TUBES of toothpaste put a smile on the faces of Rotarians in Bognor Regis.
They used the donated dental hygiene product to raise enough money to pay for the air ambulance which covers the town to get airborne.
The Rotary Club members handed over £2,000 to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.
David Cousins, of the club, said the unusual fundraising appeal had begun when a toothpase manufacturer put the wrong sell-be date on dozens of tubes.
“One of our members is a dentist, and the manufacturer allowed him to have the tubes rather than see them thrown away, so long as he used them to raise funds for the air ambulance,” said Mr Cousins.
The air ambulance costs about £2,500 each time it is flown on an emergency. It relies on generosity from the public to pay this bill.
Since the service began in 1989, the helicopters have flown more than 20,000 missions to save the lives of countless people who would not have survived without the service’s prompt action in getting them into hospital.
The service has two bases – at Marden in Kent and near Redhill in Surrey – to mean anywhere in the three counties can be reached within 20 minutes.
Night-time flying was recently started to enhance the previous daylight-only service.
n Mrs Michael Etheridge, of Bognor Regis, won £247 in the air ambulance’s 24/7 lottery.