Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Helicopter called to sledging accidents

Surrey Air Ambulance was called to two sledging accidents following the heavy snowfall at the weekend.

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) crew first attended a female in her 30s who sustained a back injury in a fall at Merrow near Guildford.

It took the pilot, specialist doctor and paramedic 12 minutes to get to the scene where they landed on common land.

The crew assisted the land paramedics in carrying the patient to a 4x4 South East Coast Ambulance Service vehicle.

She was then taken by land ambulance to the Royal Surrey Hospital at Guildford following the incident which happened at about 1.10pm.

Two hours later, the Dunsfold-based crew were again called to another sledging accident in Woking, due to access being an issue.

It took them 10 minutes to get to the location where they landed on a golf course. The patient was a male in his early teens who suffered a back injury.

He was airlifted to the Royal Surrey Hospital at Guildford in seven minutes.

Surrey Air Ambulance has flown more than 670 missions so far this year and has carried on flying despite the recent snowfall.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Monday, 20 December 2010

Survivor hails helicopter crew for saving his life

A motorcyclist has thanked the Kent Air Ambulance for saving his life after an accident which spurred a family friend into climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the charity.

Father-of-two Andrew Pickup, 42, was on his way to see a friend when he was involved in a collision with a car near his home in Dungeness.

He suffered a shattered pelvis and numerous lower limb fractures but remained conscious and was even able to call his wife Mandy who was the first to arrive.

Following his accident, student Hannah Head climbed the tallest freestanding mountain in the world to raise £1,015 for the life-saving emergency service.

The pair and their families visited the helicopter base at Marden last week (December 13) to meet pilot Nick Bramley, Dr Amy Hughes and Paramedic Dave Marshall.

Andrew said: “I’m still here and it’s because of the Kent Air Ambulance. It was fantastically quick to the scene and they did an awful lot of good.

“It feels like I’ve won the lottery because I have still got my family. We were very close before the accident but we’re even closer now. If the kids see me struggling they run over to help.

“It was nice to meet the team and to see the helicopter land and take off during our visit. It’s not something you see every day, not that close.”

“They all seem to have a good rapport and it’s amazing how much equipment they have to carry.

“Hannah was fantastic and I don’t want to take anything away from her. She was the one who did all the work in fundraising.”

Kent Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for everyone living, working and travelling through the county, 365 days a year.

The specialist doctor and Critical Care Paramedics on board take a mini A&E to the scene and can carry out advanced medical procedures such as anaesthetics and chest surgery.

But it costs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying and the service relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations.

Following Andrew’s accident in April, it took the Kent Air Ambulance just 15 minutes to get to Dungeness where it landed on the beach.

He was taken to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford before being transferred St George’s Hospital, a major trauma centre in London, where his left leg was later amputated.

After five weeks in hospital and seven operations, Andrew was eventually allowed back home and is now looking forward to returning to work as a builder.

He said: “I’m a very stubborn person, if someone tells me I can’t do something I will. I am determined to get back out there.

“I have got customers out there waiting for me to get back and I hope to not keep them waiting too much longer.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Cavendish Bakery supports Sussex Air Ambulance

Cavendish Bakery has helped raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance by kindly donating 400 mince pies to the life-saving charity in a Christmas give-away.

Shoppers at the Arndale Centre were given the festive treat in return for a suggested donation of £1 to help keep the helicopter flying.

The emergency service needs £1.7m a year to stay airborne and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations. Each flying mission alone costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

A total of £365.44 was raised for Sussex Air Ambulance following the collection near the Sainsbury’s store on December 3, to help raise awareness and funds.

Cavendish Bakery, in Grove Road and Cavendish Place, also donated one of its luxury Christmas cakes to the helicopter crew.

Owner Julie Bennett said: “We have been thrilled by the number of responses received and have had to exceed the quantity of Christmas cakes and mince pies given away this year.

“Requests have arrived from a wide range of charities and voluntary organisations along with families and individuals, all supporting deserving causes throughout Eastbourne and beyond.”

Sussex Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) with a specialist doctor and Critical Care Paramedic on board, effectively taking a mini A&E to the scene.

The helicopter has flown more than 650 missions so far this year and was recently called to a woman who fell 40ft from a block of flats in Eastbourne.

East Sussex County Fundraiser Bridget Pepper said: “We are so grateful to Cavendish Bakery for their very kind gesture which has helped us enormously with our fundraising efforts.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

“And for anyone thinking of burning off the extra pounds gained over the festive period we still have Charity Places available for next year’s Brighton Marathon.”

If you would like to take part in the Brighton Marathon or would like to become a volunteer please call Bridget on 07800 649246.

Triumph over adversity for £25,000 lottery winner

A Seaford woman who joined the Sussex Air Ambulance lottery after a family member was rescued by the life-saving helicopter has won the £25,000 jackpot.

The grandmother-of-two, who does not want to be named, signed up to the charity’s Superdraw because she believes it is a local charity which benefits local people.

She won the top prize in the same week that the helicopter was called to Seaford to airlift a man who broke his leg in a fall.

The mother-of-two was at home recovering from an operation when Lottery Assistant Jackie Homden called to tell her the good news.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it at first and it’s taken a while to sink in. I still can’t believe it. I was gobsmacked and I shed a few tears. It was a mixture of shock, disbelief and joy.

“I very rarely win anything, I’ve had Premium Bonds since I was a child but never won on them.

“I’ve won the odd £10 on the National Lottery but I switched allegiance to the Sussex Air Ambulance lottery about a year ago.

“I had some decorating work done on the house in the summer and I had to extend the mortgage so this win eases the financial pressure on me. It will make a big difference in that respect.

“I had already done my Christmas shopping the week before but it’s definitely going to make life a lot easier.”

The mother-of-two plans to celebrate her windfall with a family meal at a local restaurant and holidays to see relatives and friends next year.

She won the Superdraw with numbers 1, 16, 29 and 33 which were picked from family birthdays.

Profits from the Air Ambulance’s own lottery provide valuable funds to allow the charity to operate a vital life-saving service for everyone living, working and travelling through the county, 365 days a year.

The regular lottery costs just £1 a week with a weekly prize of £1,000. For an extra £1 a week, members can join the Superdraw which has a top prize of £25,000. To join the Air Ambulance lottery please call 01622 833821.

The specialist doctors and Critical Care Paramedics on board take a mini A&E to the scene and can carry out advanced medical procedures such as anaesthetics and chest surgery.

They can then airlift the patient to the nearest or most appropriate hospital according to their needs within minutes – “saving time, saving life”.

It costs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying and the service relies almost entirely on public donations.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Air Aid Ball 2011

Organisers of the Surrey Air Ambulance’s Air Aid Ball have issued a rallying call for new sponsors to join next year’s fundraising event.

Local businesses, organisations and individuals are being urged to help make the biennial ball at Redhill Aerodrome an even bigger success.

Tickets for a table of 10 cost £1,200 and include a champagne reception, three-course dinner and flying display and guests are being urged to book now.

Chief Executive Adrian Bell spoke at the launch of Air Aid Ball 2011 at the helicopter base at Dunsfold, as planning for next year’s 1930s-themed party gets under way.

He said: “I’m looking forward to next year’s ball, I have to say because I’ve heard a lot about it. Raising money is very important and so is having fun.

“In the two-and-a-half months that I have been here one of the things that has struck me is the need to get the message out there about what we are and what we do.

“I am concerned that a lot of people throughout the county still don’t realise we are a charity and what we do.”

Surrey Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) with a specialist doctor and Critical Care Paramedic on board, effectively taking A&E to the scene.

The helicopter can then fly patients to the nearest A&E hospital or regional trauma centre most appropriate to their needs within minutes – “saving time, saving life”.

Mr Bell added: “The money that the Air Aid Ball brings in is fantastic and we love it but it’s getting people there and understanding that we are a charity.

“If we can move them on to understand what the team on the helicopter do and the difference they make to patients, not just their chances of survival, then so much the better.”

The biennial Air Aid Ball has so far raised more than £100,000 for the Surrey Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying. Next year’s ball will be held on June 25.

Pilot Pete Driver and paramedics Natalie Brodrick, Justin Carding and Adam Heywood were among crew members who gave guests a guided tour of the aircraft which can reach the furthest part of the county in 15 minutes.

County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “The evening was primarily an opportunity for our sponsors and committee members to meet the pilot, Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic who fly on the helicopter.

“However, we would also like to encourage more sponsors to become involved in the Ball so any help individuals or businesses can give in promoting our event would be greatly appreciated.”.

For more information visit www.airaidball.org.and to reserve your place please call Julie Jenkinson on 07843 336720 or email juliej@kaat.org.uk.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to headquarters at Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Ding Dong Merrily on High

A group of carol singers will be hitting the high notes to raise vital funds for the Surrey Air Ambulance this week.

The Octavian Singers will be performing Christmas carols at Guildford’s Friary Shopping Centre on Thursday.

Members of the Woking-based choir will be singing festive favourites such as Away in a Manger, Come Ol Ye Faithful and Ding Dong Merrily on High.

They will be raising much-needed funds for the life-saving charity and Christmas shoppers are being urged to kindly donate to the cause.

County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “Christmas is a time of reflection for many and to help save lives is the greatest gift you can give. Quite often that would not be possible without the Air Ambulance so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the people who continue to support us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Surrey Air Ambulance has flown more than 650 missions so far this year and its pilot, specialist doctor and Critical Care Paramedic will be working as usual on Christmas Day.

The charity needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying from its base at Dunsfold Aerodrome and relies almost entirely on voluntary donations.

The Octavian Singers were planning to sing at Tunsgate Square but the venue has now been switched to Guildford. The hour-long singalong starts at 6.30pm outside HMV.

The group was formed in 1987 and performs a wide variety of music from Baroque to 21st Century madrigals and major choral works.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Monday, 22 November 2010

Christmas Presents that Save Lives

Shoppers are being urged to raise much-needed funds for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance by ordering their Christmas presents online.

Buyers can purchase goods at www.everyclick.com/kentairambulance; www.everyclick.com/surreyairambulance; www.everyclick.com/sussexairambulance or www.buy.at/kentairambulance; www.buy.at/surreyairambulance; www.buy.at/sussexairambulance and help keep the helicopter flying at the same time.

Everyclick users can raise money for the life-saving charity for free as they search the web, shop online and trade on e-Bay.

Customers can also buy gifts from High Street giants such as Asda, Littlewoods, Marks & Spencer, H.Samuel, GAME and Zavvi on the separate site Buy.at.

County Fundraiser Lynn Hyder said: “Our lives revolve more and more around the Internet and what better way to take the strain out of High Street shopping than by doing it all at the click of a button.

“Not only will shopping online save time in the queues but it also has the potential to raise hundreds of pounds for a cause which any one of us could need one day.”

Online shoppers pay the same price as they would on the retailer’s main website which is often lower than the High Street price.

Commission from every purchase is given to the charity by the retailer although the percentages vary.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £3.4m a year to keep the helicopter flying and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust, Surrey Air Ambulance or Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Friday, 19 November 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent
Live Motor Show at Brands Hatch
Canterbury Midas Craft Fair

Sussex
Santa is at South Downs Nurseries


We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Kili climb is a family affair

A Rustington midwife has achieved a challenge of a lifetime by climbing the tallest free-standing mountain in the world to raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Carole Fendick, who works at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, scaled the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro with daughters Catherine and Louise.

Catherine, from Worthing, was also raising money for the life-saving charity but was forced to pull out on the advice of the team doctor.

She was just 700metres from the 19,340ft-high summit when she was struck down by altitude sickness.

Grandmother-of-two Carole, 57, has so far raised almost £1,500 for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

She said: “It was a great experience but very hard which was to be expected. It was just absolutely amazing”.

“We got up at 11pm to start climbing to the summit which we reached at 8.30am the next day.

“It was snowing when I got there but Louise was 20 minutes behind me and when she arrived it was glorious sunshine.

“We were very tired that day after walking a total of 12 hours, eight to reach the summit and four to get back to camp.

“Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Someone died trying to do it two weeks earlier so it’s not a mountain to be under-estimated.”

Carole was among a group of 30 climbers in total but six were forced to pull out due to altitude sickness.

She has previously climbed Ben Nevis, the Pyrenees, the Alps and the 13,671ft Mount Toubkal in Africa.

Her previous challenges include cycling coast to coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland earlier this year and walking 194 miles from St Bee’s Head to Robin Hood Bay. 

In 2007, she cycled 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in Scotland where daughter Louise lives. 

Carole has also completed several 100-mile cycle rides, walking marathons and cycled from London to Brighton 14 times.

She is still seeking sponsorship online at www.justgiving.com/CaroleFendick and is hoping to raise a further £400 at a Spin Masterclass at the Esporta gym in Rustington on November 27.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Santa Claus coming to Hassocks

Father Christmas will be making an early festive visit to South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks this weekend to help raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Santa Claus will be giving out presents at the Brighton Road garden and heritage centre on Saturday and Sunday (November 20 and 21).

Youngsters will be able to have their picture taken with Santa in his grotto and there will be a raffle in aid of the life-saving charity.

Prizes include a decorated Christmas tree and a visit to the helicopter base at Dunsfold to meet its life-saving crew – the pilot, doctor and Critical Care Paramedic.

West Sussex County Fundraiser Cheryl Johnson said: “We are delighted that South Downs Nurseries are supporting us in this way.

“In addition to meeting Santa, people can come and find out about the Sussex Air Ambulance and the vital work it does.”

Santa will be at South Downs Nurseries between 10am and 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm on Saturday.

On Sunday he will be there from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm. For more details visit www.south-downs.co.uk or call 01273 845232.

Sussex Air Ambulance needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations. Each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at many charity Christmas card sales this weekend across the counties! We hope to see you there.

Alternatively you are welcome to buy your air ambulance Christmas cards online, visit www.kentsurreysussexairambulance.co.uk select which county you would like to support and click on 'Our Shop'


Monday, 8 November 2010

Life-saving tour for charity drive duo

Two friends have completed a road trip with a difference by visiting 15 Air Ambulances in the UK to raise more than £1,500 for the Sussex helicopter.

Richard Grant, 32, and James Firth, 30, stopped off at each life-saving charity’s base during a whistlestop tour over three days.

They set off on their 1,615-mile sponsored drive last month, starting in London and finishing at the Sussex Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold.

They mapped their tour with photographs taken next to each aircraft and its life-saving crew before eventually returning home.

James said: “We were very lucky in that of all the places we went to only one of the helicopters was out on a call and that was Wiltshire.

“All the others were there which was incredible and two were called out while we were there. All the pilots and paramedics were fantastic and so supportive of us.

“It was challenging, rewarding and tiring and there were moments when we didn’t think we would do it and we had bitten off more than we could chew.

“It has given us an insight into what the Air Ambulances do and how they are slightly different.

“The people of Sussex are so lucky to have a doctor on their Air Ambulance as many of the others haven’t.”

The pair began their epic journey by visiting London, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, Essex and Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and then Yorkshire.

Day two saw them take in the North West, West Midlands, Great Western and then Swansea.

During the final leg of their tour they visited Devon, Dorset and Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Thames Valley and finally Sussex.

Richard said: “It went really well but it was hard work and a test of our faith at times in terms of the distance we had to cover.

“We didn’t encounter any traffic or accidents whatsoever which was very lucky but we did overtake a Meat Loaf tribute act called To Hell and Back on the M5.”

Richard and James work for East Grinstead-based TCF Motor which investigates insurance claims for accidents and thefts.

Team Manager James, from Crawley, and Case Manager Richard, from Haywards Heath, took it in turns to drive the distance in Richard’s Vauxhall Vectra.

TCF Chief Executive Stuart Dennis kindly donated £1,000 towards their trip and they have so far raised £1,510 for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying.

Each call-out costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so the sum raised by Richard and James has effectively helped to potentially save a life.

Richard and James are still seeking sponsorship at www.justgiving.com/richard-and-james or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-and-James-drive-for-charitdee-Sussex-Air-Ambulance/150581644982258 .

 

Friday, 5 November 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent
Clara Sale, Coxheath

Surrey
Elstead United Reform Church Card Sale

Sussex
Charity Christmas Card Sale

We hope to see you there!
If you would like to order Christmas Cards online from us visit our website:
www.kentsurreysussexairambulance.co.uk

Monday, 1 November 2010

All aboard for AGM

Members of the public can meet the crew, staff and trustees of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at its Annual General Meeting next week (November 16).

Newly-appointed Chief Executive Adrian Bell will present an overview of the last year and the public will be given an overview of the charity’s accounts and be able to ask questions about the service.

The open meeting will again take place at Westerham Golf Club at Valance Park in Brasted Road at Westerham from 7pm.

Doctors, paramedics, pilots and staff will also be available to talk about the work of the lifesaving helicopter which has flown more than 560 missions so far this year.

The meeting will be held two days after a team of crew and staff set off on their first-ever fundraising venture abroad.

Team KAAT (Kent Air Ambulance Trust) is aiming to raise £20,000 by cycling 350kms around the Caribbean island of Cuba to celebrate the charity’s 20th anniversary.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £3.4m-a-year to stay airborne and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations. Each flying mission alone costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Friday, 29 October 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent
Brands Hatch
Frittenden Grass Track
Whistable United Reform Card Sale
Smarden Card Sale
Midas Craft Fair, Town Hall, Dover

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

School supports "people who help us"

A group of boys at a Guildford school donned their most colourful and crazy footwear to raise money for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

Youngsters at Lanesborough School’s pre-prep department raised £136 for the life-saving helicopter by taking part in Funky Footwear Friday last month.

And they kept their multi-coloured shoes and boots on for a special visit to the helicopter base at Dunsfold as part of their “People Who Help Us” project.

The four and five-year-olds also dressed up in the crew’s helmets and high visibility jackets as they were given a guided tour of the twin-engine MD902 aircraft.

Head of Pre-Prep Alison Heath-Taylor said: “The boys dressed up their shoes in all sorts of exciting and creative ways in order to raise money to support the fantastic work of the Surrey Air Ambulance. 

“They were able to meet the crew personally and thank them for their dedication to their work. It was a rewarding experience for everyone.”

Surrey Air Ambulance needs £1.7m a year to stay airborne and each flying mission alone costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

Funky Footwear Friday was held on September 24 as part of Air Ambulance Week which raised more than £10,000 for the helicopter.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Monday, 25 October 2010

Broad Oak school sows little acorns

Pupils at a Heathfield school were treated to a special visit from the Sussex Air Ambulance after taking part in a fancy dress day in aid of the life-saving charity.

Youngsters at Broad Oak Community Primary School cheered and waved as the aircraft landed on their playing field and one boy called it the “world’s best helicopter”.

They were then given a guided tour of the twin-engine MD902 Explorer by crew members Dr Peter Westhead and Critical Care Paramedic Justin Carding.

East Sussex County Fundraiser Bridget Pepper told the children the helicopter could fly at a top speed of 150mph and at 1,500ft.

She said: “The crew can land pretty much anywhere they want to because they save lives.

“They can land in quite small places and occasionally back gardens as long as they are big enough and it is safe enough for them to do so.”

The Scotsford Road school, which has 128 pupils, won the flying visit after it was entered into a free prize draw for taking part in Funky Footwear Friday.

They raised a total of £219 by wearing their most crazy and colourful footwear to school during Air Ambulance Week.

Bridget added: “For a school of this size that is amazing. We are very grateful and everything you have done is really valuable to us.”

Sussex Air Ambulance needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations.

Broad Oak Community Primary School Headteacher Maria Maslin said: “It’s the most exciting thing that has landed on our playing field.

“It just meant so much to the children and they have been looking forward to it so much. We never know if one of them or their families may need it.”

Bridget is launching a new schools initiative called Work It Out and anyone interested in taking part is urged to call her on 07800 649246.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Friday, 22 October 2010

Events this Weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent

Budgens Card Sale


Surrey

Cranleigh Fire Crew Quiz Night and Auction http://bit.ly/d2Gbt0


We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Hannah's Kili climb for rescued biker

A student climbed the tallest free-standing mountain in the world to raise more than £600 for the Kent Air Ambulance after it rescued a family friend.

Hannah Head, 20, scaled the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro in eastern Africa with fellow students Sam Russo, 20, and George Devereux, 21.

She chose to raise funds for the life-saving helicopter after it airlifted Andy Pickup following a motorbike accident at Dungeness earlier this year.

It took the trio six days to climb the 19,340ft-high mountain, the so-called Roof of Africa, but just a day to return to base.

Hannah said: “It was very difficult and soul-searching but we managed it. The first few days were not too difficult, just constant walking.

“But on the final day we left at 11.30pm so that we could reach the summit at sunrise. We had already walked eight hours earlier that day and I don’t think many of us wanted to get up at that time.

“Looking back I’m glad we went when we did and it was worth getting up for. We reached the summit at 6.45am.”

Hannah, from Littlestone, was among a party of 12 who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro but three were forced to pull out due to altitude sickness.

Just three days after returning home she was back at Cardiff University where she is studying European Politics and International Relations.

She added: “I decided to combine this experience with raising money for charity and my choice of the Kent Air Ambulance was confirmed when a friend was involved in a road accident which resulted in the helicopter being called.

“It’s a local charity and we never know but we might need it one day. It’s absolutely invaluable.

“Those vital seconds or minutes in getting to someone can mean the difference between life and death.”

It took the Kent Air Ambulance 15 minutes to get to Andy and a further 25 to get to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford following his accident in April.

Andy is planning to visit the helicopter base at Marden near Maidstone to meet the crew who rescued him – pilot Captain Kevin Goddard and Clinical Manager Rob Wilkinson.

The other crew member, Dr Dean Kerslake, has since left the charity which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

Hannah has so far raised £635 of her target £700 and anyone who would like to sponsor her can visit www.justgiving.com/Hannah-Head to make a contribution.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Midwife delivers Kili climb challenge

A Rustington midwife is to climb the tallest free-standing mountain in the world in a bid to raise money for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Carole Fendick, who works at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, will scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro with daughters Catherine and Louise on October 31.

It will take them five days to reach the summit of the 19,340ft mountain in eastern Africa but just over a day to return to the bottom.

Grandmother-of-two Carole, 57, is aiming to raise £2,000 for the life-saving charity which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

She said, “I’m quite excited about it but the only fear I have is not being able to complete it due to altitude sickness.

“I’m sure I will be able to do it on the physical side, it’s just that I’m going to be climbing 5,670ft higher than I ever have before”.

“I’ve wanted to do Kilimanjaro for years, but I kept putting it off.  I consider it to be a realistic challenge and if I get myself in tip top condition, hopefully I will be successful.

“The Sussex Air Ambulance is a good charity and it maybe me who needs it one day.”

Carole, who also works for female property refurbishment company Meander Ltd, has been training for the climb by hiking on the South Downs in Sussex and in Scotland and Wales.

She is no stranger to heights, having climbed Ben Nevis, the Pyrenees, the Alps and the 13,671ft Mount Toubkal in Africa.

Carole’s previous challenges include cycling Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland earlier this year and walking 194 miles from St Bee’s Head to Robin Hood Bay. 

In 2007, she cycled 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in Scotland where daughter Louise lives. 

Carole has also completed several 100-mile cycle rides, walking marathons and cycled from London to Brighton 14 times.

She added: “The Coast to Coast was the longest distance but Toubkal was the highest mountain climb I have achieved.”

Her daughter Catherine, 26, from Worthing, will also be raising money for the Sussex Air Ambulance while Louise, 24, from Edinburgh, will be raising money for Muscular Dystrophy.

To sponsor Carole visit www.justgiving.com/CaroleFendick

Helicopter wins 999 Award

A father who was dying in the road after a motorbike accident was reunited with the helicopter pilot who helped save his live as the Sussex Air Ambulance won a 999 Award.

Neil Akers, 36, suffered brain damage, a collapsed lung, fractured arm, ruptured knee, two broken ribs and was semi-conscious.

He had to be anaesthetised, ventilated and intubated due to the severity of his injuries and it took the helicopter just 45 minutes to get to the scene and fly him to the Royal London Hospital.

Neil has since made a remarkable recovery and was reunited with Captain Steve Wood, Chief Pilot, as the charity won one of the West Sussex County Times Community Awards.

Presenter Theo Cronin said: “The 999 Award recognises the contribution the various emergency services make to our community, ensuring our safety, health and protection.

“This year one emotive tale, in particular though, struck a chord with the judges and highlighted the incredible work tonight’s winner does.”

Neil, from Horsham, was out riding with friends when he collided with a turning van at Devil’s Dyke near Brighton in April last year.

The father-of-one was in a coma for eight days and spent two-and-a-half months in hospital before he was eventually allowed home.

His proud parents Tony and Ros were among the 400-strong audience at the awards ceremony at The Capitol Theatre in Horsham.

He said: “If it wasn’t for the Sussex Air Ambulance I would not have survived. It’s weird seeing the helicopter knowing I was in it but could not remember anything.

“They have done so much for me and to see my family and son again is down to the Sussex Air Ambulance. It’s just brilliant and I want to say a big thank you to them.”

Neil was also saved by Dr Jez Smith and Paramedic John Battersby who have since left the charity.

Dr Vidar Magnusson and Paramedic Natalie Brodrick collected the award on their behalf to the sound of Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.

Neil has now signed up as a volunteer for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

He has now returned to work part-time and is planning to run next year’s Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise money for the service that saved him.

West Sussex County Fundraiser Cheryl Johnson said: “It’s thanks to the generosity of members of the public that we are able to keep the Sussex Air Ambulance flying.

“It’s the hard work and dedication of the doctors, paramedics and pilots right through to volunteers standing in the street with their collection buckets in all weathers, who make this possible.

“When you meet people like Neil it brings it home how important the service is.”

The second West Sussex County Times Awards were held in partnership with Horsham District Council and the 999 Award was sponsored by Five Oaks Audi.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

 

 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent
St Lawrence Card Sale
Dover Combined Charity Christmas Card Sale at St Mary's Parish Centre
Lenham Midas Craft Fair


We hope to see you there!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Red Dwarf star helps save a life

Danny John-Jules and Tony Buchan on their bikes with Air Ambulance Volunteers Dennis and Linda Harrild at Brands Hatch.

A star of TV’s Red Dwarf helped bikers to raise almost £2,000 for the Kent Air Ambulance after a fellow rider was left fighting for his life.

Danny John-Jules, who played The Cat in the BBC sitcom, took his infamous pink R1 Yamaha on a few parade laps of Brands Hatch and signed autographs.

The keen motorcyclist agreed to support the life-saving helicopter after it airlifted a biker who was seriously injured in a crash at the circuit in July.

Each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so the sum raised is enough to help the Air Ambulance to potentially save a life.

Danny said: “To save one life is amazing because at the end of the day it could be a family member or a friend. There’s no such thing as a small amount of life-saving.

“It was good to see all these guys racing round in the pouring rain with their pink T-shirts on. Talk about dedication and loyalty, it was just un-believable.

“Despite the weather, everyone had a grin on their face which isn’t easy when you’ve got to ride round what looked like a swimming pool. I went round the track and it was treacherous.”

Craig Jennings was taking part in the first Norfolkline Yamaha Past Masters race of the day when he crashed.

It took the helicopter just eight minutes to airlift Craig to Queen’s Hospital in Romford. He was later transferred to his local hospital where he is now out of a coma.

Craig’s friends wore pink T-shirts over their leathers on October 3 to raise vital funds for the Kent Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying.

All 150 T-shirts with Craig’s racing number 94 on the back were sold with £5 from each sale going to the charity.

Organiser Tony Buchan said: “It was quite a spectacle for our last meeting and everyone seem to get in on the act.

“Craig’s family were quite overwhelmed by it all ands his wife came over and thanked Danny for his efforts. It was a bit emotional but it was never going to be anything but that.”

John-Jules, 50, is best known for playing The Cat in Red Dwarf but has also appeared in films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Blade II.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Friday, 8 October 2010

Events this weekend!

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will have a presence at the following events this weekend:

Kent
Maidstone Aces next meeting will be the South Eastern Centre Championships.
The meeting will be held on the part boarded circuit at Collier Street in Kent.
The event will be run on Sunday 10th October.
We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Hamstreet school win helicopter visit

Kent Air Ambulance Crew Dr Amy Hughes and Paramedic Richard de Coverley (centre back, in red flight suits)and the life-saving helicopter at Hamstreet Primary School.

Pupils at an Ashford school were treated to a visit from the Kent Air Ambulance after taking part in a fun day in aid of the life-saving charity.

Youngsters at Hamstreet Primary School donned their most outrageous and colourful shoes for Funky Footwear Friday as part of Air Ambulance Week.

They were entered into a free prize draw for a visit from the twin-engine MD902 helicopter and were picked as the winners.

Dr Amy Hughes, Critical Care Paramedic Richard de Coverly and headteacher Jane Macey joined in the fun by wearing their own funky footwear.

Senior Fundraiser Lynn Hyder said: “It was so nice to see everyone getting in on the act, not just the kids.

“It’s not every day they can tell their parents a helicopter landed in the school grounds and they were naturally very excited.”

Staff and pupils at schools, colleges and businesses throughout Kent took part in Funky Footwear Friday on September 24.

Cash raised from the event will go towards the £1.7m-a-year cost of keeping the helicopter airborne. Each flying mission alone costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

Last year, Funky Footwear Friday raised a massive £6,500 which is enough to help potentially save four lives.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent Air Ambulance Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

 

Monday, 4 October 2010

Loyal supporters win £25,000 jackpot

Dr Pete Westhead, James and Michael Heeley, Chief Pilot, Captain Steve Wood, Dilys Heeley and Paramedic Jon Sanders

 

A couple who have been members of the Sussex Air Ambulance Superdraw since it started have been rewarded with a £25,000 jackpot win.

Michael and Dilys Heeley, from Broadbridge Heath, signed up to the lottery in 2007 when the helicopter was first launched at its base at nearby Dunsfold.

But never in their wildest dreams did they expect to win the life-changing amount, just to support the life-saving charity which needs £1.7m-a-year.

St John Ambulance volunteer Michael, 57, was leading a ramblers’ holiday in Somerset when wife Dilys broke the news to him.

He said: “Dilys asked me to sit down so I did and when she told me we had won £25,000 I rolled over backwards and my legs went up in the air.

“Apparently all the walkers were wondering what had happened to me. So once I had taken it in I got up, turned round and said, ‘The drinks are on me’.”

“I’m not moneycentric and as long as we are comfortable and can get by that’s fine. We are a family who care for the community and that’s why we contribute to village life.”

Michael, a St John member for 20 years, works for a small manufacturing firm in East Grinstead while Dilys works in the kitchen at Horsham Indoor Bowls Club.

The couple are planning to spend their winnings on a Norwegian Fjords cruise holiday in 2012 to celebrate their 60th birthdays.

Last week they made the short trip to Dunsfold with son James, 16, to pick up their cheque before enjoying the windfall with a family meal.

Dilys, 58, told of her shock when Sussex Air Ambulance Lottery Manager Lynne Mitchell called to tell her they had won the jackpot with numbers 8, 12, 23 and 31.

She said: “I automatically thought, ‘Oh my goodness, someone’s had an accident’, then she told me not to worry and that we had won the lottery.

“I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice’, then she told me we had won the jackpot. I had momentarily forgot how much it was and when Lynne said it was £25,000 I nearly cried.

“Sussex Air Ambulance is a very important function within our community and we would encourage people to join its lottery because it’s a very good cause.”

Tickets cost just £1 a week for the regular lottery with 12 weekly winners of £25 to £1,000.

To be in with a chance of winning the Superdraw members have to pay just an extra £1 a week.

Lynne said: “It’s fantastic to be able to make that special call to tell someone that they have won a life-changing amount. I really hope that Michael and Dilys enjoy their winnings. 

“They have been a member of our Superdraw since its launch in 2007, so they are truly loyal supporters. 

“Of course, as always, the real winners are those whose lives have been saved by the Sussex Air Ambulance.

If you would like to join the Air Ambulance lottery please call 01622 833821.