A COUPLE in their 70s raised just shy of £7,000 for Oxfordshire’s air ambulance last year, they have announced.

But rather than honk their own helicopter horn, Ray and Janet Dawson said they want to thank all the people who dropped coins in their tins.

The couple from Grove made a total of £6,958.66 for Thames Valley Air Ambulance in 2017.

They raised the cash by going out on a regular basis to their village Co-op and Tesco stores, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Wantage and a host of village fetes, fairs and shows across Oxfordshire.

Grandfather Mr Dawson, 76, said: “We would like to thank the people of Wantage and Grove and the surrounding areas and all the shops who have supported us for another year and who let me know go in and shake me bucket.”

Mr Dawson was inspired to raise funds by his time as a private ambulance and fire engine driver at the Cowley car works in Oxford.

He said: “I’ve seen what they do and why they need it that’s why we’ve always carried on. It’s the emergency services brought to you and it gets people back to work.”