The air ambulance needs your help more than ever as the coronavirus puts a stop to fundraising events, door-to-door lottery canvassing and it hugely successful Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance says that, to assist with the containment of Covid-19, it has taken collective action in order to protect and assist in the effort to delay further spread.

This includes the cancellation of events, door-to-door lottery canvassing, talks, cheque presentations and upcoming engagements which involve the gathering of people.

This week, it also announced the cancellation of its 10th annual Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge, which was due to take place on Sunday, May 17.

The charity's chief executive, Bill Sivewright, said: "This is something that is very hard for us to do, as we take pride in being able to thank our supporters in person for their wonderful support, whether that be by raising funds, or simply learning more about our life-saving work.

“We have also announced the cancellation of our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge. This is clearly disappointing as it is the only fundraising event that we organise ourselves and raises significant funds for the charity.

"The current situation with coronavirus will have a significant impact on our fundraising in a number of ways, however our main priority with regards to our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge must be to protect the health and safety of our patients, supporters, staff and the wider community, of whom we do not want to put at any unnecessary risk.

“We recognise that at this time the public may be concerned about their finances, however, we also know that they appreciate the life-chances that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can bring.

"In the past 20 years we have come so far. With the patient as our motivation and continued support from the public, we hope to be able to continue to innovate, develop and be there for the next 20 years and beyond.”

If you feel you can support the air ambulance, you can do so in a number of ways. Some of these include:

• Pledging a one-off donation online via post or by calling: 01823 669604.

• Donate regularly via direct debit

• Join the Flight for Life Lottery for £1 per week, prizes to be won every week

• Celebrate and raise funds - dedicate your birthday, wedding or other special occasion to the charity and ask for donations online, instead of receiving presents

More information can be found on the charity's website