The work of rescue heroes in Dorset will be recognised next week.

National Air Ambulance Week, created by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA), is intended to celebrate and promote the work that air ambulance charities do.

It launches on Monday.

A spokesman for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance said: "National Air Ambulance Week is a time when the public can really show their support to their local air ambulance charity. We like to use the week to raise awareness of the work that we do and hope that people will kindly donate what they can in support of the charity."

With the support of the public, the services have managed to expand their operations.

They have been able to upgrade their aircrafts and get better medical capabilities and training for their paramedics and doctors.

In total, these services raise more than £170 million per year and have a more than 5,000 volunteers. They operate 39 helicopters and are called out to about 25,000 missions per year.

In the UK, there are a total of 21 air ambulance charities as well as 13 ambulance services.

Becky Steele, AAA interim general manager, said: "During National Air Ambulance Week, many of the local charities organise events and initiatives in a bid to generate funds and raise awareness. Members of the public show their support by a variety of means and businesses get involved too. I would encourage everyone to go and find out what their local air ambulance is doing by visiting their website and local media channels; it’s the perfect time to show your support."

To find out more about the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance service, visit