Paper Round

Air ambulance charities have benefited from some distinctly dubious fundraising wheezes this week.

The Daily Mail had a field day with the tale of the "disgraceful" mother who sent her teenage daughter on a seven-mile sponsored hike in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance fuelled up with a bottle of vodka, three bottles of wine and two alcopops. Cunning decanting into soft drink containers put killjoy teachers off the scent for a while, but the paralytic condition in which the 13-year-old and two of her friends rolled up at a checkpoint gave the game away to quick-witted sixth-formers.

Needless to say, the giddy gals were all suspended. There was no mention of them being given 'lines', but it seems to Paper Round that it's only a matter of time before the mother, who was fined £80, lays on a few, perhaps of the white and powdery variety.

Meanwhile, North West Air Ambulance was caught with its trousers down after earthbound ambulance stations across the region banned its nude fundraising calendar. According to the Manchester Evening News, fuming ambulance service bosses believed the Bare in the Air calendar compromised the "integrity and dignity" of their paramedics, who are seconded to the air ambulance.

A union spokesman said: "I am sure that the intentions behind this were entirely well- meant, but the calendar has left staff extremely angry and quite shocked at the way it seems to portray ambulance personnel." Paper Round will certainly be very careful in the Manchester area in future lest an unforeseen accident should find your hapless column scooped into the sky by a bunch of cheeky-looking first-aiders with bits of helicopter concealing their choppers.

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