When a popular Cumbrian charity called for back-up, a global firm stepped in to lend a hand.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service needed help sprucing up its Skirsgill depot, near Penrith, to make it an attractive place to be for its army of volunteers.

And firm Cemex UK - in the building materials industry - had no hesitation in helping out with a spot of painting and decorating.

Jim Entwhistle, the charity's head of communications, said: "The firm has a scheme where it sends its employees out into the community to lend a hand in different community projects.

"They contacted us to see if we could make use of their services and indeed we could."

Mr Entwhistle said the the unit at Skirsgill is used by the charity to recycle clothing which is then sold.

He said: "The depot was in a bit of a mess and wasn't a very nice environment for our volunteers to work out of.

"Cemex sent seven employees to help us. They came from all over - from Glasgow and the Midlands - and brought all of their own equipment with them."

The jobs the seven staff carried out included painting and tidying up.

Mr Entwhistle said: "They've done a fantastic job. They have transformed an unusable space into an area where we are now proud to host our volunteers.

"They've really helped bring the space back to life and saved us thousands of pounds in the process.

"If we'd had to do it ourselves it would have taken time and cost us a lot of money."

The Great North Air Ambulance Service has been based at Skirsgill for a number of years.

It is always looking for volunteers to help with different projects as well as painting and DIY.

Mr Entwhistle said: "We had a great day with the volunteers. They worked hard but were good crack.

"We took them over to our operational base at Langwathby, near Penrith, during the lunch break so they could meet the pilot and doctor. I think they enjoyed that."

A spokeswoman for Cemex UK said: "All Cemex UK employees are encouraged to volunteer one day per year to help community initiatives."

The Great North Air Ambulance Service operates the Pride of Cumbria aircraft in the the county. It started flying in 2011.

The helicopter had even been used as private transportation in the Mediterranean.

It is usually based at Langwathby and works predominantly in Cumbria.

It is always on the look out for volunteers to help raise cash for the charity.

It has a fundraising office in Sandgate in Penrith which is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am to 3pm.

Mr Entwhistle said: "Due to health and safety reasons, donations of used clothing cannot be accepted at the office, but the charity's depot at Skirsgill Industrial Park is open seven days a week to accept such contributions."

To find out more about volunteering contact 01325 487263.