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East Anglian Air Ambulance ‘On a mission’ for air ambulance charity

A website to support vital fundraising for East Anglian Air Ambulance Service – a target of £17.3 million in 2022 just to keep flying.

East Anglian Air Ambulance Service (EAAA) responds to life-saving missions across East Anglia and Cambridgeshire.

EAAA is called upon an average of 8 times a day to undertake flight missions to accident scenes or people in distress. The organisation receives no government funding and needs £13 million per year just to keep flying, which is raised by campaigning and fundraising.

Optima created the EAAA website back in 2018, and it has since become one of the benchmarks for air ambulance websites in the UK. The vision was to create a beautiful and intuitive user interface to maximise visitor engagement and increase the conversion of website visitors to charity supporters.


  • Stakeholder workshops
  • Website design
  • Front/back end development
  • ExpressionEngine CMS
  • E-commerce
  • Dynamic data display
  • Lottery sign-up
  • Events
  • Sophisticated data reporting


  • Charity


The design for the homepage features the iconic air ambulance helicopter prominently as part of a parallax image. This image uses different layers to create depth and movement on scroll and brings the homepage to life. The homepage also employs an infographic showing important EAAA mission data, which the CMS automatically updates.

EAAA Total Missions example
East Anglian Air Ambulance mobile website example

The ‘Missions Map’ is one of the most visited pages of the EAAA website. It reports the total number of missions attended over the last 12 months, the location and a brief description of the type of mission. It is key to highlighting the importance of the air ambulance service.

The EAAA website strategy was developed from a series of stakeholder workshops conducted by Optima to define the primary objectives for the project across the organisation. The key objectives were not only to inspire donations, ticket bookings, lottery subscriptions and merchandise sales but also to provide ways to reduce the amount of manual processing required by EAAA staff. Optima implemented as many automation features as possible within the ExpressionEngine CMS to create seamless integrations between different systems and enable easy reporting directly from the website. Not only did this help free-up internal resources but provided valuable website data which could be interrogated – average donation amounts, supporter preferences, and the reason for giving.

We learned that over 80,000 subscribers contributed 45% of EAAA’s funds through the Lottery, making this section a key priority for the new website. We created a more engaging design with an impactful lottery branding and more accessible, intuitive sign-up mechanisms to increase uptake of lottery players via existing routes (online form, by post, by phone).

EAAA also run numerous fundraising events in which individuals, groups and businesses can participate, and we reimagined this website section to ensure visitors could easily find the event they are looking for and built content-rich event pages to hold detailed information and event downloads to reduce enquiries and increase sign up and participation.

East Anglian Air Ambulance lottery example
East Anglian Air Ambulance Support Us page example
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Optima are knowledgeable, imaginative and passionate and offer an excellent level of customer service.

They manage expectations very well and strive for excellence. Our website project encountered challenges and involved a large number of internal customers, all of whom were managed professionally and with a smile. They are happy to challenge decisions where their expertise tells them otherwise and offer positive solutions to overcome barriers.”

Nicki Blake

Marketing Communications Manager, EAAA