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