Lifting cushions for Nelson ambulances and immersion suits for rescue helicopter staff are among the benefits to emerge from donations made  by rural contractors from around the country.
At their annual conference in Nelson in June, Rural Contractors NZ held a fundraising auction and CEO Roger Parton has handed over cheques for $15,791.93 to both St John Nelson Area and the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust.
“Our members, suppliers and exhibitors generously contribute goods and cash for an auction at each conference,” said Roger Parton.

“We always support front-line services such as St John and the regional helicopter trusts because are members are among the many people who benefit.”

St John Nelson Bays Territory Manager, Anne-Maree Harris, says her organisation will use some of the money towards installing lifting cushions in frontline ambulances.
“These provide our patients with a comfortable, safe and dignified lift and reduce back injury for ambulance staff, so it’s a very welcome donation”.
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust will use its share for equipment.
“The crew require immersion suits to be used when boat winching offshore” said Trust general manager Paula Muddle. “We are always looking for funding for equipment and this arrives at a very timely moment.”
Roger Parton said since Rural Contractors NZ began the fundraising in 2010, more than $200,000 has been handed over.
“We can’t think of better causes to support than ambulance and regional rescue helicopters who are both there to look after all of us at times of greatest need.”
Next year’s Rural Contractors conference is in Rotorua and Mr Parton is hoping to match or cap this year’s total.