About us

Helipads For Hospitals is a UK charity founded by former RAF and Air Ambulance helicopter pilot John Nowell.

It is registered (# 1177218) with the Charity Commission, whose relevant page can be visited here

The aim is to collect unwanted aluminium (i. e. saucepans and drinks cans) and to use the raw material to build helipads on site at hospitals.
How we calculate what we need

The two questions we are most often asked are: “How many cans do we need? How many cans have been collected?”

Phil (on the left of the front row) and
Geoff (on the left of the back row)
helped us calculate how many cans we need

We have been helped by a whole range of incredible Supporters… for example Geoff Walker, of the South Leicestershire Litter Wombles, who before retirement has been involved with installing a number of machines and in visiting a variety of canning plants in the UK and overseas, helping with equipment improvements used in producing canning tooling. They have come up with a much more accurate estimation of how many cans will be needed.

Geoff has test-weighed hundreds of cans, large and small. He has used 14 grammes as the best-guess average weight of an average donated can.

Here’s Geoff workings: “An aluminium soft drink can is approx 13 gms and a beer can is approx 16gms… As we get an unknown ratio of beer to cola… we suggest an average can weight of 14gms to keep it constant. So 1 tonne = 1000 x 1000 = 1,000,000 /14 is 71,428 cans. If we need 80 tonnes that’s 5,714,285 cans.”So our revised target is 5.7 million cans – Approximately!

So the approximate number of cans taken in that first lorry load to the smelting company is 191,000.

The target might seem beyond reach, but consider this: Every year in the UK, 16.2 billion cans are emptied. BILLION! Only about 2.5 billion are recycled. For more, check out this website

Helipads For Hospitals founder John Nowell says: “We thank Supporters and Geoff for all their computational excellence and efforts. But most of all we thank all those Wombles and others who pick up unsightly and harmful litter, and all those environmentally-responsible consumers who let us have drinks cans towards our aim of saving lives… and the environment.

“Helipads For Hospitals is growing very rapidly and we would love to hear from anyone who wants to help in any way, particularly in driving around their locality collecting aluminium.”



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

21 thoughts on “About us”

  1. I used to take my cans to Allington near Grantham but that is now closed. Is there anywhere in Notts to take them now please?

    1. Hi Anthea
      Thanks for supporting Helipads For Hospitals by collecting cans.

      Please have a look on our Home page where you will find all the donation points.If you cannot find one that suits you, please e-mail helipads4hospitals@gmail.com giving us your full street address with postcode and your phone number.

    1. 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.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    2. Good Morning Cynthia, 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 Cynthia, 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. Can we have a red bin in Leicester please I live in braunstone and my nearest one is Loughborough, I have lots of cans each week

    1. Hello Pearl,

      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 Barrow-upon=Soar, Birstall, Enderby, Ashby=de=la-Zouch
      and 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.

    2. Good Morning Pearl, There is a Big Red Recycling Bin located in Franklin Park, Braunstone. Best, John Nowell, Founder.

    3. Hi Pearl,

      There is a Big Red Recycling Collection Bin in the car park at Franklin Park, Braunstone.

      Best,

      John.

  3. I think this is a great idea and I have shared it. But is there a collection point near Bakewell?

    1. Hi Malcolm,

      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
      from the Bakewell area.

      All the best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

    2. Hi Malcolm,
      We haven’t got a collection point at Bakewell yet but we do have one at Ilkeston if that within reach?
      Best,
      John.

  4. Hello

    I have emailed a couple of times about having a large collection of cans, but i cant see that i have had a reply.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      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.

  5. We use Allington Church as our deposit hub but now see it’s being withdrawn could you please suggest a collection point near to Bottesford NG13

    1. Good Morning Cecil, You can leave your cans with one of our supporters, Mary, who lives at 287 Dysart Rd, Grantham, NG31 7LP. They have a flag flying outside. Just introduce
      yourselves. they are lovely, hospitable people. All the best for 2022. John Nowell, Founder.

  6. I’ve got hundreds of cans but don’t know where to take them to support air ambulance.
    Please help
    Thankyou

    1. Hi Vivien,

      Good for you, collecting all those cans. If every single person in the UK did the same, we would have more cans than we could use. Bliss.
      What is your postcode. Will arrange collection.

      Best,

      John Nowell,
      Founder.

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