Thursday, 30 September 2010

Red Dwarf star all in pink for Air Ambulance


A star of TV’s Red Dwarf will be helping bikers to raise much-needed funds for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance this weekend after a fellow rider was left fighting for his life.

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

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

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 has now been transferred to his local hospital where he is out of a coma.

Danny said: “I don’t think you can beat a helicopter when it comes to getting somewhere quickly and in the case of an accident or medical emergency time is of the essence.

“Being a biker myself it would be a welcome sight to see an Air Ambulance if I was injured. If we raised enough money to help save someone’s life that would be great.”

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.

He recently rode his pink R1 at the Isle of Man TT and Silverstone and has also circumnavigated the Mediterranean by motorbike to raise money for Sports Relief.
He added: “Wearing pink leathers and riding a pink bike was always meant to be tongue in cheek but I’m sure it will help raise awareness of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

“When I did the Isle of Man TT we were getting the bike out the back of the van in the pits when one of the other racers, a big burly guy said, ‘Whatever you do please don’t overtake me on that!’.

“I’m sure it will be a fun day out and there’s going to be a swathe of pink by the sound of it. With me being The Cat helping to raise money for Kent Air Ambulance Trust (KAAT), it’s the perfect combination.”

On Sunday (October 3), Craig’s friends will wear pink T-shirts over their leathers to raise vital funds for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying.

So far almost 150 T-shirts with Craig’s racing number 94 on the back have been sold with £5 from each sale going to the charity.

Organiser Tony Buchan said: “I thought it would be good if we could all finish on a high and give a helping hand to a deserving cause along the way.

“It’s a service we seem to take for granted and I thought it was time to show our gratitude.

“I’m sure the very pink presence will raise questions which will spur people on into being generous.”

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

Super fit Alaster completes bike challenge

A medical marvel who almost died at birth cycled more than 1,000 miles to Switzerland as part of his mission to raise £10,000 for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Alaster Osborne, 22, of The Fridays, East Dean, was left with a hole in the left temple lobe of his brain after he was starved of oxygen.

He spent two weeks in intensive care as his parents Mark and Lisa kept a bedside vigil.

After eight weeks in hospital, he made a full recovery but was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Despite his condition, he bravely embarked on a mammoth bike ride from London to Geneva after running the first-ever Brighton Marathon in aid of the life-saving helicopter.

He said: “I feel so strongly about the charity that I am now part of that it has inspired me to take on more challenges in life.

“I didn’t find the London to Geneva ride as hard as I thought I would even though I had to borrow two different bikes.

“I wrote off my own bike just before we got to Paris when I went into the back of another rider then I had another accident when I went through the back window of a car about a quarter of a mile down the road.

“I was a bit shaken up but I was determined to finish the whole ride. I was a little bit saddle sore afterwards but I felt I could carry on.”

Alaster’s epic journey took him through France and the medieval Burgundy town of Sens and the spa town of Lons-le-Saunier.

The former Chyngton and Seaford Head pupil also tackled the 1,232-metre-high Col de la Faucille featured in the Tour de France.

He was among 138 riders who pedalled from London to Paris and 35 who then cycled on to Geneva. During the nine-day trip he burned off a total of 52,000 calories.

In April, Alaster completed the inaugural Brighton Marathon in four-and-a-half hours.

He finished 3,999th out of 7,500 finishers and 12,000 runners and next year will be running

three marathons in three weeks – London, Brighton and Paris.

Alaster is also a volunteer for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying and relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations.

East Sussex County Fundraiser Bridget Pepper said: “It’s fantastic when someone like Alaster, who gives up so much of his time as a volunteer, puts in such huge efforts to raise such a lot of money for us.”

To sponsor Alaster visit www.justgiving.com/Aliosborne where family and friends have so far donated £975.

Friend Sean Hammett wrote: “Good luck with it all Ali, you’re doing it for a great cause. I hope you reach in excess of your sponsorship target, you really deserve to.”

He is hoping to raise his £2,500 sponsorship money by holding a car boot sale and dog show near the Tiger Inn in East Dean in April.

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

Ship ahoy for HMS Kent winner Norman




A grandfather sailed the English Channel on one of the country’s finest warships after winning a text competition in aid of the Kent Air Ambulance.

Norman McGill, 70, from Loose, was the guest of honour on board HMS Kent on an overnight trip from Portsmouth to Dover earlier this month.

During the exclusive trip he watched a fire damage control drill, a man overboard reenactment and a machine gun firing exercise.

He said: “They even let me fire a round which was amazing but they took the ammunition belt off because I jokingly threatened to sink a Brittany ferry.

“It was quite a rocky ride and I did suffer from seasickness for the first time in my life so I had to lie down for two hours.

“It was a whole new wonderful experience and the captain and crew of HMS Kent made me feel extremely welcome at all times. I was an honoured guest and it felt like that.”

Norman, a grandfather of 10, enjoyed his trip so much that he kindly made a donation to the Kent Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying.

Earlier this year HMS Kent renewed its affiliation with the charity whose new Chief Executive Adrian Bell had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy.

Lt Cdr Mark Ruston said: “It was an absolute pleasure to have Norman on board and help raise money for the Kent Air Ambulance.

“He was a great sport and really got involved in the ships routines as we sailed from Portsmouth to Dover. Even the best of us get a little seasick from time to time.

“We have a close bond with our affiliate groups and hope to see a lot more of the Kent Air Ambulance over the next few years”

Following the launch of the Kent Air Ambulance text donation service, supporters can now make a one-off £3 donation simply by texting the word AIR followed by KENT to 70300.

For every text sent, the life-saving charity will receive a minimum of £2.67 and an average of 93 per cent of each donation.

The billpayer, whose permission must be sought, will also be charged their standard network messaging rate.

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, 24 September 2010

Events this AIR AMBULANCE WEEKend!

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

Kent
Ashminster House, Ashford Bike Ride
Bearsted Green Classic Car Show
Our fantastic team of volunteers are out in force at many supermarkets, high streets and borough councils across Kent, collecting to support your local air ambulance!

Surrey
Godalming Fire Station Open Day
Surrey County Fair
Collections in Sainsbury's Warlingham, Watchmore Park, Farnham, Walton on Thames and Burpham
Morrisons Farnborough and Woking

E.Sussex
Collections in Sainsbury's West Hove and Bexhill
Tesco Eastbourne

W.Sussex
Collections in ASDA Crawley
Sainsbury's Haywards Heath and Horsham


We hope to see you there!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Alison will Run to the Beat



Dan Chierighini and Alison Jackson-Fry


A Leatherhead woman will be running a half marathon this weekend (September 26) to raise vital funds for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

Alison Jackson-Fry and family friend Dan Chierighini will be taking part in Run to the Beat through the streets of London.

Alison works as a financial adviser for Clear Financial Management in New Malden which has chosen the life-saving helicopter as its Charity of the Year.

She said: “The Surrey Air Ambulance is an exceptionally worthwhile cause and something each one of us may call upon given the fact we all live and work in the area.

“The work that the crew do is amazing and inspirational but what shocked me is how much it relies on fundraising.”

In July, five members of staff at Clear Financial Management took part in the British 10K which raised about £580 for the charity.

Alison is aiming to raise £600 from Run to the Beat and supporters can sponsor her by visiting www.justgiving.com/Clear-Financial -Management.

She has been training for her longest run so far by pounding the streets of Leatherhead four times a week.

She added: “I’ve never been a runner so this is not easy for me and I love food so watching what I’m eating before a run is not coming easy.

“It can get boring so the Run to the Beat should be ideal as there’s music all the way round but I’m looking forward to a good beer and curry when I’m done.”

Dan also lives in Leatherhead and will be joined in the marathon by friend Jamie Brownie.

Surrey Air Ambulance is currently celebrating Air Ambulance Week (September 20 to 26) and is appealing for more volunteers to help raise vital funds.

It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter airborne and each flying mission 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 Surrey Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Friday, 17 September 2010

Events this weekend!

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

Kent
Gadds Hill School
Hothfield Village Fete
Herne Bay Craft Fair
Southern Model Air Show
Farming World 21st Anniversary

Surrey
Store Collection, Sainsbury's Cobham
Store Collection, Tesco Leatherhead
Ride it Right at Haslemere Fire Station

E.Sussex
Store Collection, Tesco Hastings

W.Sussex
Store Collection, Tesco Littlehampton


We hope to see you there!

Legal eagles keep helicopter flying



Cyclists from TWM Solicitors in front of the Surrey Air Ambulance and setting off from the helicopter base after their whistlestop visit.


A group of cyclists stopped off at all seven branches of a Surrey firm of solicitors during a 57-mile bike ride in aid of the county’s Air Ambulance.


A team of 16 members of staff at TWM Solicitors took part in the ride from Wimbledon to Reigate on Friday (September 10).


They also stopped off at offices in Epsom, Leatherhead, Guildford (two), and Cranleigh to mark the 10th anniversary since three firms came together to form TWM in 2000.


The cyclists also made a whistlestop visit to the helicopter base at Dunsfold, where they were greeted by pilot Captain Peter Driver, Dr Michael Urdang and Critical Care Paramedic Natalie Brodrick.


Organiser Daniel Church, 26, said: “Surrey Air Ambulance is our Charity of the Year and a fantastic cause so it was easy to decide to raise funds for them.


“None of us had any punctures along the way which was brilliant but one of the girl’s bikes broke down between Cranleigh and Dorking.


“I felt I had to cycle back to her aid, not merely because the challenge was my idea but because she was riding a bike lent to her by me.”


The TWM cyclists have so far raised £2,028, including gift aid, which is enough to help the Surrey Air Ambulance potentially save a life.


The twin-engine MD902 helicopter needs £1.7m a year to stay airborne and each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “It was quite a sight to see 16 cyclists in bright yellow tops descend on our base and a pleasure to provide refreshments for them.

The twin-engine MD902 helicopter needs £1.7m a year to stay airborne and each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.


County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “It was quite a sight to see 16 cyclists in bright yellow tops descend on our base and a pleasure to provide refreshments for them.


“All the staff at TWM Solicitors have been amazing we are very fortunate to have been chosen as their Charity of the Year.


“I have been really impressed and humbled by their dedication to helping raise as much money as possible for the Surrey Air Ambulance.”


The cyclists would like to thank all TWM staff and HJP Independent Financial Advisers in Dorking for donations and refreshments along the way.


Supporters can still sponsor them by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/TWMcyclechallenge

Friday, 10 September 2010

Events this weekend!

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

Kent
Locks of Sandwich
Northfleet Emergency Services Day
Hawkinge Fun Day
Challock Goose Fair
Hempstead Valley Car Show
Lydd Mayor Golf Day
Midas Quex Park
Rochester Airport Open Day
Paws in the Park

Surrey
Sainsbury's Redhill Brookwood Collection

E.Sussex
West Saltdean Local Action Team

W.Sussex
Sainsbury's East Grinstead Collection
Chartham Park Golf Club
East Grinstead Fire & Rescue Day

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Walk of life for survivor Darren

A Woking man saved by the Surrey Air Ambulance after a serious car accident is aiming to raise £10,000 from his annual walk along the to help keep the helicopter flying.Office manager Darren Cooper, 27, was driving to work when his car veered across the road and hit a tree on the other side.


He suffered a fractured skull and eye socket and was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London.


Darren spent two weeks in hospital and needed two operations to rebuild his eye socket but has since made a full recovery following the accident in March, 2008.


He is now hoping to raise record amount for the charity from his annual North Downs Walk on October 2 after raising £8,000 last year and £7,500 in the first year.


He said: “I believe that without the help of this brilliant service I would not have been cared for in the same way as quickly as I was and by the right specialists.

“My injuries, very serious as they were, could also have been a lot worse. In fact I could well not be alive to tell this tale. I’m humbled by the charity and that is why I’m choosing to raise funds for it.


“The work the doctors and paramedics do is vital to the grateful people who are unlucky enough to be picked up by the helicopter.


“I will be forever grateful for their hard work and commitment. They saved my life in so many ways.”


Among the 100 or so walkers will be Darren’s mother Diane, brother Philip and a horse rider who was also rescued by the Surrey Air Ambulance following a fall last month.


The 10-mile walk starts at Newlands Corner and takes in Chilworth, Blackheath, Chinthurst and the River Wey before re-joining the North Downs Way.


This year the event promises to be extra special with a flyover from the lifesaving crew of the Dunsfold-based MD902 helicopter which needs £1.7m-a-year to stay airborne.


In total, Darren has helped raise almost £20,000 for the charity at a number of fundraising events and by running this year’s first-ever Brighton Marathon.


A true champion of the cause, he will also be carrying out collections outside supermarkets during Air Ambulance Week which runs from September 20.


County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “Darren has been a real asset to the charity since he became a volunteer.


“The walk has become a firm favourite in the fundraising calendar and the amounts raised continue to rise which just shows how much support Darren has.


“Of course it’s even more touching because he was one of our patients and everyone can see the progress he has made since his terrible accident.”


To sponsor Darren or to join the walk visit www.northdownswalk.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/northdownswalk2010.


* Surrey Air Ambulance is appealing for temporary volunteers to give just a couple of hours of their time to help with store collections throughout the county during September.


The collections will help to raise the profile and funds for the charity and will encompass Air Ambulance Week which runs from September 20th.


As part of the promotion, schools, colleges and businesses are also being urged to dig out their most outrageous shoes for Funky Footwear Friday on 24th September.


For more information or to take part call Julie Jenkinson on 07843 336720.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Events this weekend!

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

Kent
Swale Festival of Transport
RSPB Wildlife Country Fair
Marshside Dog Show
Frittenden Grasstrack
Honnington Country Fair
Sevenoaks Heavy Horse Show

Surrey
Cranleigh Fire Station Open Day


We hope to see you there!

Life-saving charity welcomes new Chief Executive


Kent Air Ambulance has a new Chief Executive at the helm.


Adrian Bell joins the charity in September following a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy. He leaves his position as Commander British Forces Gibraltar to take up his new role with Kent Air Ambulance Trust.


Since Adrian joined the Navy at the age of 18 his career has taken him all over the world and he has had a number of key command appointments afloat and ashore. Much of his career has been at sea and he has seen active service in the Falklands and Northern Ireland. Adrian has also been Chief of Staff to Commander UK Maritime Forces as well as holding appointments as a strategic planner in the Ministry of Defence and Navy Command Headquarters.


‘I am really looking forward to taking up my new post. It is a privilege to serve the community in such a worthwhile and meaningful way, and it is a real honour to have the opportunity to work with so dedicated and professional a team as that in the Kent Air Ambulance Trust’ said Adrian.


Adrian and his family left Gibraltar at the end of August to move to Lamberhurst in Kent. In his spare time, he is an avid reader but also has a love of music and the theatre. Adrian is a keen jogger and hopes to fulfill an ambition of completing a half marathon before his 50th birthday.


Chairman of Kent Air Ambulance Trust, Anthony Monteuuis said, “We are all really delighted that Adrian has agreed to join us. He is a highly intelligent man and is a proven leader. I am sure that he will be very much liked, trusted and respected as our Chief Executive. It is a most exciting appointment for the air ambulance and I am confident that we have appointed a most able man to take the charity forward to greater success. He has the full support of everyone at the Kent Air Ambulance Trust."


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

New doctors on board

Two new doctors have joined the Sussex Air Ambulance as the life-saving helicopter fast approaches 2,010 flying missions – in the year 2010.


Pete Westhead, 33, has joined the life-saving charity on a 12-month secondment, replacing Dr Roger Alcock.


The father-of-two qualified as a doctor in 2001 at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in LondonEast Surrey and has worked at several hospitals including at Redhill.


He joins the Dunsfold-based crew after six months at the London Air Ambulance which he says gave him great experience in the management of critically injured patients.


He said: “I have now swapped my orange jumpsuit for a red one at Sussex Air Ambulance and I’m looking forward to working with another highly-skilled and professional team.


Dr Vidar Magnusson has also joined the Sussex Air Ambulance which is fast approaching 2010 flying missions since it was launched in June, 2007 He said: “I am very excited to be joining the team and looking forward to putting my training to good use.


“I hope to gain more experience in treating seriously ill and injured patients in an emergency out-of-hospital setting.”


Dr Magnusson qualified as a doctor in 1996 and has worked in pediatrics and emergency medicine in Iceland where he was born.


The father-of-three has lived in Norway for the last five years and enjoys skiing, snowboarding, swimming and cycling.


The two doctors join Sussex Air Ambulance as the charity embarks on a week long awareness and fundraising drive.


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

Get texting, keep us flying


Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has launched a text donation service allowing mobile phone users to pledge their support to the life-saving charity.


Supporters of the Marden-based helicopter can make a one-off £3 donation simply by texting the word AIR followed by KENT, SURREY or SUSSEX to 70300.


For every text sent, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will receive a minimum of £2.67 and an average of 93 per cent of each donation.


The bill payer, whose permission must be sought, will also be charged their standard network messaging rate. Full terms and conditions can be viewed at www.kentairambulance.com/support/TextDonations.


It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter airborne and each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.


Senior Fundraiser Lynn Hyder said: “Text donation is a quick and easy way for members of the public to give their support.


“Funds generated through this campaign will allow us to make a difference to the lives of patients throughout the county.


Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is currently running a text donation competition to win a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime trip to sail the English Channel on one of the country’s finest warships.


Members of the public aged from 12 to 75 can win the exclusive trip for two on board HMS Kent by texting the word SHIP followed by KENT to 84424.


Each entry costs £3 of which a minimum of £2.24 will go to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.


The winner of the overnight trip will be picked at random after the closing date on September 6 this year and will be notified by telephone two days later.