Thursday, 28 July 2011

Air Ambulance gets a lift from Kent FA

Kent Air Ambulance say they’re thrilled that one of the county’s most prestigious football competitions will be named after their organisation this coming season.

The Kent Air Ambulance Intermediate Challenge Shield will see 38 teams from the heart of Kent County Football League and the newly formed Kent Invicta Football League competing for the historic Shield.

Kent FA Chief Executive Paul Dolan said “The Kent Air Ambulance is a fantastic organisation that helps save so many lives and we are delighted to support it through the Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield this season.”

“We will be clearly demonstrating our corporate social responsibility as the custodians of football in Kent by using the prestige of one of our largest County Cups to highlight the outstanding work carried out by Kent Air Ambulance,” he added.

The Kent Air Ambulance is a registered charity that can deliver a highly skilled team of doctors and critical care paramedics to the scene of an emergency anywhere in the county within minutes.

Every penny of the £1.7 million it costs each year to keep the life-saving helicopter in our skies comes from individuals, groups, businesses and companies from all over Kent.

Jill Playle, Air Ambulance Director of Communications, said “We are thrilled that Kent FA has chosen our charity as a cause for this countywide football competition. The service has been scrambled on more than one occasion to help with emergencies at football matches, so it seems fitting that players and fans and the Kent FA will be supporting us this coming season.”

Kent FA hopes funds for the charity will be raised through collections at this season’s Kent Air Ambulance Intermediate Challenge Shield games.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

All roads lead to Marden for Open Day

Thousands of visitors saw the Kent Air Ambulance called into action on Sunday (July 24) as they flocked to the life-saving charity’s annual Open Day.

The helicopter was launched four times during a busy day for the pilot, specialist doctor and critical care paramedic.

Crowds were able to watch as the aircraft took off and landed at its base at Marden following incidents in Dartford, Brenchley, Tunbridge Wells and Hythe.

Among the visitors was schoolboy Luke Titmuss, 10, who was airlifted to hospital after a road traffic collision in May but has since made a good recovery.

Air Ambulance Fundraiser Bridget Pepper said: “We were blessed with really good weather and were very impressed with the turnout.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters and volunteers who helped out on the day and made it such a success.

“It was heartwarming to see some of our former patients coming back and showing their support.”

New attractions at this year’s family fun day out included helicopter rides courtesy of AV8 in Rochester, quad bike rides and a Lamborghini Aventador.

There were emergency service displays from partner agencies Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Storm Troopers and Daleks patrolled the Wheelbarrow Park Estate while Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley greeted the children and posed for photographs.

There was also a police dogs demonstration, classic car displays, a funfair, live music and dancing from the Maidstone Dance Studio.

Funds raised from this year’s Open Day, more than £8,500, will go to the charity which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

The Air Ambulance takes A&E to the scene of an accident or medical emergency and the highly-skilled medics can carry out advanced life support, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

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, 25 July 2011

Fun family day out at charity polo match

A charity polo match in aid of Sussex Air Ambulance is to be held at Hurtwood Park Polo Club this weekend (Sunday July 31).

The family day out will also feature pony club mounted games, a sheepdog demonstration, search and rescue, gundog display and a fabulous dressage demonstration with John Lassetter and friends.

The polo match at 3pm will feature the final of a competition that will have been running all week at Hurtwood Park on the Sussex-Surrey border.

There will also be a funfair, trade village and champagne lunch in a VIP area. Entry is £15 per car with pre-booked premier parking also available at £100.

Visitors will also get the chance to see the Sussex Air Ambulance and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic, subject to 999 call-outs.

This is the first polo day organised by the charity since it launched five years ago and it is hoped the public will come along and support the event and enjoy all the entertainment for a great family day out.

The helicopter is often called to horse riding accidents especially in remote and inaccessible areas such as the South Downs.

Sussex Air Ambulance flies fast, direct and un-hindered and can reach the furthest part of the county within 15 minutes, saving vital time which can mean the difference between life and death.

The specialist doctor and paramedic on board can carry out advanced medical procedures, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

For further information about the polo day contact Corinne Hitching on 07784 229717 or email corinneh@kaat.org.uk. Gates open at 11am and the entertainment on the field starts at 11.45am with the polo starting at 3pm.

Chocs away, Lions roar into the sky

Big-hearted Surrey Lions have helped the county’s Air Ambulance save 50 lives by raising more than £80,000 in just five years.

The Lions have supported the life-saving charity through their annual Easter Eggstravaganza since the helicopter was first launched in June, 2007.

This year they successfully raised £18,000 by distributing large chocolate Easter eggs each adorned with a furry lion.

Customers picked a name for the lion from a choice of 100 for a donation of £1 which is the equivalent cost of one sheet of bubblewrap to keep each patient warm.

Surrey Air Ambulance County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “It’s great that this event is proving to be a firm favourite in Surrey’s calendar.

“We’re really very grateful to all the Lions of Surrey for their fantastic support and for their passion for the work we do.

“Five years running now, the charity has benefited from the generous donations and that money has certainly made a difference to the work we do in Surrey.

“To raise enough money to be able to save 50 lives is certainly something to shout about. Imagine the families connected to those people and how that money has allowed them to all stay together.”

Each flying mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so the sum raised by Surrey Lions has effectively helped to save 50 lives.

The Easter Eggstravaganza was organized by Lions clubs in Cranleigh, Farnham, Frimley and Camberley, Godalming, Guildford, Leatherheard, Surrey and Borders and Woking.

Representative from all eight clubs presented their cheque to Surrey Air Ambulance during a flying visit to All Hallows Catholic School in Farnham.

The helicopter flies fast, direct and un-hindered and can reach the furthest part of the county in 15 minutes, saving vital time which can mean the difference between life and death.

The specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board can carry out advanced medical procedures, giving patients the best chance and quality of life.

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, 18 July 2011

Guests step back in time for Air Aid Ball

Photo 1: The Tiger Club display • Photo 2: Louisa and Andrew Farrant, of White & Sons, winners of the best-dressed couple competition • Photo 3: Dr Adam Fendius, County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley

Surrey Air Ambulance is no stranger to Redhill Aerodrome but on June 25 it was joined by almost 300 supporters, sponsors and their guests for the third Air Aid Ball which raised a staggering £65,000 in support of the life-saving charity.

The past two years have seen the organising committee bring a fantastic event to fruition and the guests enjoyed a spectacular evening with a 1930s Burlesque theme.

The evening began in style with a champagne reception where entertainment was provided in the form of a barnstorming air display by the world-famous Tiger Club. 

The Tiger Club began proceedings with the Turbulent Team featuring aircraft flying in formation and performing limbo, balloon-bursting and flower-bombing displays which were rounded off with aerobatics from a Stampe biplane.

Guests then took their seats in a large marquee for a sumptuous meal during which they were entertained by Richard Stilgoe whose lyrical style was much appreciated as Master of Ceremonies.

Dancers from the Divine Decadence Cabaret featuring the Divine Miss Em then took to the floor and guests danced into the small hours to the music.

Jon Horne, Chief Executive of Redhill Aerodrome Ventures Ltd, said: “This is the second time the aerodrome has had the privilege of hosting the Air Aid Ball and we are delighted to do it. 

“The work of the Surrey Air Ambulance is invaluable in saving lives and many people are surprised to learn that it is entirely funded by donations. 

“For us being able to help the fund raising campaign in some way along with all the many other sponsors is very rewarding, particularly when you see the results of the fantastic work undertaken by the dedicated Air Ambulance team.

County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson said: “What an amazing night and we have had some fantastic feedback from our guests.

“Due to the generosity of our sponsors all costs for the event were covered so that all monies raised from the ball will come directly to the charity, figures are looking good we have hopeful raised £65,000 for our charity. 

“Being a part of the ball committee is an amazing experience and I cannot thank members and sponsors enough for their support. Our next Air Aid Ball will be in June, 2013.”

Committee member Caroline Martin added: “We have had a great deal of fun planning this evening.

“Without the continued generous support of our wonderful sponsors this event would not be possible.

“We were so thrilled to see so many old friends return and new faces joining us for this year’s ball.

“We believe Surrey Air Ambulance is an essential element of our community and we are very fortunate to have them.

“The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) team can make a world of difference between life and death at a road-side or remote location.”

Surrey Air Ambulance would like to thank sponsors Callaghan Demolition, Chandler & Co, CC Cousins Construction, Fairalls, Harwoods, Hystar Construction, Kingston Smith LLP, London Helicopter Centres, Montal, Morrisons Solicitors, Prontaprint Reigate, Quinn-Essence, Redhill Aerodrome, Senses Holidays, Sibelco, Sotra Ltd, Stanton Construction and White & Sons.

Bike ride for 999 charity raises £12,000

Eighty cyclists helped raise more than £12,000 for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance by taking part in the charity’s first-ever Double 100 Bike Challenge.

Chief Pilot, Captain Steve Wood, and critical care paramedics Justin Carding and Stu Plumbley were among the riders who completed the ride starting and finishing at the helicopter base.

They were joined by former patients Jim Gilbourne and Darren Cooper who were both airlifted to hospital following separate road traffic collisions three years ago.

The 100-mile route took in all four counties covered by the Air Ambulance – Kent, Surrey and East and West Sussex.

The first riders back were Anthony Williams and Simon Nocton, from Plaxtol, Kent, who completed the alternative 100km route in just over three-and-a-half hours.

The oldest competitor was 75-year-old Eric Clarke, from Wisborough Green, West Sussex, who crossed the finish line on the 100-mile route in nine hours.

Air Ambulance Chief Executive Adrian Bell was at the start line to wish the riders well as they set off from Dunsfold Park and thank them for their support.

The first stop was at Charlwood Village Hall after which the route split at Copthorne where the 100km riders pedalled to Turners Hill.

The 100-mile riders headed around a route that took them past Lingfield Racecourse and on to Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells before heading back via Hartfield.

At Turners Hill, they re-joined the other cyclists for the final 25 miles back to Dunsfold through Southwater and Billingshurst.

Radio 2’s Sally Traffic welcomed the riders back for a well-deserved barbecue with their family and friends who were allowed to cycle around the nearby Top Gear track.

Air Ambulance Initiative Development Fundraiser Corinne Hitching said: “It was a fantastic first challenge event that we organised and I would like to thank everyone who took part.

“We hope this will become an annual fundraising event and more cyclists will join us next year.”

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance would like to thank sponsors Halfords, Sussex Transport, Southern Water, Allguard Alarms, MI Print, Power Bars, Sainsbury’s,Tesco, Morrisons and Asda.

The Double 100, on July 3rd, was also supported by a volunteer group of Unity Support Riders who toured the circuit on motorbikes to support riders and offer first aid.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Davina donates shoes for Funky Footwear Friday

TV host Davina McCall has donated a £500 pair of shoes to be auctioned off to raise vital funds for the life-saving Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance charity.

The former Big Brother presenter, famed for her vertiginous heels, has kindly pledged a pair of black patent leather Giuseppe Zanotti 6” stillettos described as gorgeously chic.

Davina, who lives in Wadhurst, East Sussex, has also signed a photograph to be given to the new lucky owner, saying: “I hope you enjoy the shoes.”

She added: “Thanks to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance for all that you do for us.”

Olympic gold medalist Kriss Akabusi and Gareth McGrillen of the rock band Pendulum have also donated shoes and other celebrities are being urged to follow in their footsteps.

Jockey Ryan Moore, who recently rode the Queen’s horse in the Gold Cup, has also vowed to donate footwear. The horse famously lost one of his shoes in the sprint to the finish line.

The eBay auction will run from September 13 to 23 to coincide with Air Ambulance Week and Funky Footwear Friday.

Initiative Development Fundraiser Corinne Hitching said: “We hope to have many celebrities and sportsmen and women stepping forward with their shoes so that we can have a good selection to help us raise money.

“This is a different way of raising the profile of Funky Footwear Friday and we hope celebrities will be generous and donate a pair to the charity.

As part of Funky Footwear Friday (September 23), pupils and staff at schools, colleges and businesses are being urged to wear their most colourful and crazy shoes in return for a £1 donation to the Air Ambulance.

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

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance, which relies almost entirely on public donations, please call 01622 833833. 

 

Dr Dudley stars at Open Day

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance opens its doors to members of the public with a fun day out for all the family next weekend (July 24th).

Visitors will get the opportunity to have a guided tour of the helicopter and meet its life-saving crew of pilots, doctors and paramedics at the Kent and East Sussex base at Marden - subject to emergency call-outs.

New attractions this year include the Air Ambulance’s new mascot Dr Dudley who will be making his first public appearance in Kent, and helicopter rides courtesy of AV8 in Rochester.

Children and adults can pose for photographs with the cuddly bear who will soon be visiting schools, local businesses, clubs and groups who raise funds for the charity.

There will also be an emergency services display, police dogs, quad bike rides, classic car rides, a dance group, a visit from the Storm Troopers and Daleks and refreshments including, crepes, cupcakes and a hog roast.

Funds raised from the Open Day, from 11am to 4pm, will go to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

The helicopter carries a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board who can carry out advanced medical procedures, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance headquarters is based on the Wheelbarrow Park Estate off Pattenden Lane in Marden, TN12 9QJ.

If you would like to pre-book a helicopter ride at £30 per person please call Amy Salter on 01622 833833.

 

 

 

Monday, 4 July 2011

Clay shooter hits the target in summer draw

A Sevenoaks pensioner is planning the trip of a lifetime to South America after winning the £5,000 jackpot in Kent Air Ambulance’s Mid-Summer Draw.

Clay pigeon shooter Dan Lynch landed the top prize with ticket number 0110967 which was drawn by Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst.

The 69-year-old plumber and electrician celebrated his win with a glass of champagne and is now hoping to retire next year.

Mr Lynch, a member of Plaxtol Gun Club, took up the sport when he was 16 and will use some of his winnngs to fund a shooting holiday in Wales next month.

He said: “I was staggered to win the draw because I wasn’t expecting to come out on top. It’s a very pleasant surprise.

“I don’t take part in the raffle to win prizes, I do it to support the charity. The most amount I’ve won before now was £100 in Premium Bonds.

“I hope to retire when I’m 70 if my customers let me. They rely on me to put things right when they go wrong and I’m quite well known in the area.”

Mr Lynch bought £30 worth of tickets for the annual summer raffle and has been a loyal supporter of the charity for 10 years.

He proudly wore his Kent Air Ambulance polo shirt as he visited the helicopter base at Marden to collect his cheque.

He added: “It’s such a worthwhile cause and I think it’s the envy of most other counties around as it was one of the first and because of the highly-skilled team on board.”

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

This year’s mid-summer draw raised more than £143,000 in ticket sales and donations for the charity which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Mr Wells, from Westerham, won the runner-up prize of £500 with lucky ticket 0204741.

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

Survivor’s run helps save two lives

A Horsham father helped raise more than £4,000 for the Sussex Air Ambulance by running a half marathon to thank the crew for saving his life.

Neil Akers, 36, and his neuro-physiotherapist Nikki Penny were among 30,000 runners who took part in the Haggis Run in Edinburgh.

His relay team included uncle and aunt Terry and Jo Akers and case manager John Ainscough who crossed the finish line in 4hrs, 27mins.

It completed a remarkable recovery for Neil after he survived a serious motorbike accident near Brighton two years ago.

He said: "My four-year-old son Samuel phoned me in the morning to wish me good luck for the run which was nice.

"The weather wasn't fantastic because there was rain, wind and sunshine then more rain but the atmosphere was amazing.

"My knee began to swell up quite badly after about eight miles so it was a relief to finish my stint which was eight miles.

"It was my first run since the accident and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's good to be able to raise money for the Sussex Air Ambulance which saved my life."

Neil Akers suffered brain damage, a collapsed lung, fractured arm, a ruptured knee and two broken ribs when he collided with a van in April, 2009.

He had to be anaesthetized, 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.

The father-of-one, of Heath Way, was in a coma for eight days and spent two-and-a-half months in hospital before he was eventually allowed home.

Last year, Sussex Air Ambulance won the West Sussex County Times' 999 Award, nominated by Neil and he has since become a volunteer for the Sussex Air Ambulance charity which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 so the sum raised by Neil and his team has effectively helped to potentially save two lives.

Neil is now setting his sights on taking part in next year's Double 100 Bike Challenge which it is hoped will become an annual fundraising event.

 

Friday, 1 July 2011

This weekend 2nd/3rd July Dover is the place to be!

Get yourself down to Dover’s Seafront this weekend, for an action packed selection of activities….

…on Saturday 2nd July;

  • Dragon Boat Racing at 9am & 2pm, and Finals at 3.30pm
  • Newfoundland Dog Display at 11am & 3pm
  • RNLI / Air & Sea Rescue at 1pm
  • Beach Party at 7pm
  • Firework Display sponsored by Dover Town Council at 10pm

…on Sunday 3rd July

  • Free Rowing Taster Sessions from 9am til 12noon, and at 2pm is the Club Rowing Regatta
  • Windsurfing Master Class with Bryony Shaw from 10am til 1pm, followed by a talk/Q&A session at 2pm sponsored by Sea France
  • Charity ‘Family Fun Run’ with Dover Rotary at 10pm (registration opens at 9am)
  • Newfoundland Dog Display at 11am & 4pm
  • Sea Swim 2.45pm
  • Parachute Display by Prince of Wales Royal Regiment at 3.30pm
  • Songs of Praise with Christians Together at 5pm
  • Dover Carnival starting at 6pm

There will be lots more on offer throughout both of the days….

  • Free Sailing and Windsurfing taster sessions
  • Helicopter Pleasure Flights
  • Children’s Beach Art with the London Rd Community Forum
  • Dancing & Live Music on the main stage
  • Various craft stalls, entertainment and food on offer
  • Model Boat Display on Granville Gardens

for more information please visit www.doverregatta.co.uk