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.

All rotors lead to Goodwood

Helicopters from around the country will be flying into Goodwood Aerodrome this weekend (October 2nd) for a show in aid of Sussex Air Ambulance.

Phoenix Helicopter Academy is hosting the fly-in with a special visit from the life-saving crew of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).

Visitors will get the chance to see the Air Ambulances twin-engine MD902 Explorer aircraft and meet the pilot, specialist doctor and paramedic - subject to emergency call-outs.

Other helicopters on show will include a Robinson R22, R44 and R66, Bell 206, Rotorway 162f and the first Cabri G2 in the UK.

There will also be a fly-past by the Coastguard helicopter and pleasure flights courtesy of Phoenix Helicopters.

The Goodwood-based firm has chosen Sussex Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year and all proceeds will go to the emergency service which relies almost entirely on donations.

Flight Operations director Alastair Lovell said: “We welcome local people to come and have a look at the aircraft and learn more about Sussex Air Ambulance.

“The success of the event relies on an enthusiastic response and we hope many of you will decide to come along and make the event a success.”

The event starts at 10am with a barbecue at midday and a possible appearance from Sussex Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley.

For more information call Phoenix Helicopters on 01243 790900 or email info@phoenixhelicopters.co.uk.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Air Ambulance Week

Photo: AAW (Air Ambulance Week). Critical Care Paramedic Jez Loseby, Pilot Captain Kevin Goddard and Doctor Tasha Newton

Staff and volunteers at Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance are celebrating Air Ambulance Week which starts today (Monday).

They will be out and about at various stores and supermarkets throughout all four counties raising vital funds to help keep both helicopters flying.

On Funky Footwear Friday (September 23rd), staff and pupils at schools, colleges and businesses will be wearing their most outrageous footwear in return for a suggested donation of £1.

Chelsea and England stars John Terry and Frank Lampard have given their support by kindly donating a pair of football boots to the charity’s Funky Footwear Auction. Click here to start bidding on their and more celebrity shoes: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Kent-Surrey-Sussex-Air-Ambulance.

Air Ambulance Week is a celebration of the life-saving work of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which flies with a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic.

So far this year both helicopters based at Marden in Kent and Dunsfold in Surrey have flown a combined total of almost 900 missions.

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

Dr. Stephen Rashford, one of the Air Ambulance doctors said “Bubble wrap is a great example of a cost effective method to keep trauma patients warm and by doing so reduce bleeding and improving patient outcome. Just £1 will pay for a sheet of bubble wrap and could help to save a life so please give generously if you see one of our store collections.”

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833.

 

Coffee morning success leads to life saved

Photo: Surrey Air Ambulance volunteer Annette Forster and Elstead WI President Margaret Elliott

Members of the Elstead branch of the Women’s Institute have raised enough funds to help Surrey Air Ambulance potentially save a life.

The group nominated the emergency service as their Charity of the Year after they were given a talk about its life-saving work two years ago.

They held a number of coffee mornings to raise a grand total of £1,700 and a former member kindly donated the proceeds of a swimming group who use her pool, to swell the coffers.

President Margaret Elliott said: “I saw the Air Ambulance in action the other day and I’m sure they played a vital part in the incident. It bought it home to me how important this service is. It is an immensely valuable charity.”

Surrey Air Ambulance volunteer Annette Forster received the cheque at Elstead Village Hall on behalf of the pilot, specialist doctor and critical care paramedic.

She told the WI the helicopter had flown more than 460 missions so far this year and had recently airlifted patients to the major trauma centres in London.

She said: “Thank you so much for raising this magnificent amount for Surrey Air Ambulance. We are delighted that our relationship with you is continuing.

“We rely on the people of Surrey to keep the helicopter flying and we have been very busy this year. The money you have raised enables us to help people involved in major incidents.”

Surrey Air Ambulance relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

Each mission costs an average of £1,700 so the sum raised by Elstead WI has effectively helped to potentially save a life.

To book a talk or choose Surrey Air Ambulance as your Charity of the Year call County Fundraiser Julie Jenkinson on 07843 336720.

FW: For Immediate Release: Union Jack boys fly flag for Air Ambulance

Photo: Richard, Tom, Sam and Matthew in their morphsuits on Brighton seafront

Four friends have completed a charity bike ride for Kent Air Ambulance in fancy dress after the life-saving helicopter was called out to one of them.

Richard Cook, 25, Tom Hill, 25, and Royal Marines Sam Ruddom and Matthew Mborah donned Union Jack, Zebra and black morphsuits to cycle from Maidstone to Brighton.

Richard and Tom completed the 53-mile ride in six-and-a-half hours while Sam and Matthew crossed the finish line in just under five hours, all of them on tandem bikes.

Richard said: “We were stunned at how we managed it all, especially since Tom and I had done about three training rides between us to prepare.

“And the first time we had ever used a tandem was the Friday evening before the event. Funnily enough, the military boys didn’t find it so hard.

“It was a tough experience made harder by wearing the morphsuits, that’s for sure, but definitely worth it.”

Fifteen years ago, Kent Air Ambulance was called to former cub scout Richard after he fell over and sustained a suspected broken neck.

But no life-threatening injuries were found and he was taken by land ambulance to Maidstone Hospital.

The incident spurred him into raising much-needed funds for the charity which relies almost entirely on public donations. This was his third bike ride for the charity and raised about £700.

All four, from Maidstone, would like to thank Downland Cycles of Canterbury for providing the bikes and support crew Chris, Jenny, Chloe, Kay and Nick for their help on the day following the event on August 20th.

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

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Survivor Jim wins best fundraiser award

A Rochester father has raised almost £2,000 from a charity bike ride for Kent Air Ambulance after the doctor and paramedic helped save his life.

Jim Gilbourne was among 80 cyclists who took part in the life-saving charity’s first-ever Double 100 Bike Challenge in July.

It took him eight hours to cycle the 100km route which started and finished at Kent Air Ambulance’s sister helicopter base at Dunsfold Park – the home of BBC’s Top Gear.

In total he raised £1,637 for the emergency service and was presented with a £200 Garmin GPS, kindly donated by Garmin UK, to thank him for his fundraising efforts.

He said: “It went really well and I took it fairly steady. I wasn’t trying to race but I did it fairly quickly.

“I got lost once and ended doing up an extra three miles but everything else was fine. I’m just pleased to support what the charity is doing and I’m pleased to have raised what I did.

“It’s nice for the people who sponsored me to know what exactly their money is going towards. They know me personally and the accident I had.”

Jim, 45, was left fighting for his life after being hit by a car which mounted the pavement while he was walking to church with his children three years ago.

The charity worker and business coach bore the brunt of the impact on Maidstone Road in Chatham while his daughter Lottie, 17, and son Edward, 11, luckily escaped unhurt.

He sustained a fractured skull, facial injuries and broken collar bone, ribs, leg, foot and ankle – about 50 broken bones in total.

Dr Matt Gunning and paramedic Alan McHenry anaesthetised him at the road-side before flying him to the Royal London Hospital for specialist trauma care.

His family were told to prepare for the worst but five weeks later he was discharged from hospital following the collision in April, 2008. Three years on, Jim has made an almost full recovery.

Last week (September 9th), he visited the helicopter base at Marden to receive his best fundraiser award. In total the Double 100 raised more than £20,700.

The 100km or 100-mile ride takes in all four counties covered by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and is to become an annual fundraising event.

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

Monday, 12 September 2011

England stars support Funky Footwear Friday

John Terry and Frank Lampard have pledged their support to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance by donating two pairs of football boots to an eBay auction for the charity.

The Chelsea and England stars have personally signed a pair of Umbro Speciali Revolution and Adidas Adipure lace-ups to help raise vital funds.

Stamford Bridge skipper Terry’s boots bear his squad number 26 and the names of his daughters Georgie and Summer.

Lampard’s size nine boots are the type worn during the FA Cup-winning 2008/2009 season and have been personalized with “Luna 8”, “Isla 8” and “Mum”.

A Chelsea Football club spokesman said, “John Terry and Frank Lampard are both honoured to be able to help the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance by donating their boots to raise funds for this vital cause.”

Former Big Brother presenter Davina McCall has also donated a £500 pair of black patent leather Giuseppe Zanotti 6” stilettos to be won in the auction.

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, Gareth McGrillen of the rock band Pendulum and World Touring Car Champion Jason Plato have also donated footwear.

The eBay auction will run from September 15 to 25 to as part of Air Ambulance Week (September 19-25) when the charity helicopters celebrate their life-saving work.

On Funky Footwear Friday, 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.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Volunteers needed for store collections

County fundraisers are appealing for members of the public to help out with store collections during Air Ambulance Week (September 19-25th).

Air Ambulance Week is held every year in celebration of the charity’s life-saving work and to raise awareness of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).

The week also raises much-needed funds for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no National Lottery funding.

Members of the public are needed to give just a couple of hours of their time or maybe more to stand outside stores and supermarkets with a collection tin.

In Kent, help is needed in Canterbury, Ashford, Medway, Deal, Dover, Sittingbourne and Northfleet.

In Surrey, volunteers are needed to help out at collections on September 23rd and 24th at Sainsbury’s in Cobham, Burpham, Farnham, Walton on Thames and Redhill, and Morrisons in Woking and Farnborough.

In West Sussex, support is needed on September 17th at Sainsbury’s in East Grinstead and Marks and Spencer in Worthing, on September 20th at Sainsbury’s in Pulborough and at Budgens in Billingshurst on September 23rd.

On September 24th, four packers are needed per each two-hour slot between 10am and 4pm at Marks and Spencer in Horsham.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance’s new mascot, Dr Dudley, will be making his first appearance during Air Ambulance Week at some store collections this year.

Children can pose for photographs with the cuddly bear in return for a suggested donation of £1 and a limited selection of merchandise will be sold.

If you can help with a collection please call Amy Salter (Kent) 01622 833833, Julie Jenkinson (Surrey) 07843 336720 or Cheryl Johnson (West Sussex) 07738 486633 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Dynamic duo go car-azy for charity

Two friends have completed a second charity drive in aid of Sussex Air Ambulance to help keep the helicopter flying.

Motoring enthusiasts Richard Grant, 33, and James Firth, 31, set off on a 50-mile run through the Sussex countryside last month.

Last year, the pair completed a whistlestop tour of Air Ambulance bases in the UK and raised £1,700 for the life-saving charity which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Richard said: “It was really good fun and everyone enjoyed it even thought it rained hard at the beginning.

“I was starting to think, ‘this is not a good idea’, but it cleared up and it was brilliant for the rest of the day. We couldn’t have asked for better.”

A Triumph Roadster similar to the one famously driven by John Nettles in the 1980s TV series Bergerac was among the 60 cars that took part.

There were also Mazda MX5s, numerous Jaguars and Minis, supercars, classic vehicles and members of the Pompey Puddleducks Club in their 2CVs.

The cars set off from Shoreham Airport along a route which took in villages including Steyning, Ashurst, Cowfold, Warninglid, Lindfield and Plumpton.

The drive finished at the Lavender Line railway which kindly agreed to make a donation from every train ride on the day to Sussex Air Ambulance.

The event was organized by Richard, from Haywards Heath, and James, from Crawley, who investigate claims for the car insurance industry.

About 40 per cent of Sussex Air Ambulance’s calls are to road traffic collisions and the helicopter has flown more than 450 calls so far this year.

Richard and his mother Ingrid and girlfriend Claire Hill visited the base at Dunsfold on Friday (September 2nd) to present the crew with a cheque for £1,103.

Sussex Air Ambulance provides a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for everyone living, working and travelling in the county, 365 days a year.

The helicopter carries 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.

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

Diana is Superdraw winner

An East Peckham woman popped open a bottle of champagne to celebrate after winning more than £11,000 in Kent Air Ambulance’s Superdraw.

Diana Porges signed up to the life-saving charity’s fundraising lottery two years ago and saw her £8-a-month subscription as a donation.

So she was shocked and surprised when she landed the top prize of £11,052 with lucky numbers 4, 8, 27 and 34.

The jackpot regularly rolls over to a maximum of £25,000 – a life-changing amount.

Mrs Porges said: “I was absolutely staggered because I’d forgotten all about it. It’s a really big surprise and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I’ve never won anything in my life.

“I saw the money going out every month as just a donation and when I was told I’d won I thought it would be about £50.

“Kent Air Ambulance does a brilliant job and we really need it. Never mind winning the money, it’s really great to have the service.”

Ms Porges of Hale Court, visited the helicopter base at Marden to collect her cheque with her five-year-old greyhound Wills.

The pet has recently undergone operations to his feet and some of the money will go towards veterinary bills and buying another rescue dog.

Ms Porges is also planning to buy a present for her niece to celebrate passing her GCSEs last week.

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

It costs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying and it relies almost entirely on public donations with no National Lottery funding.

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 in the county, 365 days a year.

The regular lottery costs just £1 a week with a weekly prize of £1,000. For an extra £1 a week, members can join the Superdraw which has a top prize of £25,000. To join the Air Ambulance lottery please call 01622 833808.