Great Bardfield landlord hoping to give back to air ambulance after son’s road accident

Sharon Alford and Ciaran O'Connor at The Bell Inn

Sharon Alford and Ciaran O'Connor at The Bell Inn - Credit: Archant

After her son’s life was saved by Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, (EHAAT) a publican from Great Bardfield is raising money to thank the critical care team.

In February, Ciaran O'Connor was in a serious road accident in the village. He is now back studying music and his mother Sharon Alford is keen to help the air ambulance - a charity relying on donations.

Sharon and Ciaran run The Bell Inn in Great Bardfield which has already held a quiz night and has raised over £1,800.

Their target is to raise £2,200, the cost of an ambulance mission. From October 11 to 13, The pub will host a German-themed, free festival called Oktobellfest with bands, a Saturday hog roast and children's fun, guest ales and ciders, currywurst and bratwurst.

The Saturday will have guitarist Joe Dolman and the Sunday will have jazz from Bob Alcoe and the Bob Cats.

Sharon said: "The air ambulance was quickly at the scene and thanks to the amazing work of all the emergency services and the surgeons at Addenbrooke's hospital, Ciaran has made an amazing recovery.

"We temporarily closed the pub while we dealt with the initial shock of the accident, but our local community came together and organised a rota of volunteers to help us keep open.

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"Although Ciaran was still in hospital, and I was at his bedside, we decided to go ahead with the quiz for the air ambulance. After what happened, this worthy cause meant even more to us.

"As soon as we announced it, we were inundated with support and donations of cash and raffle prizes. The pub was packed to the rafters. It was an emotional night, with everyone cheering on both Ciaran and EHAAT. Thanks to our wonderful customers, we raised over £1,000 that night.

"As a family, we have been humbled by the kindness of the community we live and work in, and we are so thankful to EHAAT for the charity's passion to save lives."

Sabi Stafford, fundraising manager at EHAAT said: "It's great to hear that Ciaran is doing so well after the accident.

"We couldn't exist without support from the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire. Ciaran, Sharon and their family have shown a real commitment to the charity, and we can't thank them enough."

5pm Friday, noon Saturday and Sunday.