Monday, 14 March 2011

Bramley golfers hit a five-figure ace

Golfers raised more than £10,000 for the Surrey Air Ambulance and handed over their donation to the father of a motorist who was saved by the crew.

Rob Horne suffered multiple injuries in a road traffic collision four years ago and land paramedics were preparing to certify him dead.

But when Dr Zane Perkins and Critical Care Paramedic Neil Painter arrived they managed to save his life and Rob has since recovered.

His amazing story was recalled by his father Graeme as he gratefully received a cheque for £10,357 from Bramley Golf Club on behalf of the life-saving charity.

He said: “It is the biggest cheque I have ever personally collected and because each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000, this donation will help the helicopter crew to potentially save seven lives.

“I explained that the reason I became a volunteer for the Surrey Air Ambulance was that in 2007 they saved my son’s life.”

Rob sustained a fractured skull, traumatic brain injury, a fractured sternum, multiple rib fractures and collapsed lungs in the accident which happened in October, 2007.

He was anaesthetized, intubated and ventilated by the Surrey Air Ambulance medics who also carried out chest surgery.

They spent almost an hour treating him at the scene before airlifting him to the Royal London Hospital where he spent six days on life support and six weeks in a coma. He eventually returned home after six months of rehabilitation.

Surrey Air Ambulance needs £1.7m a year to keep the helicopter flying and was chosen by Bramley Golf Club Men’s Captain Graham Taylor as his Charity of the Year.

Graeme added: “The captain said he chose the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) because he kept seeing it go overhead and was very impressed with the work it did.”

The club has raised £75,000 for local charities during the last decade including Dyslexia Action which received a cheque for £7,392 after being picked by Women’s Captain Janette Hall.

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

Be a Winner!

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is currently canvassing for members to join its lottery and help to keep the life-saving helicopter flying.

Representatives are out and about in towns and villages throughout the county trying to sign up supporters to their lottery.

Canvassers for the Air Ambulance carry a photo identification badge with their name and ID number. There is also a telephone number that the public can ring for further verification.

Lottery Team Leader Katie Underdown said: “We are very aware of the fact that there are a lot of people knocking on doors and unfortunately there are some disreputable people out there.”

“We go to great lengths to make sure that our lottery canvassers are given extensive and professional training, but we urge people to please call us for re-assurance if they are in any doubt.”

“It isn’t just about talking to people about the lottery; it’s also about letting them know about the service that we provide. The funds that are raised through the lottery can literally mean the difference between life and death to our patients.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £3.4m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying and relies almost entirely on voluntary donations.

The charity does not receive any funding from the National Lottery and operates its own lottery to raise valuable funds. Last year it raised more than £225,000, the equivalent of around 120 emergency medical flights.

Supporters of the Regular Lottery pay £1 a week and can win guaranteed weekly prizes of between £25 and £1,000.

Recent winners of £1,000 include residents in Guildford, Peacehaven, Camberley and Bexhill. There have also been £250 winners in Tadworth, Reigate, Horsham and Seaford.

Lottery canvassers are also highly-regulated and have to comply with Gambling Commission laws and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is a member of The Lotteries Council which promotes good practice.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833. Alternatively cheques can be made payable to Kent, Surrey or Sussex Air Ambulance and posted to Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent, TN12 9QJ

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Rotarians replace stolen charity money

A group of kind-hearted Rotarians were so shocked by the theft of a Kent Air Ambulance collection box that they donated £50 to the life-saving charity.

The box was stolen from Whites of Kent in New Street, Sandwich just before Christmas.

Members of the town’s Rotary Club were so saddened by the crime that they unanimously agreed to refund the stolen money, approximately £50.

Rotarian Geoffrey Baker said: “Everyone has a very high regard for the Kent Air Ambulance and it’s a great shame that this should happen, absolutely dreadful.

“We’re not talking about £50, we’re talking about the principle of the whole thing. The person who did this may even need this wonderful service one day.”

Kent Air Ambulance needs £1.7m-a-year to stay airborne and relies almost entirely on voluntary donations.

Collection Box Co-ordinator Shirley Brown said: “I’m always saddened when one of our boxes goes missing. We are so grateful to the public who think of us when donating.

“Collection boxes bring in more than £100,000 each year in small change and this is a much-valued source of income.”

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

Bike crash survivor in Easter bunny ride

A motorcyclist is to embark on a mammoth ride dressed as an Easter bunny to raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance medics who saved his life.

John MacRae and his friend Pete Long will ride 1,014 miles from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in just 24 hours via the three famous bridges – Forth, Humber and Severn.

Four years ago, John was given just a 20 per cent chance of survival by doctors at hospital after a road traffic collision on the A24.

The 40-year-old, from Portslade, suffered multiple injuries but has since made a full recovery and is now planning his epic challenge on Good Friday.

He said: “We wanted to do something a bit daft, something a bit out of the ordinary to raise awareness of Sussex Air Ambulance.

“Having used it and been on the receiving end of them saving my life I wanted to give something back.

“It was Pete’s idea to ride from John O’Groats to Lands’ End and when we thought about it we decided we would raise money while we did it.

“Both of us are a bit nervous because it’s a long way but it’s also a really exciting challenge.

John and his partner Jane MacRae, a pillion passenger, were on their way to Box Hill in Surrey when they collided with a caravan at Beare Green in July, 2007

He suffered a broken neck and pelvis, serious chest injuries, a fractured leg and had difficulty breathing following the accident which happened on Friday the 13th.

He had to be anaesthetized by Dr Zane Perkins and Critical Care Paramedic Neil Painter and underwent major chest surgery.

He was then airlifted to the nearest major trauma centre at the Royal London Hospital where he spent six days. Jane escaped serious injury.

John and Pete, from Burgess Hill, are both members of Arundel-based Bury Hill Bikers which has chosen the Sussex Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year.

The daring duo are aiming to raise £5,000 for the helicopter which needs £1.7m-a-year to stay airborne and relies almost entirely on voluntary donations.

They will set off at midday on Good Friday and stop off at 10 petrol stations along their journey through Scotland, England and Wales which they estimate will take 19 hours.

Sussex Air Ambulance County Fundraiser Bridget Pepper said: “John and Pete have really come up with an innovative idea to raise funds.

“It’s lovely when our supporters do something new and this will certainly be the longest bike ride to raise funds that I have heard of in my time at the charity”.

If you would like to sponsor John and Pete visit www.thebarmybikers.co.uk.