A NETWORKING group has been established to connect northern businesses and their first speaker will be the man behind the jet suit paramedic concept.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service will launch a business club next month to unite businesses from its region and give them the chance to hear from expert speakers.

Membership fees from the GNAAS Business Club will go towards helping the service continue to provide life-saving critical care to ill or injured patients in the region at a time when the charity has seen a slump in revenue from corporate supporters.

The registered charity is in need of support as funds from businesses in 2019 were £753,000 but in 2020, the sum has dropped to £412,000.

The free taster takes place virtually on February 11 with Andy Mawson, director of operations and paramedic at GNAAS.

Mr Mawson said: "I’m delighted to be the first speaker at our inaugural event for GNAAS’ new business club.

"At GNAAS we strive to stay at the forefront of pre-hospital care and are committed to a programme of research and development, so the first event will be focused on innovation.

"I will be talking about the launch of the jet suit paramedic which we trialled in September 2020, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, what the future looks like for us, and my management style, among other things." All businesses can join GBC, receiving invites to future events.

They will also benefit from online and social media support such as shout outs on LinkedIn, and the use of the GBC logo and GBC LinkedIn banner for corporate social responsibility purposes.