RESCUE crews are calling on Islanders to forgo novelty Christmas gifts for friends this year and instead donate the money to the air ambulance.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has launched their Christmas Give Life Not Socks appeal in a bid to raise money across the Christmas season.

In 2018 the air ambulance was called to 140 callouts, including four on Christmas day.

A spokesperson said: "We don’t stop for Christmas or New Year.

"For our teams of doctors, paramedics, pilots and dispatch assistants it will be ‘business as usual’ over the holiday period.

"We depend upon your donations, and by giving the gift of life this Christmas you are allowing us to be there for our community, should the worst happen."

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