI, following a public vote.

“Air Ambulance NI deliver an absolutely essential service to everyone across Northern Ireland, you never know when you might be in need of one of their services. The donation will help them run their services for just under one day, helping them reach two people across the province who desperately need their help.”

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising at Air Ambulance NI added: “On behalf of everyone at Air Ambulance NI, we want to say a huge thank you to Danske Bank and to everyone who took the time to vote. The medical team attend the most critically ill and injured people in NI each day, performing advanced medical interventions at the scene before a patient reaches hospital.

“The service requires £5,500 per day in fundraising which is why we say quite literally, we’d be grounded without the support of local businesses and the generosity of people throughout the province. We are so grateful to have been awarded this gift that will help to save lives, brains and limbs.”

Danske Bank made an overall donation of £12,000 to Air Ambulance NI, and the four runners up – Children’s Heartbeat Trust and the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity received £3,000 and £2,000 respectively, while Foyle Search and Rescue and Northern Ireland Hospice each received £1,000.