BAKERS are always competing to get the maximum lift in their cakes, but this is something else.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance has asked Oxfordshire residents to bake cakes to keep their helicopter in the air.

Hoping to cash in on Bake Off fever, the charity, based at RAF Benson near Wallingford, has launched its Bake Off for Take Off challenge as part of National Air Ambulance Week.

The charity is asking supporters to host a bake-off party with friends, family or colleagues to help raise vital funds.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance costs £2.2m a year to run but receives no government funding, meaning it relies entirely on public donations to carry out its lifesaving work.

The service currently employs 15 doctors and 11 paramedics, and the helicopter flies 20 hours a day attending 21 emergencies every week on average.

CEO Amanda McLean said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the communities we serve. It is because of the work of our volunteers, donors and supporters that we can be ambitious and deliver the highest quality of care to our patients. All I can say, is thank you.”

Find out more about bake off for take off at