Monday, 28 February 2011

A life-saving chapter in Blue Book


Paramedic Stu Plumbley, Doctor Amy Hughes, Doctor Anthony Hudson and Captain Kevin Goddard with Tom Smith, Stephen Smith, Maidstone MP Helen Grant, Matt Gash, Aaron Jempson, Shaun Gower and Sam Campbell.

When budding entrepreneur Tom Smith decided to set up a business which raised money for the Kent Air Ambulance, little did he know that his father would soon be rescued by the life-saving charity.

Tom, 23, launched his Blue Book of discount vouchers at Cranbrook Family Funday at the height of the recession after persuading 57 local businesses to sign up with proceeds from every book sale going to the Marden-based helicopter.

Two weeks later, on June 27, 2009, Tom was selling his books at the Staplehurst Family Funday when he received a call telling him his father had suffered serious burns in a bonfire accident.

Stephen Smith had been lighting a fire with petrol when he suffered 20% burns to his back and legs in Cranbrook.

The Kent Air Ambulance was called and the doctor and paramedic on board dressed his wounds before flying him to the specialist Broomfield Burns Unit in Essex.

Last week, Stephen and Tom presented the crew with a cheque for £4,052 which was raised from the Blue Book scheme endorsed by Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant.

The Blue Book has been voted among the top 100 best new businesses in the Barclays Trading Places Award which attracted 16,000 entries.

Tom and his film producer father have also been involved in the making of a film about Cranbrook Football Club as they tried to attract their biggest crowd in the village’s sporting history.

The Mighty Montage also features the Kent Air Ambulance and includes interviews with its Chief Executive Adrian Bell and the crew.

It is due to premier at the Keno Cinema at Hawkhurst in April and proceeds will go to the charity which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

County Fundraiser Lynn Hyder said: “We are delighted that Tom chose to support the Kent Air Ambulance with his Blue Book initiative.

“It really is a great way for the public to support us whilst getting something in return.

“After nearly a year of watching the various stages of the planning and filming of The Mighty Montage, we are very excited about its forthcoming premier.”

The Blue Book costs £20 with 50 per cent of each sale going to the Kent Air Ambulance. To find out more visit www.bluebookvouchers.co.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 Trust and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Monday, 21 February 2011

Scoring high for zero harm

Photo, L-R: Sussex Air Ambulance spokesman Jamie Cheshire and Dr John O’Neill, Jeannette Buckle, of Veolia, Julian Spiller, of Hochtief, Paul Mabbett, of AE&E Innova, and paramedic Natalie Brodrick.

 

Three firms have rewarded their workers for their outstanding health and safety record by donating £750 to a life-saving charity.

Workers at the new Energy Recovery Facility construction site in Newhaven successfully reached their target of 250,000 hours with no accidents reported.

Main contractors Hochtief and AE&E Inova along with client Veolia Environmental Services agreed to donate £250 each to a charity to mark their achievement.

Members of the Construction Liaison Group, including local residents and organisations, picked the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Jeannette Buckle, of Portslade-based Veolia, visited the helicopter base with Julian Spiller of Hochtief, and Paul Mabbett of AE&E Inova, to present their cheques.

She said: “On behalf of the group, it is a great honour to donate this money to such a worthwhile cause especially as Newhaven is on the coast and the helicopter can also land and airlift from the beach.”

Sussex Air Ambulance needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying and each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

The specialist doctor and Critical Care Paramedic on board can get to the scene within 15 minutes and carry out advanced medical procedures such as anaesthetics and chest surgery, giving patients the best chance of survival.

An Air Ambulance spokesman said: “We rely almost entirely on public donations including corporate sponsorship and we would like to thank Veolia, Hochtief and AE&E Inova for their support.

“Our crew are often called to industrial accidents so it is very fitting that this money was donated as a result of such an impressive safety record.”

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

X Factor dancer puts her running shoes on

A professional dancer and model is to run her first-ever marathon to raise vital funds for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

Kelly-Louise Rowden, 28, has appeared on X Factor, Dancing on Ice, Top of the Pops and at a Black Eyed Peas album launch.

She is also a director of Senkai Nu-Skool which runs dance and fitness sessions at Epsom College, Banstead, Sutton, Woking, Betchworth, Reigate and West Molesey.

As a model she has also appeared in a number of films, adverts and magazine shoots and is now planning to make a star turn at the London Marathon.

She said: “I wanted to run a marathon as I feel it’s a huge personal achievement and I have a few friends who have ran it and said it was an amazing experience.

“I never used to be able to run for five minutes so for me to be able to run a marathon is something I never ever thought I would ever be able to do.

“It was scary at the beginning to be honest and quite daunting when I first started training but I feel quite confident now I’m upping the mileage. I’m quite looking forward to it.

“When I heard about the Surrey Air Ambulance through Twitter I really wanted to run for them. Not many people realise it is a charity so they rely on donations.”

Surrey Air Ambulance needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying and each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000.

Kelly-Louise recently visited the base at Dunsfold and met Pilot, Captain Pete Driver, Dr Michael Urdang and Paramedic Mick Carter.

She learned how quickly they can get to the scene of an accident or emergency and carry out advanced medical procedures such as anaesthetics, chest surgery and intubation, giving patients the best chance of survival.

She added: “It opened my eyes as to how it all works and how much they love their job and really care about saving people’s lives.”

To sponsor Kelly-Louise, visit www.justgiving.com/kelly-louise-rowden where family and friends have so far donated £290 of her target of £1,000.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Charity Polo Match

On Sunday 31 July 2011 a special charity polo match is being held in aid of the Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance. The event will be held at Hurtwood Park Polo Club near Ewhurst, Surrey. Known as the Sport of Kings, Polo is a popular spectator sport and never fails to entertain with its fast action and amazing alliance between man and horse.

The public are invited to come along and enjoy a fun day for all the family. As well as the main polo match there will be plenty of other activities to keep everyone entertained, and don’t forget to do your bit and help tread in the divots at half time. Amongst the many things that will be on offer will be a bouncy castle, funfair, trade stands, food stalls and exhibitions. Information about the Air Ambulance will be available and the helicopter itself will be operating from Hurtwood Park all day.

Gates will open at 11am so arrive early and bag yourself the best site to view the thrills and spills of the chukkas. Cars will cost £15, including four people. Bring a picnic and enjoy a great day’s entertainment.

A VIP marquee will serve a sumptuous lunch to 150 guests, with champagne and a luxury item auction. Tables of 10 are available for £850.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For further information, contact Corinne Hitching, corinneh@kaat.org.uk, 07784 229 717.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Pilot run for Helen and Fraser

A Lingfield pilot and an air traffic controller are to run the London Marathon to raise vital funds for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

Captain Helen McLaurin, who works for Thomson Airways at Gatwick, and partner Fraser Hay will be putting their best feet forward for the life-saving charity.

As an air traffic controller at Redhill Aerodrome, Fraser is in regular contact with the Surrey Air Ambulance pilots when they need to land at the airfield or fly through its airspace.

Two years ago, Fraser and Helen ran the London Marathon to celebrate Helen’s 40th birthday and now plan to do the same for Fraser’s 40th.

He said: “To aid our motivation we looked for a charity close to both our hearts and decided on the Surrey Air Ambulance.

“The helicopter exists to relieve sick and injured people in south east England and surrounding areas by providing a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the benefit of the community.

“The highly-skilled team of doctors, paramedics and nurses can reach emergency situations in any part of Surrey within 15 minutes.

The helicopter with its life-saving crew reduces the delay for the patient to receive prompt and appropriate medical care and has the ability to transfer patients to the hospital or specialist trauma centre relevant to the injuries sustained.

Helen usually flies Boeing 757s and 767s on short haul flights but recently took time out from her busy schedule to visit the helicopter base at Dunsfold with Fraser.

Captain Pete Driver, Pilot, said: “The air traffic controllers at Redhill could not be more accommodating in terms of using their airfield.

“It is fantastic to see this support now being extended into Fraser and Helen pounding the pavements for 26 miles.”

To sponsor the couple visit www.justgiving.com/HelenandFraser where supporters have so far donated £640 of their target sum of £2,000.

Friend Rob Nilsen wrote: “Good luck Helen, it’s certainly one way to burn off the Christmas calories. Fantastic charity and hope you both do well, all the best.”

 

Monday, 14 February 2011

Marathon man's seven runs in 10 weeks

Photos: Ewen Purcell and in his Captain America costume. Photos thanks to Air Ambulance Volunteer, James George.

A Shoreham man is to run seven marathons in just two-and-a-half months to raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Fitness fanatic Ewen Purcell, 34, will start his epic challenge this weekend (February 20) at the Brighton half marathon.

He will then take on three more 13-mile runs at Tunbridge Wells (February 27), Eastbourne (March 6) and Hastings (March 20).

The father-of-two will then complete three full marathons – Sussex on April 3, Brighton on April 10 and finally the Three Forts on May 1.

He said: “At the start it’s always a little bit un-nerving and there are many things to worry about, training and picking up an injury.

“But the experience of running a marathon and the people you meet is fantastic and for me it’s a win-win situation.

“The charity will be benefiting from the money I raise and I will be keeping fit and healthy at the same time.

“I’m fortunate enough to use the kind of abilities I’ve got to benefit others and that’s my main drive.”

Ewen, of Newtimber Gardens, took up running two years ago to lose weight and has since run 30 full and half marathons.

He is again planning to run this year’s Brighton Marathon dressed as superhero Captain America despite suffering heat exhaustion at last year’s inaugural event.

He completed the run in 4hrs and 45mins and is this year aiming to raise a total of £3,000 for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7million a year to keep the helicopter flying.

Each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so if Ewen reaches his target he will be helping to potentially save two lives.

He added: “That just makes it all the more worthwhile because there’s no comparison to four hours out of my life and a bit of training to save someone else’s life.”

Ewen’s bosses at Barclaycard, where he works as a control design manager, have kindly agreed to match his fundraising up to £750 and family and friends can also sponsor him by visiting www.justgiving.com/EwenPurcell2011.

West Sussex County Fundraiser Cheryl Johnson said: “Running seven marathons in 10 weeks is no mean feat, even for a superhero!

“Ewen has set himself an incredible challenge and we are all rooting for him and hope that people will dig deep and support his marathon efforts.

“We are delighted that he has chosen to support the Sussex Air Ambulance and wish him every success.

“If Ewen’s story inspires you, then just visit our website for details of other running challenges you could do to help raise vital funds for your Air Ambulance.”

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Lucky Joan hits the jackpot

Captain Kevin Goddard, Air Ambulance pilot.

 

A Bognor Regis woman has urged supporters of the Sussex Air Ambulance to sign up to its lottery after winning almost £3,000.

Joan Currie, 88, won the life-saving charity’s Superdraw with lucky numbers 12, 18, 24 and 35.

She signed up to the fundraising lottery last August and is already reaping the benefit from her £8-a-month subscription.

Mrs Currie won last week’s jackpot draw of £2,971 just a week after another Superdraw winner scooped more than £21,000.

She said: “I was absolutely amazed because I’ve never won anything before, not even a penny. I couldn’t believe it.

“I was terribly pleased as anyone is when they win but I’ve not had time to think how I will spend it. Joining the Superdraw is a terrific idea.”

It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the Sussex Air Ambulance flying and it relies almost entirely on public donations.

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 team of highly-skilled medics can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance of survival.

Mrs Currie added: “The work they do is absolutely fantastic, it makes me wonder how we did without them over the years.”

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.

Monday, 7 February 2011

For Immediate Release: Gardener celebrates a high stakes win

A Bookham gardener has raked in more than £21,000 by winning the jackpot in the Surrey Air Ambulance lottery.

Former greenkeeper Robert Harding, 58, is the first winner of the life-saving charity’s Superdraw in 2011.

He signed up to the fundraising lottery only a year ago but is already reaping the benefit from his £8-a-month subscription.

The father-of three and his wife Patricia are now planning a two-week holiday to Egypt followed by a memorable train trip through the Rockies in Canada later this year.

He said: “It’s unreal, it’s just something you don’t think is going to happen to you. It just came out of the blue.

“I was very surprised and I’m absolutely over the moon about it. It’s a nice little nest egg to have and it will certainly keep the bank manager happy.”

At first Robert thought he had won the weekly prize of £1,000 but was delighted to scoop the jackpot of £21,118 - the most he has ever won since twice winning £100 on the National Lottery.

He added: “The Surrey Air Ambulance lottery is a really worthwhile cause and if everyone just gave a little bit it would make life so much easier.

“A lot more people would also have a chance of winning and these things can come up and surprise you as it did for me.”

It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the Surrey Air Ambulance flying and it relies almost entirely on public donations.

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 team of highly-skilled medics can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene, giving patients the best chance of survival.

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.