Together, we CAN help air ambulance patients

The way the charity Helipads For Hospitals
operates has changed.

Its aims remain true to the vision of its founder, John Nowell, who flew helicopters for the RAF and who helped train Air Ambulance pilots… to increase the number of helipads around the UK in order to improve the medical outcomes of patients flown to hospitals.

The charity had targeted Leicester Royal Infirmary and Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, as priorities one and two. However, both hospitals have indicated that they do not consider a helipad as their priorities in the near future.

Also, it had been assumed that aluminium, mainly drinks cans, could be recycled, with additives, to make the raw material for helipads. However, it is now accepted that this may not be possible.

Thanks to litter-pickers across Leicestershire and the region, hundreds of thousands of cans and other items of litter are being removed from public places and roadsides. Their work is continuing and is commendable.

John and his volunteers are continuing to collect aluminium and Helipads For Hospitals will sell the alloy and will give the proceeds to the HELP Appeal charity https://helpappeal.org.uk/   

The HELP Appeal is organised and co-ordinated by The County Air Ambulance Trust. It is a registered charity in England and Wales (1057063) and Scotland (SCO45963). It raises funds to provide helipads for hospitals across the UK.

Because of these significant changes, the Helipads For Hospitals website www.helipadsforhospitals.org.uk is out of date and has been suspended while it is updated. Please bear with us… and keep in touch via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HELIPADSFORHOSPITALS-106734214170955

  • By picking up cans YOU can reduce litter, improving our local environment
  • By recycling aluminium cans, YOU can reduce the need to mine bauxite, the raw material, and save energy
  • By donating cans to Helipads For Hospitals (H4H) YOU could save lives

How can you donate cans?

It’s easy… just e-mail Helipads4Hospitals@gmail.com giving us your street address (including postcode for our SatNav), your telephone number(s) and the number of bags or cans you have.


How many cans are needed?

We have recently reviewed our earliest estimates about how many cans we will need for each helipad. We know a helipad will require about 80 tonnes of aluminium. We are now working on the basis of the charity needing about 5.7 million cans for each helipad.

Where can you donate cans?

The current sites of our Big Red Bins are:

BRB 0001LeicesterNext to the Leiceter Hospital Trust charity office, Belgrave House, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 4PW
BRB 0002RuskingtonSt Georges Academy, Sleaford Rd, Ruskington, LincsNG34 9BY
BRB 0003SleafordSleaford High School, Jermyn St, Sleaford, LincsNG34 7RS
BRB 0004RuskingtonWinchelsea Centre, High St N, Ruskington, LincsNG34 9DY
BRB 0005SleafordCarre’s Grammar School, Northgate, Sleaford, Lincs.NG34 7DD
BRB 0006StamfordThe Cattle Market, Stamford, LincsPE9 2WB
BRB 0007SleafordHockmeyer Motors Ltd, Lincoln Rd, Sleaford, Lincs. NG34 8NP
BRB 0008Barrow upon SoarCo-op Car Park, 19-21 High Street, Barrow Upon Soar, LoughboroughLE12 8PY
BRB 0009BourneCorn Exchange Car Park, 3 Abbey Road, LincolnshirePE10 9EF
BRB 0010BeltonBelton Recreation Ground, Church Street, Belton, Loughborough Leicestershire LE12 9UG

But soon we hope we will have more BRBs…. Watch this space

The Big Red Bin newly delivered to Barrow Upon Soar on 07.08.2020

A sponsored BRB

You can see from the photos on this page that there are Supporters assisting H4H by collecting tins and by donating the £720 (inc VAT) to provide Big Red Bins.

So, if you or your employer has £360 — or even £720 — tucked away in a piggy bank, we would love to hear from you!

How can you help further?

Empty your cans fully — spillages of even a few drops of drinks per can can make our vehicles really stink! (Guinness and Coke seems to be the worst mix).

But empty cans take up a lot of space, so if you can crush your cans (even if just by stamping on them) they take up a lot less space in our vehicles. That means we don’t have to make so many journeys, saving time and fuel.

Members of several Freecycle groups have generously donated one-tonne builders’ bags which are an integral part of our logistics operation. If you have any spare big bags, please let us have them.

Last edited: 18:45 on Monday, May 17, 2021

77 thoughts on “Together, we CAN help air ambulance patients”

  1. Good morning – as a firm we have been collecting the aluminium can for the helipad appeal. We were going to take them to Allington Village store but this has now closed. Can you please advise if you are able to collect them from us. We are in Grantham and have a full dustbin bag.

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Zoe,

      Did I reply to you to tell you that the collection builder’s bag is now located in Allington just inside the churchyard gates just down the lane from the now-closed Allington Stores? It was a great shame that the Stores closed down. They were really great supporters.

      Best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  2. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you… John and Jim have both been busy collecting cans today!

    These are the current locations of the BRBs (Big Red Bins):
    BRB 0001 Shepshed Britannia St, Shepshed, Loughborough LE12 9AE
    BRB 0002 Ruskington St Georges Academy, Sleaford Rd, Ruskington, Lincs NG34 9BY
    BRB 0003 Sleaford Sleaford High School, Jeremy St, Sleaford, Lincs NG34 7RS
    BRB 0004 Ruskington Winchelsea Centre, High St N, Ruskington, Lincs NG34 9DY
    BRB 0005 Sleaford Carre’s Grammar School, Northgate, Sleaford, Lincs. NG34 7DD
    BRB 0006 Stamford The Cattle Market, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2WB
    BRB 0007 Sleaford Hockmeyer Motors Ltd, Lincoln Rd, Sleaford, Lincs. NG34 8NP

    If none of these are convenient for you, please e-mail us by clicking on ‘Contact Us’ at the top right of this page and giving us your e-mail address, street address and phone number(s) and we’ll contact you so we can get to you as soon as possible.
    Jim

      1. Hi Jo – we are alway looking for possible deposit points for our cans – it doesn’t always have to be in the form of a big red bin either. If you know of a potential site that would purchase one for public use or just have the space to locate large builders bags/ metal cages etc please get in touch with details for us to contact them. There are a few deposit points already in Leicester that you can use – just message us when you’re ready.

      2. Good Morning Jo, there are Big Red Recycling Bins at the General Hospital (next to the Lei Charity building), at Franklin Park Braunstone, Co-ops at Enderby, Birstall and Barrow-upon-Soar. More coming. Best John Nowell, Founder.

      3. Hi Jo, There are collections bins at Leicester General Hospital, Enderby Co-op, in Franklin Park, Braunstone plus one at the Whetstone Boys club plus one in the Co-op Car park at Barrow-upon-Soar. There is also a BRB in the Co-op carpark at Birstall.
        Best,
        John.

    1. Has the one in Barrow Upon Soar gone? It’s on the web page above but not the list in this message. We’d like ton start collecting but aren’t local to any of the others.

      1. Hello Viv,

        The Big Red Recycling Bin in the Co-op car park at Barrow-upon-Soar was there lats Friday when I emptied it.

        All the best & thanks for collecting.

        Best,

        John.

      2. The BRB in the Co-op carpark at Barrow-upon-Soar was still there yesterday – I emptied it and collected all the adjacent bags too, Best, John. Founder.

      3. Hi Viv, There are collections bins at Leicester General Hospital, Enderby Co-op, in Franklin Park, Braunstone plus one at the Whetstone Boys club plus one in the Co-op Car park at Barrow-upon-Soar. There is also a BRB in the Co-op carpark at Birstall.
        Best,
        John.

    2. Jim
      Nobody is responding to us from the helicopter pad email address.
      We have cans to be picked up for this project but nobody is answering.
      Our village is middleton, Leicestershire.
      Can you please contact myself as we need cans picked up.
      07985279908
      Regards
      Mrs Hicks

      1. Hello Gina,

        Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS
        Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

        Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection.

        All the best,

        John Nowell,
        Founder.

  3. Hi,

    How do I request a Can Bank?
    Would like one in Sileby, but also need the Landowners Permission as well depending on where you locate it?

    Regards,
    Robert Butler – Sileby Environmental Conservation Volunteers Leader.

    1. Hi Robert,

      The Big Red Recycling Bins (BRB) cost about £720 – complete with artwork, locks, can crusher and delivery to site. We do have a BRB in the Co-op car park at Barrow-upon-Soar
      and we have more around – including a BRB at Leicester General Hospital. We can help with fundraising by selling our book, ‘A Day Above Leicestershire’ which sees for £15 and all the funds go into buying the BRB.

      To see one of our BRBs in action, there is one sited in the Co-op car park in Barrow-upon-Soar. There is another one in the Co-op car park in Birstall and we have just delivered one to Leicester General Hospital.

      The bottom line is that if everyone did just a little bit to support our recycling, we might just save the planet.

      All the best to everyone in your group.

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  4. I really want to support this but you haven’t got any collection points in Leicester! I have several bin bags full but don’t have space to store any more so they’ll end up in general recycling rather than for you which is a shame … PLEASE can we have somewhere in Leicester to drop them?

    1. Hi Lucy,

      The collection points in Leicester are Co-op Enderby, Whetstone Club, Leicester General Hospital ( next to the NHS Charity HQ), Co-op Birstall, Co-op Barrow-upon-Soar
      and at Franklin Park in Braunstone Town near Fosse Park.

      If those locations are not convenient, I can collect form your location.

      All the best,

      John.

    2. Good Morning Lucy, there are Big Red Recycling Bins at the General Hospital (next to the Lei Charity building), at Franklin Park Braunstone, Co-ops at Enderby, Birstall and Barrow-upon-Soar. More coming. Best John Nowell, Founder.

    3. Hi Lucy, There are collections bins at Leicester General Hospital, Enderby Co-op, in Franklin Park, Braunstone plus one at the Whetstone Boys club plus one in the Co-op Car park at Barrow-upon-Soar. There is also a BRB in the Co-op carpark at Birstall.
      Best,
      John.

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a
      NHS Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      Yes, It would be great to have another collection point in Wellingborough.

      There are Big Red Recycling Bins located at the Co-ops at Barrow-upon-Soar, Birstall,
      Enderby, Ashby-de-la-Zouch plus a new one at the Leicester General Hospital (next to
      The charity office).

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  5. Is there no where near Lutterworth for cans ?

    I’d like to help, but taking them to Loughborough isn’t very parctical.

    Bill

    1. Morning Bill,
      You can drop off your cans with Helen – Lutterworth Wombles, 36 Sherrier Way, Lutterworth, LE17 4NW. Just introduce yourself. Best, John Nowell, Founder.

    1. Hi Georgine,

      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      There are Big Red Recycling Bins located at the Co-ops at Barrow-upon-Soar, Birstall,
      Enderby, Ashby-de-la-Zouch plus a new one at the Leicester General Hospital (next to
      The charity office).

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will
      arrange collection by someone in Wellingborough.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    2. Morning Georgina, We’ll be collecting from the Wellingborough on 9th Feb 22. Just need the collection address. Best, John.

    1. Hi Eric, None as of yet. This initial collection is for the very first Helipad which will be based at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Thanks for your message. Best wishes, Katie

      1. HI Team,

        We are collecting cans in our office at LRI and I take the cans to Groby Road Allotments society as I am a member there. Is there a poster that we can print that can be put up in our office now more people are returning from working at home

    2. Hi Eric,
      None yet, we are still collecting cans – we need 5 million to build one helipad. Covid has set us back 2 years but we are collecting again now.
      Best,
      John.

    1. Hi Emma,

      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      There are Big Red Recycling Bins located at the Co-ops at Barrow-upon-Soar, Birstall,
      Enderby, Ashby-de-la-Zouch plus a new one at the Leicester General Hospital (next to
      The charity office).

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection
      of your cans from Nottingham.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  6. C’mon people, you are collecting for a helipad for the LRI —- then surely we need a collection bin or three in Leicester!
    Regards Ed.

    1. Hi Ed,

      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS
      Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      We have Big Red Recycling Bins at the Co-ops at Birstall, Barrow-upon-Soar, Enderby and
      Ashby-de-la-Zouch plus Leicestergeneral Hospital (next to the charity office)

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    2. Good Morning Ed, there are Big Red Recycling Bins at the General Hospital (next to the Lei Charity building), at Franklin Park Braunstone, Co-ops at Enderby, Birstall and Barrow-upon-Soar. More coming. Best John Nowell, Founder.

    3. Hi Ed, There are collections bins at Leicester General Hospital, Enderby Co-op, in Franklin Park, Braunstone plus one at the Whetstone Boys club plus one in the Co-op Car park at Barrow-upon-Soar. There is also a BRB in the Co-op carpark at Birstall.
      Best,
      John.

    1. Hi Niki,

      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS
      Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    1. Hi Niki,
      Apologies for our delayed reply. Our webmistress is currently working 16-hour shifts as a NHS
      Ambulance driver and simply does not have a spare minute to respond.

      Just let me have your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I will arrange collection.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  7. How many tonnes of cans have you collected so far, and how much money has been raised? Would be great to know! Also to have this up on your website so people can see how much is being raised from their work.

    1. Good Morning Jo,

      The initial reason fro setting up H4H was to build a helipad on the new building to be built at the LRI. However, the CEO and various trustees left the
      organisation and the new team, having lived through the fatal helicopter crash at Leicester Football Ground (where 5 people died) cancelled the helipad.
      They do not want helicopters crashing onto the roof of the new building. The helipad project at QMC has been delayed for 10 years despite QMC being the
      Regional Trauma Centre. The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance now routinely takes patients to the Hull A&E – which does have a helipad. There is still a need
      for helipads around England and so we decided to continue collecting and we plan to support the HELP appeal to fund other helipads. Since our formation
      three years ago, we have raised £40,000+ and we now have 2 x collection vehicles and 2 x trailers plus we have funded 27 Big Red Recycling Bins in local
      communities. We estimate that we have collected 1.5 million cans. Although the Covid pandemic almost totally disrupted our progress, we are now back on
      track. ll the best for 2022. John Nowell. Founder.

    1. Hi Naomi, yes aluminium takeaway containers and kitchen foil – if clean can also go along with the cans. Thank you for your support 🙂

  8. Hi

    I have emailed the charity a couple of time from my work email address as i have a large collection of cans. I cant see that i have had a response.
    Please can someone check.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Apologies, our webmistress has been working 16-hour shifts as a NHS Ambulance driver and has not had time to respond.
      I’ve just finished my Sunday having been litter-picking, tree planting, deliver tow lots of urgent book deliveries
      and I’ve just has a call from Siberia (yes Siberia) from my Russian chum – could I take his 12-yr-old son from Oakham
      School to LHR tom at 0800hrs to catch his flight to Moscow!
      Just need you address details – could you send them to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and they will arrange collection.
      Best,
      John Nowell.
      Founder.

  9. My wife has collected a number of cans, all partly crushed, and wants to know where to take them or have them collected. We are not prepared to post them one at a time into the red bins.

    My wife has sent emails to helipads4hospitals to which she has not even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement

    Please let me know what, if anything, is happening

    Regards

    1. Good Evening Humphrey,
      Apologies, our webmistress has been working doing several 16-hour shifts as an NHS Ambulance driver
      so has not had time to respond.

      Just leave the bag of cans at any of the Big Red Bins and we’ll collect them. Not easy to post them
      we know – but we had to alter the design of the deposit window because our BRBs were being filled up
      with shoes, handbags, wet clothes and …. even … we have now had 3 duvets! We collect every week
      from the BRBs.
      Best,
      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    2. Good Morning Humphrey, just let me know your address to helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com and I’ll arrange collection direct from you. We had to redesign the
      opening into the BRBs simply because people were filling our BRBs with handbags, shoes, duvets and various n=misc items of clothing – simply because the
      owners of the adjacent clothing bins do not empty them! All the best, John Nowell Founder.

    1. Hi Illa,
      There is a Big Red Bin next to the charity office at Leicester General Hospital. Another one at Braunstone Park then others at the Co-ops at
      Enderby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and Birstall.

      Best,
      John Nowell,
      Founder.

  10. Greetings,

    My school and a local Womble group in Boston are interested in having a BRB. Could someone please get back to me about how we can organise this? Costs, delivery, pick ups, etc?

    1. Hi Lori, There is a bit of a problem re the BRBs at the moment which all revolves around the fluctuating price of steel! I’m just waiting for an update fromm the manufacturer and then I’ll send more info. Just email me on helipadsforhospitals@gmail.com with the exact location. Best, John Nowell, Founder.

  11. Hi
    I have recently challenged the young people in all 4 sections of our scout group to collect cans. We aim to collect them for 12 months. Would someone from your group be able to come along to our hut sometime in the new year for a little photo shoot to show what the young people are doing and what for?

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  13. Hello, just to let you know the collection bin at Enderby Co-op is no longer there and the bin at Franklin Park, Braunstone is full (27-05-2022 @19.00)
    Regards
    Jimmy

    1. Hi Jimmy,

      Thanks for your message. Has the Enderby Big Red Recycling Bin been removed form its position next to the clothing recycling bin? I emptied it about 9 days ago.

      The BRB at Franklin Park will be cleared tomorrow.

      Thanks for letting me know.

      All the best,

      John Nowell.

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