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
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 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