Petition calls for Northamptonshire air ambulance boss to step down amid claims he used charity funds on a luxury concierge service

Close to 100 people have signed a petition calling on the head of Northamptonshire's air ambulance to resign following allegations he misspent charity funds.

Saturday, 24th March 2018, 8:55 am
Updated Saturday, 24th March 2018, 9:00 am
Staff of the Air Ambulance Service have called on chief executive Andy Williamson to resign.

Yesterday, the Chronicle & Echo reported how the Charities Commision had reopened an investigation into the Air Ambulance Service.

The helicopter medic charity is entirely funded by donations and covers counties including Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Derbyshire.

But last weekend The Sunday Times alleged its chief executive Andy Williamson had used charity resources for his own benefit.

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The article claimed he failed to declare a membership to a celebrity concierge company called Sincura, which among other luxury services claims to be able to arrange helicopter transfers "around the globe".

It also arranges for people to meet and greet a range of celebrities.

The Air Ambulance Service refutes the claims entirely, stating that Mr Williamson was offered a complimentary subscription to Sincura, who they say were brought on board in 2016 to help with the charity's fundraising efforts.

However, more than 100 people in just under 48 hours have now signed a petition launched by an employee calling for Mr Williamson and deputy director Alexandra Pope to step down.

Speaking to the Chronicle and Echo, the anonymous petitioner, said: "People don't have faith in him as a leader.

"There was a meeting on Monday to address this and a lot of people spoke up."

Sincura claims that, during his membership with The Sincura Group, all requests were logged in a call management system.

The requests received from Mr Williamson included a "meet and greet" with the pop band Little Mix.

The company says he requested "Ivy Club membership for him and Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt", who plays the character Ian Beale.

Wimbledon tickets for him and his wife and a meeting with actor Charlie Sheen were also among the requests made by Mr Williamson.

The Air Ambulance Service says no charity funds were used by Mr Williamson as part of his membership.

It also refutes the claims made in the petition of staff unrest.

Its recent satisfaction survey found 97 per cent of staff were proud to work for the charity

A spokeswoman for The Air Ambulance Service said: “Our team is focused on raising the vital funds needed to provide lifesaving services through the Children’s Air Ambulance and across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

"We always act in the best interest of the communities we serve, and are proud that the money we’ve raised has funded more than 30,000 missions in the past fifteen years.”