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.

St Saviour's keep air angels flying

A medical charity has this year donated a massive £20,000 for the Kent Air Ambulance as the life-saving helicopter fittingly celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Trustees of St Saviour’s in Hythe visited the helicopter base at Marden to hand over a cheque to the Air Ambulance on Friday (September 17).

The cheque was gratefully received by newly-appointed Chief Executive Adrian Bell and Trust Chairman Anthony Monteuuis.

In total, St Saviour’s has raised £70,000 for the Kent Air Ambulance charity which needs £1.7m a year to stay airborne.

They have effectively helped to potentially save more than 45 lives, as each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

Tony Monteuuis, Chairman of Kent Air Ambulance Trust said ‘Over the last four years St Saviour's have given us their unstinting support and how fitting it is that in the year we mark our 20th anniversary they have been able to match that with their biggest donation yet.”

St Saviour’s funds private medical procedures for Shepway residents in need or urgent treatment.

The level of financial assistance given towards the cost of the procedure is dependent on the circumstances of the applicant and grants are therefore made at the discretion of the charity’s trustees.

Other beneficiaries include Pilgrims Hospice, Mid Kent Portage, The William Harvey Hospital Scanner Appeal and the local Primary Care Trust.

Chief Executive, Judith Medlicott said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Kent Air Ambulance. Visiting the base and speaking to the crew brought home what a fantastic job they do. They are a very worthy recipient of this donation”.

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, 1 October 2010

Events this weekend!

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

Kent
Brands Hatch (see blog below)

Surrey
North Downs Walk http://bit.ly/awE1yU


We hope to see you there!