Monday, 19 December 2011

It's a lift-off for charity helicopter

Photo 1: L-R, Mr Bunn, pupils Gary Cameron, George Christou, Jowe Condick and Mr Longfield.

Photo 2: Year 9 pupils with Miss Helen Rose, Kent Air Ambulance volunteer Chris Longfield and Castle Community College Principal Phillip Bunn.

Pupils at a Deal school lifted the equivalent of 227 Kent Air Ambulances in a weightlifting challenge which raised more than £400 for the life-saving charity.

A group of 22 Year 9 pupils at Castle Community College set themselves a target of trying to lift the 6,000lb weight of the helicopter each.

One of them, Hayden Shervill, lifted the equivalent of 35 twin-engine MD902 Explorers alone using a weight stack of 190lb.

Staff joined in the challenge by trying to lift the weight of the helicopter in the fastest time or in the fewest representations of one weight.

Head of Technology and Art Helen Rose said: “I am so proud of the pupils’ efforts, I never thought they could be so determined. The level of effort was amazing.”

By the end of the first tandem weight-lifting session, 34 helicopters had been lifted so the pupils set themselves a new target of 150 by the end of the day.

They again beat their target and amassed a grand total of 227 helicopters, watched by Kent Air Ambulance volunteer Chris Longfield.

He thanked them for their hard work and explained how their fundraising efforts helped the charity.

Two of the five classes in the Tiger Woods House raised a further £100 by selling home-made cakes while another collected £40 in 1p coins.

Year 7 pupils George Christou, Gary Cameron and Joe Condick also ran and cycled a total of 105 miles.

In total the youngsters are aiming to raise £600 from the events held on December 9th and can still be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/Helen-Rose9TW

Dagenham Motors in for long haul flight

Dagenham Motors has renewed its long-standing support for Surrey Air Ambulance five years after becoming the life-saving charity’s first business sponsor.

The dealership, which has branches in Leatherhead, Cobham, West Byfleet, Epsom and Banstead, joined the fundraising appeal in 2006.

The helicopter was launched the following year and Dagenham Motors has now provided Head of Fundraising Julie Jenkinson with a sixth sponsored vehicle.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta Zetec, complete with Dagenham Motors branding and logo, will allow her to travel thousands of miles around the county raising vital funds to keep the service airborne.

Dagenham Motors General Manager Paul Hayes said: “As a local business we are keen to play our part in supporting the community and are pleased that we can help such a vital service for the benefit of the county.”

Surrey Air Ambulance responds to serious trauma and other medical emergencies with a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic who take A&E to the scene.

The care and treatment the medics provide is often crucial to the level of recovery a patient will make later on in hospital but the emergency service relies almost entirely on public donations.

Head of Fundraising Julie Jenkinson said: “The support of Dagenham Motors is crucial in helping me to get around Surrey and enabling me to attend fundraising activities to keep the helicopter flying. I cannot thank Paul and the team enough for their continued support.

“This is a reciprocal partnership which also provides a great form of mobile advertising for Dagenham Motors as the car is often seen on the roads of Surrey and at air shows, village fetes, open days and supermarket collections.”

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, 12 December 2011

Can four Santas on bikes beat the train?

Pictured: Darren Clark

Four friends will be dressed as Father Christmas as they aim to beat the last train back to Ashford by push bike this Saturday (December 17th)

Work colleagues Jamie Chater, 22, and Daniel Clark, 23, will be joined by Daniel’s brother Jamie and family friend Chris Boyce, both 24.

The bike ride is in memory of Daniel and Jamie’s brother Darren, 23, who lost his life following a motorbike accident in Faversham three years ago.

In 2007, Kent Air Ambulance also attended a motorbike accident involving Darren’s father Graham which he survived.

Jamie Chater said: “Without the resources and commitment of Kent Air Ambulance our family and many others wouldn’t be sharing this Christmas with some of our loved ones.

“I ask for as much or as little as you can donate to help this fantastic organization operate through Christmas and 2012.”

The quartet will set off to St Pancras railway station on the first train and aim to complete the 58-mile ride back by the time the last train pulls into Ashford at 11pm.

Jamie Chater, of Barn Platt, will be sponsored an extra £50 if he dons a girl’s Santa suit complete with stockings.

The group have so far raised £540 online at www.justgivng.com/Patron-Security where family and friends have left messages of support.

Denise Bennett-Chater wrote: “Can’t think of a better cause….so proud of you!!”

Caroline Burns added: “Great choice of charity, good luck boys! Make sure we see before you leave and as you arrive pictures.”

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

Railway Arms keep Air Ambulance on track

Photo: L-R (Back row Paul, Nigel, Mal, Colin, Surrey Air Ambulance volunteer Graeme Horne and Paul. (Front row) Railway Arms landlady Chris Gosden, June, Gilly and Vie.

A Frimley pub held a 24-hour darts marathon to raise more than £1,000 for Surrey Air Ambulance.

Players at The Railway Arms scored a total of 356,660 points during the marathon in September, beating last year’s total by 29,199.

The charity darts day started in 2005 and has since raised funds for Frimley Park Children’s Ward, Parity, Blood Runners, Age Concern and RNLI.

This year the High Street pub decided to raise funds for the life-saving helicopter which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

Landlady Chris Gosden said: “We chose Surrey Air Ambulance this year as to us it is a local charity and does a wonderful job helping people and saving lives.

“Without the support of all our customers and businesses in Frimley who kindly donated raffle prizes we would not have managed to raise the £1,100 we did. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone concerned.”

Surrey Air Ambulance volunteer Graeme Horne gratefully received the cheque on behalf of the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic who saved his son’s life.

Rob Horne, from Fleet, suffered multiple injuries in a road traffic collision four years ago but has since made a full recovery.

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

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

County Boards for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

At the recent Kent, Surrey & Sussex AGM the charity’s chairman Tony Monteuuis, announced that a new County Board structure has been set up to support the work of the charity.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex will each have its own local Board to support the main Trustee Board and improve links within each county. Tony Monteuuis, who remains as Chairman of the main Trustee Board of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust said ‘We look to these Boards to be the face of the charity within the county and represent the charity at a more local level as well as being the voice of the charity on the Trustee Board through the Board Chairmen. I’m sure that they will all be good ambassadors for the Air Ambulance and we look forward to working with them.

The five strong Kent Board will be chaired by Wendy Simkins who has been a trustee with the Air Ambulance for five years and will continue to sit on the charity’s main board.

Wendy said “I am very honoured to have been chosen as the Chairperson for the newly established Kent County Board. As a Board, we hope to be able to help and give more guidance with fresh approaches and support to the well established and managed Kent Air Ambulance service. It has become such a vital part of the people of Kent’s every day lives and it is essential that we strive to improve and continue this life-saving service”.

The five strong Surrey Board will be chaired by local business woman Nikki Ferguson, who will also sit on the charity’s main board.

Nikki said 'It is an honour to be asked to chair the new Surrey County board for the Air Ambulance. Having seen for myself, the vital difference that the Air Ambulance makes I am looking forward to using my experience in business and particularly in Human Resources to enhance what is a vital life-saving service to the people of Surrey.'

The four strong local Sussex Board, will be chaired by retired business man David Bowden who will also sit on the charity’s main board.

David said ‘I am very excited to be asked to chair the county board for the Sussex Air Ambulance. It is a charity which makes a real difference to the lives of people in the county and I am very pleased to be involved’.

All the local board members are local to their counties and represent different areas of the community.

Further information about the work of the Air Ambulance can be found at www.kssairambulance.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 Kent Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Thanks for saving my life, says champion Craig

Photo: Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst, British grasstrack 250cc champion Craig Drury and Dr Steve Rashford at the Kent Air Ambulance base at Marden

A British grasstrack champion was reunited with the Kent Air Ambulance pilot and doctor who saved his life as he donated £5,500 to the charity.

Craig Drury, 18, sustained multiple injuries after he was involved in a racing incident, colliding with a barrier at a race meeting in Collier Street.

Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst landed at the track within just two minutes of the 999 call and Dr Steve Rashford and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge gave Craig an emergency anaesthetic at the scene.

The teenager was airlifted to the major trauma centre at the Royal London Hospital where he spent 36 days, 12 of them in intensive care, before he was finally allowed back home.

He said: “I don’t remember anything about the crash but I remember talking to people on the day. My sponsor was telling me how well I was doing, that I’d got it in the bag.

“The doctors at the hospital sat mum and dad down that night and said I had a slim chance of making it through the night. Kent Air Ambulance saved me, they told me that in hospital.

“I was thanking them in hospital and they were saying don’t thank us, you’ve got to thank the air ambulance.”

Craig sustained three fractured vertebrae, a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken leg and collarbone.

Following the crash in September, Craig’s grateful family and friends raised £5,000 for the life-saving charity from a number of fundraising events including a golf day, sponsored swim and mini triathlon.

Craig visited the helicopter base last week (November 28th) to meet Blaine and Steve for the first time since his accident and presented them with a signed photo saying: “Thanks for saving my life.”

He was seven points clear of his rivals going into the final race when he crashed and was unaware he had won the 250cc British Championship.

Although he is expected to make a full recovery within two years, Craig has now decided to quit the sport.

He added: “It’s a shame I’ve been cut short in my path because I’ve ridden in Europe since I was 12, representing England. I’m glad I’m out of it now because if I go back something bad will happen.”

Dr Rashford said: “Obviously we’re just so happy that Craig has done so well. To be as sick as he was at the scene, it’s amazing that he has made this type of recovery.

“The fact that he has come back and thanked us is wonderful. It’s not something we expect but we really appreciate it.”

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

All in a day's work for nurse Rob

A Kent Air Ambulance nurse taking part in a mock rescue operation sprung into action when a child suffered a head injury in a real-life medical emergency.

Off-duty Clinical Manager Rob Wilkinson had been treating a “casualty” in a re-enacted car crash in Gravesend town centre on Saturday (November 26th) as part of Road Safety Week.

Officers from Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service also carried out their roles in Windmill Street as they would at the scene of a real accident.

Just minutes after the Carmageddon demonstration finished, Rob was summoned by a member of the public to a boy who had accidentally run into a chair.

He said: “Having completed our part in the demonstration I responded to a nearby building with one of my St John Ambulance colleagues.

“We were alerted by a member of the public that a child had sustained a head injury and a land ambulance had been called.

“As part of the Carmageddon team, we were able to assess, treat and convey the child and his mother to the local hospital and stand the land ambulance down.

“Fortunately the child’s injury was not serious although he required suturing and a period of observation.”

Rob worked as an electrician in Chatham dockyard before training as a registered nurse in 1982 at Medway Hospital in Gillingham.

He joined Kent Air Ambulance in 1999 and became a registered paramedic and Clinical Manager in 2005. 

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

Charity starts at home with loose change boxes

Supporters of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance can now raise vital funds for the life-saving charity from home.

Family and friends can deposit their spare coins into branded home collection boxes to help keep both helicopters flying. The boxes are easy to use and give instructions on what to do when they are full.

Collection Box Co-ordinator Shirley Brown said: “Every penny raised will help keep this vital Air Ambulance service flying for your community.

“Loose change boxes are a simple yet effective way to raise not only money but awareness of our charity and an easy way to collect those odd coins at home.”

Last year, more than £100,000 was raised from collection tins in shops, pubs, cafes and other public venues. Just £1 will pay for a sheet of life-saving bubblewrap which is used to keep each patient warm.

To order a home collection box call 01622 833833 or email shirleyb@kaat.org.uk. Cheques should be made payable to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Miraculous recovery for biker Joe

Photo 1: Critical Care Paramedic Chris Fudge, Joe Addison and Dr Neal Durge.

A motocross rider has stunned the Kent Air Ambulance medics who flew him to hospital by walking un-aided less than four months after suffering limb-threatening injuries.

Joe Addison was about to mount a 30ft ski jump when a loose wire caused the engine of his 250cc machine to cut out.

The 32-year-old was forced to bale out and broke both his legs as he crashed to the ground at the racetrack in Iden near Rye.

Land paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene and called in the helicopter which arrived within just 10 minutes.

Dr Neal Durge and critical care paramedic Jez Loseby administered strong painkillers and sedated Joe at the track-side.

They also re-set his fractured right femur and broken left ankle before airlifting him to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London in just 15 minutes.

He spent three weeks at the specialist hospital before he was allowed back home in Sittingbourne and is still off work but expected to make a full recovery.

Earlier this month, he visited the helicopter base at Marden to thank the crew and present a cheque for £500 to the charity which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “It was brilliant to see the guys who helped me. They were amazing on the day, they really were. Hats off to them and I really cannot thank them enough.

“When I first saw them and stood up to shake their hands they were gobsmacked. They said they were expecting me to be in a wheelchair. They couldn’t believe I wasn’t even walking with crutches.”

Kent Air Ambulance’s doctor and paramedic can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene of an accident or medical emergency, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

Dr Durge said: “It was good to see Joe because we rarely see the outcome of what we do. The last time we saw him he was clearly in a lot of pain.

“He was very grateful and even more so because the doctors at King’s told him our intervention had made a significant difference to his recovery which has been incredibly quick.”

Joe had finished an impressive fourth out of a field of about 40 riders in the first race and was lying second in his club championship at the time of his crash in August.

Despite missing the last three rounds, he still finished fourth in the championship and will be presented with his trophy at a ceremony in Camber Sands on December 3rd.

He added: “If the accident had been caused by rider error I may have considered quitting but because it was the bike I can’t just stop doing something I love.

“Everyone thinks I’m crazy after the injuries I’ve suffered but I can’t stop. Motocross is like a disease.”

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 

 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sussex Air Ambulance supported by 'Local Hero'

On Friday 28th October at a glittering ceremony, Sussex fire fighter, Steve Lintott, was presented with the prestigious ‘Local Hero Award’ by radio station, Spirit FM.

As well as being a full time fire fighter Steve runs his own driving school – Stay Safe - and campaigns tirelessly for safer roads in our region.In recognition of his work Steve was awarded the ‘999 Emergency Services’ Local Hero category which acknowledges a member of the emergency services who goes above and beyond the call of duty to help others.

As part of the award Spirit FM generously gave Steve prize money to donate to the charity of his choice. Steve split the prize money between road safety charity, Brake, and another cause very close to his heart, Sussex Air Ambulance.

"It feels incredible to have won this award” says Steve. "There are so many members of the emergency services who go beyond the call of duty every day and never get any form of recognition, so I hope that in winning this award I can help raise awareness of the fantastic job they all do.”

Steve goes on to say "I chose Sussex Air Ambulance because in my work as a fire fighter I have witnessed firsthand how this service saves lives. Often, due to traffic and poor access, road ambulances can’t get to the incident in time to save casualties, which is where Sussex Air Ambulance comes into its own.The doctors and air paramedics are amazingly dedicated and without them, there is no doubt that more people involved in road traffic accidents would die.”
Critical Care Paramedic, Jon Sanders, of Sussex Air Ambulance commented "We’re delighted that Steve chose to support us and congratulate him on his award. The donation will help us continue to provide life-saving medical help to the people of Sussex and also helps raise awareness of the important work our highly skilled crew does every day in our county.”

Steve is very grateful to Spirit FM for organizing this award and for the generous charity prize money. Sally Large, Managing Director of Spirit FM said "Despite receiving lots of very compelling nominations for the 999 Emergency Services category, Steve stood out due to his tireless passion for making the roads of Sussex safer and the work he does to instill the importance of careful driving into young people. It’s clear that Steve puts his heart and soul into Stay Safe and that teaching young people to drive properly is to him far more than just a job.”

Stay Safe offers lessons across East, West and Mid Sussex as well as in Redhill, Reigate, Dorking and Horley. www.staysafedriving.co.uk 0800 999 2500

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

High Oscar for 999 Race Day

More than 3,000 race-goers flocked to Fontwell Park’s first-ever 999 Family Race Day on Sunday with a special visit from Sussex Air Ambulance.

Chief Pilot, Captain Steve Wood thrilled the crowds as he landed in the centre of the course and gave them a guided tour of the aircraft.

Visitors also learned about the charity’s life-saving work from Dr Mark Salmon and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley.

The helicopter then took off as the second biggest race meeting in Fontwell’s calendar got underway with High Oscar among the winners of the seven races.

West Sussex Fundraising Manager, Cheryl Johnson said: “In total we raised almost £1,500 from bucket collections, raffle sales and sales of stock. We also had 27 sign-ups to our charity lottery.

“But more than that we gained vital exposure in the sporting arena with a TV interview in front of the helicopter on Sky At The Races which is watched by millions.

“We would like to thank Fontwell Park for giving us this excellent opportunity to raise awareness and look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

Children were entertained by Sussex Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley, Fonty the Horse and Father Christmas.

There were emergency service displays and re-enactments from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service and the Sussex Search and Rescue Team.

Fontwell Park also hosted demonstrations by West Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, West Sussex Bike Safe Team, Goodwood Mini Drivers and West Sussex Casualty Reduction Team.

Business Development Executive Chris Walker said: “The day went really well, the weather was fantastic and the theme was strong which led to inflated gate numbers on previous years. 

“In keeping with the emergency theme, the competitive ticket price of just £9.99 for adults with children going free worked really well for advanced sales. 

“The fly-in from Sussex Air Ambulance and the support of the Fire, Police and Armed Forces meant that there was plenty for families to enjoy.”

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

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Sound of Music

The Maritime Jazz Festival was music to the ears of the Kent Air Ambulance during this year’s Air Ambulance Week.

World famous musicians performed at the four day festival which is organized by the 144 Jazz Club. BBC presenter and vocalist Trudy Kerr started the festival with an evening performance at Dickens World in Chatham and the festival ended with a lunchtime show at Simply Italian in Rochester from Andy Panayi who has worked with famous artists such as Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Shirley Bassey.

The 144 Jazz club raised over £500 for the Air Ambulance over the four days. They have supported the charity in the past and will once again be raising funds at their Christmas Party on December 3rd at Dickens World which is being headlined by saxophonist Jimmy Hastings.

Musician Roan Kearsey-Lawson who founded the 144 club said “It is always difficult to know which charity to support; there are so many to choose from!  Perhaps it should be a cancer charity especially after my mum’s fight with Breast cancer?  Well, although that might be an obviously worthy cause, the Kent Air Ambulance is something which is there for everyone at the point of need regardless of who they are, what they look like, or what they have or haven’t done, suffered or championed.  All charities provide for certain or specific groups or needs, but few (if any) provide for others across the board, the Kent Air Ambulance does, she is there for everyone!” (Roan Kearsey-Lawson Maritime Jazz Festival & 144Club) 

The 144 Jazz Club plays host to internationally renowned musicians and vocalists every month at The Roffen Club in Rochester. Details of artists appearing at the club can be found on their website www.144club.co.uk

Jill Playle, Director of Communications for the charity said ‘We are really grateful to Roan and everyone associated with the Jazz Club for their continued support. The musicians who played during the festival attracted good audiences and the Sunday lunch was enthusiastically supported by Giuseppi at Simply Italian.’

Kent Air Ambulance relies almost entirely on voluntary donations. The helicopter responds to between two and three serious medical emergencies every day, at a cost of approximately £2,500 a call.

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 Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Website!

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new website

www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Please explore all our new features!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Give a gift of life this Christmas

Critical Care Paramedic Jez Loseby, Dr Neal Durge and Critical Care Paramedic Chris Fudge digging the helicopter out of the snow last Christmas.. This photo is available as a Christmas card called It’s Snow Joke! which is part of the 2011 Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Christmas Catalogue. To order a copy call 01622 833833.

 

Raffle tickets for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance’s 2011 Christmas Draw have gone on sale with one lucky winner guaranteed to win the top prize of £5,000.

The draw will take place just three days before Christmas (December 22nd) with the runner-up receiving a second prize of £500.

Last year, the life-saving charity’s draw achieved ticket sales and donations totalling £176,414.

Each flying mission costs around £2,500 so the sum raised was enough to help fund more than 70 life-saving missions.

Lottery Team Leader Katie Underdown said: “It’s due to the incredible generosity of our supporters that we are able to provide this essential service to everyone living, working and travelling in our county every day.

“Our raffles are a major part of our annual fundraising plan which helps to raise the £5million needed each year to fund the service.”

Former Royal Navy servant Gladys Yates, from Gillingham, was delighted to win last year’s jackpot after buying £20 worth of tickets.

She said: “It was a wonderful surprise and I had a lot of people say to me that it was so lovely to know someone who had won.

“It’s only £1 a ticket and even if you don’t win it goes a long, long way to help. So many services are disappearing these days but we’ve got to keep the Air Ambulance flying. It’s a gem.”

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance flies with a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic who can carry out advanced medical procedures, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

The emergency service relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

Tickets for the Christmas Draw cost £1 each in books of 10 and can be ordered by calling 01622 833833.

A Gift in your Will

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance has joined forces with three local solicitors to provide a free Will-writing service for one week only.

About a third of the life-saving charity’s income comes from legacies and donations in memoriam, allowing the helicopter to stay airborne 365 days a year.

In most cases, solicitors can prepare a Will on the internet, by telephone or by post.

But during Will-Writing Week (November 14th – 21st), members of the public can phone or visit the offices of solicitors in Woking, Worthing and Chichester for a free consultation.

Air Ambulance Initiative Development Fundraiser Corinne Hitching said: “Many people use their Wills to leave a precious gift of a legacy to a favourite charity.

“We would be delighted if they decide to include a legacy to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance in their will but that is not a requirement of this offer. If they could help us today, their relatives may need us tomorrow.”

Supporters of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance can leave a legacy which may be free from inheritance and Capital Gains Tax.

For more information or to book an appointment contact Stephen Wright at The Fry Group in Worthing, West Sussex, on 01483 744900 or email akm@wdavies.com.

Also, Alexandra Milton or Graeme Black at W.Davies Solicitors in Woking, Surrey, on 01483 744900 or email akm@wdavies.com.

And Paul Asling at George Ide Solicitors in Chichester, West Sussex, on 01243 831006 or email paul.asling@georgeide.co.uk.

999 Family Race Day

A fly-in by Sussex Air Ambulance will be among the top attractions at the life-saving charity’s first-ever race day at Fontwell Park this Sunday (November 13th).

Racegoers will get the chance to see the helicopter and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic, subject to emergency call-outs.

There will be emergency service displays and re-enactments from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service and Sussex Search and Rescue Team.

The first of seven races gets underway at 12.25pm after a tipping forum in the parade ring, courtesy of Totesport.

Family passes to the Royal International Horse Show and Fontwell Racecourse will be among the prizes of a raffle draw in the Winner’s Enclosure ahead of the final race at 3.20pm.

Other demonstrations will be held by West Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, West Sussex Bike Safe Team, Goodwood Mini Drivers and the West Sussex Casualty Reduction Team.

Tickets booked in advance cost just £9.99 with free admission for children under 16 accompanied by an adult. Hospitality packages are also available from only £35.

Call or book online now on 01243 543335 or www.fontwellpark.co.uk

Funds raised on the day will go to Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Meet our life-savers!

Members of the public can meet the pilots, doctors, paramedics, staff and trustees of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at its Annual General Meeting next month (November 10th).

The open meeting will be held at Westerham Golf Club in Westerham and visitors will have the chance to ask questions about the life-saving service which has flown more than 1,000 missions so far this year.

Chief Executive Adrian Bell will talk about the impact that the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service has on patient outcomes and the charity’s plans for night operations. Members of the public are invited to attend the annual meeting to find out more about their Air Ambulance and how it operates. They will also have the opportunity to ask questions and speak to the crew and staff of the charity.

‘This charity exists to serve the community and constantly strives to deliver the best possible outcomes for the patient. Please come and join us to hear what we have to say, to question us and have your say and meet the crew to find out what we do and how we do it’ said Adrian Bell.

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance needs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying and relies almost entirely on public donations.

The specialist doctor and critical care paramedic can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene of an accident or emergency, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival before flying patients on to the most appropriate hospital for their needs.

Westerham Golf Club is situated at Valence Park off Brasted Road in Westerham, Kent, TN16 1LJ and the meeting will start at 7pm. 

 

Jet set go for New York marathon runner

A Horley estate agent will be swapping his For Sale boards for a starter gun as he runs this weekend’s New York marathon for Surrey Air Ambulance.

White & Sons partner Simon Watkins, 61, will be cheered on by his wife Gail and son Oliver as he bids to complete his third 26-mile run.

He has already run the London and Chicago marathons and will be returning to the US for the New York challenge on Sunday (November 6th).

Simon has been pounding the streets of Sidlow where he lives five days a week in training and has clocked about 400 miles in 10 weeks.

He said: “I started running in 2003 when I accepted a challenge to do the London Marathon. The person who challenged me said, ‘I will if you will’. I did and she didn’t!’

“Having done London I wanted to do New York but could not get in. I did Chicago in 2006 with a million spectators lining the streets which was awesome.

“It was minus two degrees at the start with a wind chill off the lake of minus five and my wife, who was watching, said it was the coldest she had ever been.

“I went for the New York ballot this year about an hour before it closed and got in even though 120,000 runners went for about 11,000 places.”

Simon will be jetting out to the US on Thursday and is aiming to raise about £2,000 for Surrey Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

He will be continuing a long association with the life-saving charity as White & Sons has sponsored the Air Aid Ball at Redhill Aerodrome since it was first held in 2007.

He said: “I was moved to support them after hearing how they save lives and how their quick response and skills give people the best chance of returning to a near normal life.

If you would like to sponsor Simon call 01293 785454.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Runners needed for Brighton Marathon

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for runners to raise vital funds for the life-saving charity by taking part in next year’s Brighton Marathon.

The ballot for individual places has now closed with a record 18,000 entries so far – a 20 per cent increase on last year.

Charity places are still available for anyone who would like to take on this amazing challenge, get fit and help the Air Ambulance to save lives.

Brighton Marathon will be held on April 15th, 2012, the year of the Olympics, and is now ranked among the 12 top running events in the UK.

Air Ambulance Community Fundraiser Amy Salter said: “Brighton is an area where we are trying to raise our profile as many people still do not realize that we are a charity.

“Having as many runners as possible in the marathon will help us to do that. It is a fantastic way to keep fit but requires a lot of training which is why we need people to sign up now.

“Spaces in our team are limited so we are encouraging people who want to get fit and start training, to sign up now to secure their place.

All entrants will receive a fundraising pack including sponsor forms, support and advice from the charity’s fundraising team, a training guide and an Air Ambulance running vest.

Runners will also have the opportunity of attending a pre-race meeting at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Dunsfold Park near Horsham.

This will include a practice run and the chance to see the helicopter and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic, subject to emergency call-outs.

During the marathon, runners will be spurred along by a special Air Ambulance cheering squad armed with whistles, banners and balloons.

Afterwards they will then be invited to a post-race reception and thank-you coffee morning with family and friends welcome.

More than 100 runners chose to run for the Air Ambulance at last year’s second Brighton Marathon, raising almost £40,000 – enough to help save 20 lives.

Each mission costs about £2,500 and the Air Ambulance relies almost entirely on voluntary public donations for its funding.

Anyone interested in running the Brighton Marathon should call Amy Salter on 01622 833806.

Grandfather survives "near-fatal" wasp sting

A Cranleigh grandfather who almost died after being stung by a wasp has thanked the emergency services who saved his life.

Retired engineer Robin Williams, 71, had climbed a ladder to investigate a leak in the study of his home.

He used a knife to lift the tiles to see if there was any water ingress when he accidentally disturbed a wasps nest.

The grandfather-of-four was stung twice on his arm and finger and went into anaphylactic shock.

His wife Christine, a former midwife, dialled 999 and paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene.

Surrey Air Ambulance was launched within just four minutes of the call and Pilot Peter Driver landed in the grounds of Park Mead Primary School.

Dr Anthony Hudson and Critical Care Paramedic Adam Heywood then ran to Mr Williams’ house and gave him more treatment at the scene.

Robin said: “I remember walking from the kitchen to the lounge after getting back down the ladder and that’s the last thing I remember until the life-saving crew arrived.

“The treatment and care I received was second to none. The doctor explained that it was a near-death experience.

“I’ve been stung many times before and the previous week I’d been stung on the thumb but had no adverse reaction other than being very uncomfortable.

“I’m now slightly apprehensive when I see wasps and when I came out of hospital my daughter insisted on me staying with them until the nest had been removed.”

Mr Williams was taken by land ambulance to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, accompanied by the doctor and paramedic on the helicopter.

He was discharged the next day and now carries an Epi-Pen to counter the effects of another wasp sting.

The marine artist is now painting an oil picture of the Surrey Air Ambulance which can be sold off as prints to raise funds for the charity.

Paramedic Adam Heywood said: Thankfully, the land crew had begun the life-saving treatment required and we were able to compliment this with advanced interventions usually only started once the patient reaches A&E. The speed that we were able to get to scene gave Mr Williams the best possible treatment with the minimum of delay. This really was a good example of where the land crews and ourselves work together to achieve a common goal of excellent medical care."

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, 17 October 2011

New doctors join Air Ambulance

Two new specialist doctors have joined life-saving charity the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Dr Magnus Nelson was born in Canterbury, grew up in Wingham and went to Sir Roger Manwoods School in Sandwich.

He joins the charity on a six-month secondment from the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he is a consultant in emergency medicine.

Dr Nelson has also worked at local A&E hospitals in Chichester, Worthing and Guildford and the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital in London.

He said: “I have always been interested in pre-hospital medicine and this is an amazing opportunity for me to learn in a well-respected system that strives to deliver the best care in often very challenging circumstances.

“Having grown up and lived in the region pretty much my whole life I know the importance of having this service available and thank those who give their time and money to keep this charity running.”

Dr Mark Salmon joins the trust on a 12-month secondment after also working at St George’s where he qualified in 2003.

He has also worked at Ashford Hospital in Middlesex, St Richard’s in Chichester, St Helier, East Surrey, Kingston and Epsom.

The 33-year-old is a registrar who specialises in anaesthetics and has also worked in A&E, paediatrics and orthopaedics.

He said: “I joined the Air Ambulance to gain experience of major trauma and medical emergencies in the pre-hospital environment.

“I have always thought that this is the most exciting job in the whole field of medicine. I had not ever flown in a helicopter until I started this job.

“Several years ago, the Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance once landed at a road traffic collision near my house and I went to help and was inspired by the team.”

Dr Nelson, 36, lives in Hassocks, West Sussex, and has just retired from playing for Shoreham Rugby Club after 10 seasons. He also enjoys stand-up paddleboarding.

He is married to wife Clare, a GP, and has twins called Molly and Tom aged six.

Dr Salmon is married to wife Allison, also a GP, and has an eight-month old son called Oscar. His hobbies include playing in a band, photography and cooking.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Annual General Meeting

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance would like to invite you to our
Annual General Meeting
at
Westerham Golf Club

Thursday 10th November 2010 from 7pm

Monday, 10 October 2011

A kind of magic at charity cabaret

World-renowned magician Chris Dugdale will be starring at a cabaret show this weekend, raising funds for Surrey Air Ambulance and The Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The musical line-up at The Samson Centre in Stoughton on October 14th and 15th includes Elvis Presley, Elton John and David Bowie tribute acts.

Liam Cousins, 10, will be singing hits by Queen while “Voice of a Star” Hannah Pogorzelski will be performing Disney theme tunes.

There will also be a light buffet, real ale bar, raffle and secret auction with prizes including a weekend away in Paignton, a meal for two at the New Radisson and a brewery and wine tour.

Tickets cost just £10 and funds raised will go to Surrey Air Ambulance, which relies almost entirely on public donations, and The MS Society.

For more information call Jan Cook on 01483 823709, 07979737288, or email jancook69@hotmail.com. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Seaford Live! hits the high notes

Music and arts festival Seaford Live! has raised almost £1,500 for life-saving charity Sussex Air Ambulance, figures have revealed.

The 10-day show was held at a number of venues in the town and included music from bands and performers, exhibitions, theatre and dance.

The event ended with a closing night performance called Hitting the High Notes from Seaford Rock and Jazz orchestra at the Constitutional Club.

This year, organizers decided to raise funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and were delighted with the grand total of £1,433.

Seaford Live! secretary John Clayton said: “We are really pleased to have raised such a fantastic amount for such a worthwhile cause.

“Everyone had a really good time and I’d like to thank all those who contributed, from the performers to the venues, for making it a really enjoyable event.”

Seaford Live! began with A Little Bit of London, an evening of entertainment at the Little Theatre, on September 2nd.

There was a guitar workshop at the Royal British Legion, a rock and blues night at Diellas and a folk dance group at the Downs Leisure Centre.

Air Ambulance Head of Fundraising in East Sussex, Bridget Pepper also read a poem about the charity during an evening of poetry at the Crypt Gallery.

She said: “The closing night was nothing short of amazing. I was not expecting such a high level of musical expertise, excellent choice of tunes and mostly enthusiasm.

“Seaford Rock and Jazz Orchestra are a hidden gem and I can see what a great community spirit exists there.”

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

Monday, 26 September 2011

North Downs Walk

A Woking man whose life was saved by Surrey Air Ambulance is appealing for walkers to join his annual sponsored walk along the North Downs this weekend (October 1st)

Darren Cooper, 28, was driving to work when his car veered across the road and hit a tree.

He sustained a fractured skull and was airlifted to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London.

He 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.

Darren, of White Rose Lane, now wants members of the public to join him in his fourth North Downs Walk which has so far raised more than £25,000 for the charity.

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. We are hoping to carry on the momentum of last year and hopefully have about 50 to 60 walkers.”

The 10-mile walk starts between 9am and 11am at Newlands Corner and takes in Chilworth, Blackheath, Chinthurst and the River Wey before re-joining the North Downs Way.

During the walk, there will be a walkers’ lunch at The Parrott Inn in Shalford and possibly a fly-over by the Surrey Air Ambulance, depending on emergency call-outs.

To sponsor Darren or to join the walk visit www.northdownswalk.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/northdownswalk2011.