Thursday, 27 December 2012

Runners needed for Brighton Marathon

Runners are being urged to sign up for this year’s Brighton Marathon in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance to help fund the charity’s plans for night flying.

It costs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying during daylight hours but this figure will rise to £6million when a 24-hour service is launched next year.

The Air Ambulance currently has 23 charity places available for runners who can commit to raising a minimum of £500.

Among this year’s entrants is Karen Allnutt, from West Hythe, who was airlifted to hospital following a road traffic collision two years ago.

She said: “This will be a personal challenge for me and is a perfect opportunity to raise valuable funds for the Air Ambulance.

“It was an easy choice for me and I’m pleased to say that with many thanks to them I have made a fantastic recovery.”

All Air Ambulance entrants will be given an opportunity to visit the helicopter base and meet the pilot, doctor and paramedic, subject to emergency call-outs

They will also 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.

Community Fundraiser Amy Salter said: “Last year we had 47 runners and we would love to double that in 2013. Our plans for night flying will give this year’s entrants a fantastic fundraising goal to work towards.”

Anyone interested in running the marathon on April 14th should call Amy on 01622 833806 or email  For more information visit

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Air Ambulance training helps save parachutist at 12,000ft

Photo: Headcorn Parachute Club Chief Instructor Peter Sizer, Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Rob Wilkinson and parachute instructor Clem Quinn with a defibrillator.

A Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance nurse helped save the life of a parachutist who had a heart attack at 12,000ft.
Clinical Manager, Rob Wilkinson gave first aid and defibrillator training to Headcorn Airfield staff including parachute instructors Bernard Devine, Del Hopkins and Clem Quinn.
The trio recently put their training into practice for the first time when 74-year-old veteran parachutist Dave Coveney collapsed as he prepared to jump out of a plane.
They carried out CPR as the aircraft descended immediately and Chief Instructor Peter Sizer rushed out to meet them with a defibrillator when they landed.
They had to use the device four times to shock his heart into re-starting before an ambulance arrived and Dave was taken to hospital. The grandfather-of-one, from Kingswood, is now recovering at home.
Rob said: “Without the willingness of the staff at Headcorn Airfield to have this training and use it so rapidly and appropriately, this man would not be alive.
“Training is routinely provided to around 20 members of staff at the airfield and we’re really pleased it has paid off. It demonstrates another aspect of the Air Ambulance’s life-saving work.”
Rob has worked for the charity for 14 years and often provides first aid training in the community as part of his role.
Parachute instructor Clem said: “The defibrillator was absolutely brilliant and I’m totally converted to them. It’s like having an expert suddenly appear on the scene and it was very reassuring.”
In a separate incident earlier this year, a retired civil servant was out running when he suffered a cardiac arrest outside Fidelity Worldwide Investment in Hildenborough.
The offices are equipped with a number of defibrillators and staff used one to successfully resuscitate Dr Alan Heyes, OBE.
He was given emergency treatment at the scene by the Air Ambulance doctor and paramedic before being flown to hospital and has since made a good recovery.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Heart group supports Air Ambulance

Photo: L-R Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Chris Fudge, Bob Hill and Dr Paul Ransom

A Dover support group for heart patients has breathed new life into Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s plans to start night flying in the New Year.

White Cliffs Heart Support Group provided advice and support for victims of heart disease and their relatives at The Landmark Centre but closed earlier this year.

The group raised funds from raffles, coffee mornings and quiz nights and decided to donate £1,000 to the Air Ambulance.

Chairman Bob Hill, a former ambulance technician, was reunited with former colleague Chris Fudge when he visited the helicopter base to present the cheque.

The pair worked together at Dover Ambulance Station and Chris is now an Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic.

Bob said: “It’s a cause very close to my heart because I worked for the ambulance service for 26 years and I know what a fabulous job they do.”

It costs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying but this figure will rise to £6million with the launch of a 24-hour service in the Spring.

Chris said: “About 20 per cent of our calls are to medical emergencies such as heart attacks and cardiac arrests.

“This donation is enough to buy 100 doses of a drug essential to suppress adverse heart rhythms, and is very much appreciated.”

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Crash Course at Benenden Hospital

"A blocked airway can kill someone in three to four minutes but it can take more than eight minutes for an ambulance to arrive. A simple procedure such as opening the airway can save a life, whilst waiting for emergency help to arrive.”

The CRASH First Aid course has been designed for young, new, existing drivers, bikers, cyclists and all who use our roads.
CRASH Course was developed due to the large number of deaths and serious injuries that occur on our roads each year.
The CRASH Course teaches the priceless life-saving skills needed in providing effective Pre-Hospital First Aid skills at the scene of a Road Traffic Collision; all under the instruction of ex Fire, Police and Ambulance Service staff with many years of experience.
Candidates who attend the CRASH Course are also educated on the dangers of breaking road traffic laws and the consequences that these actions will have.
The major component that brings CRASH course to life is the effective use of actors with dramatic, realistic casualty make up. This style of training is typically used by the British Armed Forces to produce the most effective Medics and First Aiders in the world. Presented with these challenging road traffic collision scenarios, the newly attained First Aid skills will truly be put to the test, an experience that can potentially increase a safer use of our roads.
Together, we can have more life-savers on our roads that will potentially save yours or a loved one’s life.
In addition:
The Crash course will also award the HSE Approved Emergency First Aid at Work qualification which is a great advantage for employment and employers.

Crash Course Dates:

16th & 17th February 2013
20th & 21st April 2013
1st & 2nd June 2013
21st & 22nd September 2013

For more information please visit:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Walnut Tree Public House Raffle

A Raffle is to be held at

The Walnut Tree public house, East Farleigh

Saturday 15th December
from 7.30pm onwards.
Lots of prizes!
Proceeds to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance
Promises to be a very good evening for a good cause!
Forge Lane, East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0HJ
Phone: 01622 721 106

Jack and the Beanstalk

A pantomime dame will be swapping his feather duster for a collection tin to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after his son was rescued by the life-saving charity.

Paul Mills played his first dame as “Mother” to Russ Abbott and has worked alongside artistes such as John Bishop, Michael Barrymore, Chesney Hawkes and Toyah Wilcox.

In June, his 14-year-old son Kiyia was airlifted to hospital following a collision with a car in Herne Bay but has since made a good recovery.

Paul wants to say thank you to the Air Ambulance by having a collection after performances of Jack and the Beanstalk at Margate’s Theatre Royal where he will play the role of Dame Trot.

He said: “My wife Rosita and I can never thank the pilot, doctor and paramedic enough for saving our son’s life.

“We’re fortunate to be in a position where we can do a little fundraising as we are aware how much they rely on public donations.”

Paul will star alongside Canterbury comedian Nick Beat as Simple Simon, Sophie Guariglia as the Fairy and Kim Joyce as Fleshcreep.

His appearances in the West End include Jesus Chris Superstar, Peter Pan, Marathon, Anything Goes, Run For Your Wife and Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story.

Jack and the Beanstalk features a top-flight professional cast, up-to-the-minute music, an hilarious script, stunning scenery and a team of talented dancers.

The show produced by Reach Productions runs from December 13th to 30th and includes school matinee performances. For bookings call the box office on 01843 296111 or go to

Monday, 10 December 2012

Life-saving Partnership

A partnership between the South East Lions Clubs and the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will help to save even more lives, at night, in 2013.

In launching their public appeal, Lions Clubs in the South East have pledged to raise £250,000 over the next 10 years which will help the charity to achieve its aim of night flying. The funds will be a significant contribution towards the additional £1 million a year needed to allow the Air Ambulance to extend its operations.

Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance said ‘Lions clubs have been long term supporters of the Air Ambulance for many years. This is a major step forward in forging a path to operating by night and potentially saving many more lives each year’.

The Air Ambulance currently operates two helicopters with two crews working from 7am – 7pm. But early next year the charity will replace one of its aircraft with a newer helicopter with night flying capabilities which will allow the charity to operate after dark from the charity’s Redhill base. The specialist doctor and paramedic crew take to the scene of serious medical emergencies, the type of skills normally only found in a hospitals A & E department.

Howard Lee, Chairman of the SE Lions Night Flying Appeal Steering Committee, said. "For quite some time, Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust has done a wonderful job during daylight hours reaching out to those in distress and bringing life-saving medical help as quickly as possible. Lions Clubs across the four counties have been more than pleased to assist over many years. Now we are proud to be able to act as one of the main catalysts to expanding the Air Ambulance service to cover the hours of darkness as well, bringing help to around 700 more people each year. Through this initiative, we feel we are making a difference; indeed we feel that this really is Lions Clubs Saving Lives.”

The seventy Lions Clubs across the South East and south London have been raising funds and providing services and facilities to their local communities for 50 years including helping to make a difference to the needy and to those experiencing less fortunate circumstances. Members of the Clubs come from varied backgrounds and professions using their skills and initiatives to improve the quality of life and the community.

To find out more visit  or

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Survivor Chris joins the Reds

Photo: L-R Air Ambulance Head of Corporate Relations Cheryl Johnson, Chris Sole, Phil Chaplin (step-father) and Anita Sole (mother). Please credit picture to James Boardman Photography.

A Southwater cyclist rescued by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was the special guest at Crawley Town’s FA Cup match against Chelmsford City on Saturday.

Chris Sole, 37, was presented with a signed football by the club which has chosen the life-saving helicopter as one of its charities of the year.

The store supervisor was cycling home when a car collided with him on Blackbridge Lane in September 2011.

He was given emergency treatment at the road-side by the Air Ambulance’s doctor and critical care paramedic and has since made a good recovery.

On Saturday, he and his family were treated to hospitality tickets at the Broadfield Stadium including seats in the directors’ box and a three-course meal.

Chris said: “I had a fantastic day out and I want to say a big thank you to Crawley Town Football Club.”

The Reds won 3-0 and now face Premiership club Reading in another home tie on January 5th.

Commercial Manager Ewan Dunlop said: “It was an honour to have Chris and members of the Air Ambulance team at the match and we hope the afternoon provided some great memories.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying and relies almost entirely on public donations.

Supporters can join the charity’s REDS (Regular Essential Donation Scheme) at

Monday, 3 December 2012

Walk of life for Air Ambulance

Photo: L-R Air Ambulance doctor Paul Ransom, Tom Brabham and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge at the helicopter base at Marden

An adventurer is aiming to fulfill a childhood ambition by walking the entire 7,000 miles of British coastline in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Tom Brabham will set off on his epic challenge from Eastbourne Pier on February 5th next year, just a week after his 22nd birthday.

The former Hailsham Community College pupil aims to complete the trek in 10 months, arriving back home in time for Christmas, 2013.

Tom has been inspired by a book called Turn Right at Land’s End by John Merrill - the first man to successfully achieve the feat in 1978.

He said: “I’ve wanted to do this since I left school but unfortunately I felt I was too young and lifestyle choices got in the way. Travelling was put about as far back on the back burner as it can get.

“I believe this country is a beautiful place and I want to explore the land I’m from before travelling abroad. If anything the weather will be just as if not more diverse and the coastline and countryside here is incredible.”

Tom, from Hailsham, is a chef at The Old Oak Inn at Arlington but will soon be swapping his whites for a pair of walking boots, map, compass and tent.

During his mammoth trip, he will have to navigate his way around rising tides, industrial complexes and Army firing ranges.

His journey will take him clockwise along the South Coast to Land’s End, Wales, north west England, the Isle of Anglesey, Lancashire and Cumbria.

In the summer, he will then cross the Scottish border into the Highlands, back into England and south towards London before following the Kent coastline to Eastbourne.

John Merrill became the first person to walk the entire coastline of Britain, averaging 26 miles per day with 50lbs on his back for 10 months.

He climbed the three highest mountains, Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis, and drank 529 pints of milk, ate 1,511 bars of chocolate and wore out three pairs of boots and 33 pairs of socks.

He raised more than £45,000 for charity and his outstanding personal achievement earned him a place in the Guiness Book of Records.

Tom is aiming to raise £3,000 to fund his trip and been sponsored by Timberland, Procter Healthcare and PRB Training.

To sponsor him and find out more go to,, or @shoelacexpress on Twitter.

Sainsbury’s family weekend for Air Ambulance

Staff at Sainsbury's in Haywards Heath are holding a family fun weekend in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance this Saturday and Sunday (December 8th-9th)

A lollipop lucky dip, gingerbread house auction and Name the Bear competition will be among the attractions at the Bannister Way store which has chosen the life-saving helicopter as its Charity of the Year.

There will also be a raffle and tombola with prizes including Sainsbury's gift vouchers and a model Air Ambulance helicopter.

Haywards Heath Town Mayor, Cllr John Sabin, will be the special guest at 1pm on Saturday and there will be a visit from Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying and relies almost entirely on public donations.

The pilots, doctors and critical care paramedics have attended more than 1,000 call-outs so far this year.

Air Ambulance Head of Corporate Relations Cheryl Johnson said: "We are delighted that Haywards Heath Sainsbury's is supporting us and it is fantastic to have them on board.

"Their support will help us raise not only much-needed funds but also valuable awareness about our life-saving service among customers and the local community."

Survivor reunited with pilot who helped save his life

Photo 1: L-R Peter Fletcher and Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard

Photo 2: L-R Ian Sheppard, Peter Fletcher and Kevin Goddard

A cyclist critically injured in a road crash while training for a charity bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, has been reunited with the pilot who helped save his life.

Father-of-three Peter Fletcher, 51, suffered multiple injuries after a car collided with him on the A2 at Barham near Canterbury.

The Air Ambulance was called and he was given emergency treatment at the road-side by two doctors and a critical care paramedic.

Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, then flew Peter to a major trauma centre in London and he spent a total of six months in hospital before he was finally allowed home.

Last week (November 27th), Peter met Kevin for the first time since the collision as he kindly donated £3,466 to the life-saving charity.

He said: “Meeting Kevin and his colleagues gave me the opportunity to express my sincere thanks for saving my life.

“Since the accident I have been involved with raising money for the Air Ambulance which has added to the positives in my recovery. I am now committed to supporting the charity in the future.”

Peter, from River, was training for a 450-mile bike ride from Land’s End to Dover when the collision happened in March.

In June, his family and friends including brother-in-law Ian Sheppard honoured his pledge to raise funds for the Air Ambulance by cycling from the helicopter base at Marden to Fowlmead Country Park.

Peter has made a good recovery and is now walking, driving and back at work as an account manager for Invensys Operations Management in Crawley, West Sussex.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A 007 mission to help save lives

Photo: L-R Dover Marina Hotel manager Anoob Saban, Air Ambulance Dr Mamoun Abu-Habsa, Events Manager Jane Ivor-Jones and Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Chris Fudge.

A James Bond-themed gala dinner dance, casino and auction at Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa raised almost £4,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The hotel presented a Diamonds are Forever gala dinner last month, featuring award-winning close-up magician Etienne Pradier and Rat Pack-style singer Martin Croons.

Etienne has performed to audiences including royalty, Prime Minister David Cameron, Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan, Lulu and Jamie Oliver.

There was also a cocktail drinks reception followed by a five-course dinner, casino tables, an auction and a dance hosted by Dover Marina’s resident DJ.

Hotel Manager Anoob Saban and Events Manager Jane Ivor-Jones visited the Air Ambulance base at Marden last week (November 16th) to present a cheque for £3,989.

Jane said: “We were delighted to be able to help such an outstanding charity. Seeing the helicopter and chatting to the amazingly dedicated and professional staff made us realise even more what an important service it is that they provide.

“Everyone really enjoyed themselves on the night and we were thrilled with the total raised and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s two helicopters have flown more than 980 missions so far this year.

Each call-out costs about £2,500 so the sum raised by Dover Marina Hotel has helped fund almost two potentially life-saving missions.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Lofty challenge for Air Ambulance duo

Photo: Air Ambulance paramedic Ben Macauley, Brett Coleman, Scott Fegan and Dr Emma Rowland at the former helicopter base at Dunsfold

An Ashington father is to embark on a challenge to climb the tallest freestanding mountain in the world in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Brett Coleman, 34, decided to raise funds for the life-saving charity helicopter after a neighbour was rescued by the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.

He has already completed two marathons in two weeks – London and Brighton – but is now setting his sights 19,341ft higher by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Brett will be joined by friend Scott Fegan, 42, and it will take them seven days to reach the summit when they fly out to Tanzania next October.

He said: “Hot on the heels of two marathons in two weeks, I decided to up the game slightly. I spent 10 years of my life in five-star hotels working for BA so camping will be very testing.

“We chose to raise funds for the Air Ambulance because in February a neighbour was seriously hurt in an accident which resulted in the parents of their child needing a miracle.

“A miracle happened because of the efforts of the Air Ambulance team and the fact that they carry a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board.”

The 18-year-old was involved in a road traffic collision in Ashington and was given emergency treatment at the road-side – procedures usually performed in hospital.

She was then flown the specialist neurological centre at King’s College Hospital in London in just 16 minutes – a journey that would have taken more than an hour by road.

She is still in hospital and undergoing rehabilitation and Brett and Scott are aiming to raise a grand total of £10,000 for the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

They raised £2,300 from Ashington Village Ball earlier this month (October 6th) including a raffle and silent auction.

Prizes included a one-night stay at a hotel and an exclusive tour of the Bentley factory, a signed Brighton and Hove Albion shirt and a gliding lesson.

Brett added: “The evening was a massive success and once again we would like to thank all those involved in getting the evening to be what it was. It has already been asked whether we will be organising another ball next year.”

Brett and Scott have signed up to run the Brighton half marathon and are planning further fundraising events in the village. To sponsor them go to or text tanz58 £5 or tanz58 £10 to 70070.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust Statement

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance operates two aircraft with two medical teams - one based at Marden in Kent and the other at Dunsfold in Surrey.

As part of exciting new plans to make its life-saving service available 24 hours a day, the charity is moving one helicopter from its Dunsfold base to Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey.

Until recently, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations allowed delivery of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) only by daylight but recent changes now allow this by night as well.

The charity initially plans to operate one helicopter and one medical team by night but will look to expand the service if the need arises.

The move to Redhill is necessitated by the need to cover all counties by night at short notice with just one helicopter which will also operate during daylight hours.

The other helicopter will continue to operate from the charity’s headquarters at Marden from where it is hoped to develop a night service during the next two years.

Monday, 15 October 2012

More winners in Christmas Draw

Photo: Last year’s Christmas Draw winner John Wheatley

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has raised the prize fund in its 2012 Christmas Draw with one lucky winner guaranteed to scoop the jackpot of £5,000.

The runner-up prize has been increased from £500 to £1,000 and there will now be a third prize of £250 followed by five further prizes of £50.

The draw will take place just five days before Christmas and the eight winning tickets will be picked by the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.

Each call-out of the Air Ambulance costs about £2,500 and the £170,135 raised from the charity’s Mid-Summer Draw was enough to fund 68 potentially life-saving missions.

Head of Donations and Membership Katie Underdown said: “Buying a raffle ticket is a fun way of supporting the charity with the chance of winning something back.

“However, it is important to remember that the real winners are the patients we are able to help which is only possible from public support.”

This year’s Christmas Draw has been launched by schoolboy Luke Titmuss who survived a serious road traffic accident near his home.

His mother Renee said: “Without the Air Ambulance, we would not have Luke and we are so appreciative of everyone for their quick response. The treatment they provided at scene was impeccable.”

Raffle tickets cost just £1 each in books of 10 and can be ordered by calling 01622 833833. The closing date for the draw is December 13th.

You may also support your air Ambulance this Christmas by ourchasing from our Christmas Card Catalogue click here:

Bike ride in memory of Garry

Photo: Garry Jarrett pictured mountain biking at Bedgebury

Family and friends of a father who died after a road accident are holding a bike ride in his memory at Bedgebury National Pinetum next week (October 28th).

Garry Jarrett, 24, was flown by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance to the Royal London Hospital following a collision in Kemsing last month.

The former Wilderness School pupil, who lived in Halstead, died after a week in intensive care and his funeral was held on Friday (October 12th).

Now his close friend Danny Foskett, from Swanley, is planning a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for the charity helicopter which relies almost entirely on public donations.

He said: “The emergency treatment Garry received at the scene and the fact that he was airlifted to hospital gave his family and friends the chance to be with him and say their goodbyes.”

Bedgebury Park is a 2,000-acre forest at Goudhurst which has been described as an “adventure in a world of trees”.

More than 40 family and friends will be taking part in the ride which is open to all members of the public.

Anyone who would like to join should call Danny on 07540 389084.

To sponsor the ride go to

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sainsbury's Charity of the Year

Photo 1: L-R, Freya Ross with her Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance pilot teddy bear, Critical Care Paramedic Jon Sanders and Dr Emma Rowland at the Sussex helicopter base at Dunsfold near Horsham

Photo 2: Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley

Staff at Sainsbury’s in Haywards Heath have chosen Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance as their Charity of the Year after the helicopter was called to a local youngster.

Little Freya Ross, from Lindfield, was at home with her mother Rachel when she suddenly began choking on a toy dog that she had put in her mouth.

The two-year-old was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital at Brighton where she underwent emergency surgery but has since made a full recovery.

Shoppers at the Bannister Way store successfully nominated the Air Ambulance to benefit from a 12-month fundraising drive following Freya’s rescue in April.

Store manager Peter Barret said: “I believe there were two main reasons for this, first they saw it as a charity that really does change lives and is invaluable to have if ever we were unfortunate to ever be in such an accident.

“Secondly, they couldn’t believe that a service so desperately needed was not government funded and felt that they wanted to help in any way they could.“

Staff at Sainsbury’s will be holding a family day weekend on December 8th and 9th, featuring Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley, an exhibition unit and a store collection.

They have already held in-store competitions and a quiz night and are also planning a tombola, lollypop lucky dip, raffle and face painting.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance needs £5million a year to keep both helicopters flying and relies almost entirely on public donations.

The doctors and critical care paramedics can effectively treat paediatric trauma and help keep families together.

Head of Corporate Relations Cheryl Johnson said: “We are delighted that Haywards Heath Sainsbury’s is supporting Sussex Air Ambulance and it is fantastic to have them on board.

“Their support will help us raise not only much-needed funds but also valuable awareness about our life-saving service among customers and the local community.  

“Colleagues at Sainsbury’s have really got behind the Air Ambulance and are so enthusiastic and motivated about fundraising for their local Air Ambulance.”

Freya Ross’s full People We’ve Helped story can be found at

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Air Ambulance Week car and bike rally

A motoring enthusiast is spearheading a fourth charity car drive this Sunday to celebrate national Air Ambulance Week (September 24th – 30th).

The 40-mile trip will start at The Cock Inn at Isfield, East Sussex, and finish at Spa Valley Railway in Eridge, Kent - taking in all four counties covered by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The procession will include a Triumph Spitfire, a Jaguar MK II, a 1965 VW Campervan, an Alfa Romeo Spider, classic minis and what is believed to be the oldest surviving Austin Maxi 1750.

Organiser Richard Grant said: “I run a Twitter page that provides traffic information called @travelnewsouth and it is a sad fact that we regularly provide updates of nasty accidents attended by Air Ambulances.”

In 2010, Richard and his friend James Firth embarked on a whistlestop tour of Air Ambulance helicopter bases in the UK.

Last year, they held a rally through the Sussex countryside from Shoreham Airport to the Lavender Line and in March they drove from Land’s End to John O’Groats in a 15-year-old banger, all in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Drivers and bikers on two, three and four wheels are invited to turn up this Sunday and pay a registration fee of just £5 per car or bike.

Coffee and bacon rolls will be served at The Cock Inn pub at 10.30am before the convoy sets off at 11am. For more information call Richard on 07540 785042 or email

Monday, 24 September 2012

Colin's lasting legacy helps keep Air Ambulance flying

A snooker tournament in memory of a Cheriton man has raised more than £1,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The Worsley Cup was named after Colin Worsley, 35, who died in a road accident at Ringwold in 1996.

Following his death, family and friends held the annual round-robin tournament at the Hilton Snooker Club where Colin was a keen player.

His pairs partner Mark Glover, friend Nigel Franklin and sisters Dawn and Sandra were among the players who took park.

The competition ended when the club closed following the 2007 earthquake.

Last week (August 18th), his parents Maurice and Lena presented the £1,140 proceeds to the Air Ambulance at their home.

Changing lives through music

A charity concert held by Maidstone Riverside Rotary Club in its 21st anniversary year has raised £8,000 for Kent Air Ambulance and The Heart of Kent Hospice.

Maidstone Riverside has raised a grand total of more than £300,000 for local charities since it was founded in 1991.

In May, the club organised a charity concert featuring the London Welsh Male Voice Choir at All Saints Church.

Following the event, members visited the Air Ambulance base at Marden to present a cheque to the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.

President Colin Norgate said: "Maidstone Riverside Rotary Club is proud to be associated with Kent Air Ambulance and the generosity of the public in supporting our concert was evident in the amount of money we were able to donate to this service.”

When we visited their headquarters to present the cheque for £4,000 we were highly impressed by the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of the whole team and the amazing job they do in caring for accident victims and helping to save lives".

Funds raised from the charity concert, which starred soloist and former Maidstone Girls Grammar School pupil Imogen Dyer, will be shared by the Air Ambulance and The Heart of Kent Hospice.

Each call-out of the helicopter costs about £2,500 so the sum raised will help fund two potentially life-saving mission.

The Heart of Kent Hospice specializes in providing expert palliative care and support to patients suffering from terminal illness.

FA kicks on with Air Ambulance fundraiser

Kent Football Association has once again chosen to support the Kent Air Ambulance for the 2012/2013 season by naming a shield in the charity’s honour.

Clubs playing in the historic Intermediate Challenge Shield raised £1,000 for the Marden-based helicopter last year.

The competition comprised 38 teams from Kent County Football League and the Kent Invicta Football League.

Kent FA will be holding the competition in the charity’s honour for the second successive season with each club taking part collecting funds from players and supporters.

Chief Executive Paul Dolan said: “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 the Air Ambulance.

Kent Air Ambulance has been called to a spate of football-related incidents in the last year.

In December, the doctor and critical care paramedic were called to a 15-year-old boy who broke his arm in Gravesend.

Last September, they were called to a 46-year-old male who suffered a cut to his head while playing football at home in Gillingham.

And in August, 2012, a male in his 20s suffered a leg injury in Sittingbourne and was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Joe's fun day keeps Air Ambulance flying

A schoolboy was reunited with the Surrey Air Ambulance pilot who flew to his rescue after a cycling accident as his family donated more than £5,000 to the life-saving charity.

Joe Goodchild, 15, from Walton, suffered a fractured skull and was in cardiac arrest after he collided with a car around the corner from where he lives.

He was given vital first aid by passer-by Carly Hall before paramedics Jim Laidlaw and Helen Ellison gave him emergency treatment and called in the helicopter.

Air Ambulance doctor Anthony Hudson and paramedic Natalie Brodrick anaesthetised Joe and carried out chest surgery at the road-side – skills usually performed in hospital.

They successfully resuscitated him before Chief Pilot, Captain Steve Wood, airlifted him to the Royal London Hospital in just 10 minutes – a journey that would have taken almost an hour by road.

The teenager spent three-and-a-half weeks in hospital following the accident in August last year but has since made an almost full recovery.

Last week, (September 13th), he was reunited with Steve, Carly and her husband Neil as his family presented a cheque for £5,544 to the charity which relies almost entirely on donations.

The funds were raised from a Family Fun Day at Reeds Rugby Club in Whiteley Village and included live music, a hog roast, balloon race, funfair, face painting and many other stalls.

Joe’s mum Suzi said: “We just want to say a big thank you to all the people who have supported us by giving their time and funds and coming along on the day.”

Members of Walton Rotary Club were so touched by Joe’s story that they kindly pledged a further £1,000, making the grand total almost £7,000.

Each call-out of the helicopter costs about £2,500 so the sum raised will fund three potentially life-saving missions.

Joe’s sister Bex is now planning to raise more money for the Air Ambulance from a Rag Week at Rydens Enterprise School where she, sister Zoe and Joe are all pupils.

Runner thanks Air Ambulance for saving friend's life

A motorist whose life was saved by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has spurred a friend into running the Tonbridge Half Marathon to raise funds for the charity.

Chrissy Hawkins, 51, was on her way to work when she was involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming car on the A21 at Castle Hill.

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Richard de Coverley was travelling in the opposite direction and was caught in the ensuing tailback. He was alerted to the accident on his radio and arrived at the scene within minutes.

The former Tunbridge Wells Paramedic Team Leader assessed both patients and found Chrissy had life-threatening injuries so called in his colleagues at the nearby helicopter base at Marden.

Dr Neal Durge and critical care paramedic Mick Carter anaesthetised Chrissy and carried out chest surgery at the road-side – skills usually performed in hospital.

Chrissy was taken to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London with chest, abdominal, arterial  and limb injuries but has since made an almost full recovery.

Following the accident last September, her friend Duncan Lightfoot will be running next week’s half marathon in aid of the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “In the short time it took for the crew to reach Chrissy by road, Richard had conducted a thorough assessment and prepared her for the emergency interventions delivered by the helicopter’s doctor and paramedic. 

“Chrissy had been rated with a near zero chance of survival from the injuries she received. Richard modestly said they just provided the transport to get her to the most appropriate major trauma centre but without the Air Ambulance crew that day, she would not have survived the journey.”

Chrissy, from Tonbridge, spent three months in hospital before she was finally allowed back home and is still off work and unable to drive.

She recently underwent further bowel surgery and is also receiving ultrasound treatment on a broken arm but is hoping to join Duncan in walking the last 100 metres of the run.

She said: “If Richard had not been in the traffic behind me that day and heard the report on his radio I would be dead, that really is how I see it. He saved my life.

“I just hope that in some small way, or preferably a large one, my experience and survival will help someone else.”

Duncan has so far raised £625 of his target £2,000 and can be sponsored at 


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Nursery worker wins lottery jackpot

A Frimley nursery manager enjoyed a flying start to the new school term when she won almost £5,000 in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s charity lottery.

Penny Hipperson, co-ordinator at St Francis Pre-School, signed up to the Superdraw in January after a canvasser called at her Warren Rise home.

Just eight months later, lucky numbers 4, 19, 22 and 35 came up in last Wednesday’s draw - winning her the jackpot of £4,578.

She said: “I’ve only ever won two prizes in the pre-school raffle. One was a bottle of whisky about 20 years ago and this year I won three months’ membership at the local gym.

“I joined the lottery because I thought at least it would be an annual donation. I still can’t quite believe I’ve won it, especially in less than a year. I’m very lucky and it has come completely out of the blue.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s regular lottery costs just £1 a week with 12 weekly winners of amounts ranging from £25 to £1,000.

For an extra £1 a week, players can join the Superdraw which has a maximum jackpot of £25,000 – a life-changing amount. To join the fundraising lottery, call 01622 833833.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A 007 mission to help save lives

A James Bond-themed gala dinner dance, casino and auction is to be held at Dover Marina Hotel and Spa next month in aid of Kent Air Ambulance.

The Best Western hotel presents Diamonds are Forever on October 20th featuring award-winning close-up magician Etienne Pradier and Rat Pack singer Martin Croons.

Etienne has performed to audiences including Royalty, Prime Minister David Cameron, Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan, Lulu and Jamie Oliver.

There will be a cocktail drinks reception at 6.30pm followed by a five-course dinner, casino tables, an auction and a dance hosted by Dover Marina’s resident DJ.

Tickets for the black tie event cost £49.95 per person or £79.95 per person for an overnight package including dinner dance and a double room at the hotel with breakfast.

For more information call 01304 203633, email or go to

Funds raised on the night will go to life-saving charity Kent Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Swing along to Sinatra.and all that jazz

Film and TV stars will be among the acts at this year’s Maritime Jazz Festival (September 19th – 23rd) in aid of life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The festival will feature Dorian Ford, star of hit Judy Dench film Mrs Henderson Presents, who will be joined by trumpeter Matt Gough and band at Dickens World.

Actor and musician Dorian, noted for his lyrical style, has also appeared in BBC productions such as Richard III in which he played Prince Edward, and Grange Hill.

Award-winning vocalist Tina May will kick off the show at Simply Italian in Rochester and will be joined by French pianist James Hayes, Vibes Master Roan Kearsey-Lawson and bass player Neil Francis.

Italian alto saxophonist Tommaso Starace will be dedicating his performance on Friday to the music of Michel Petrucciani whose compositions were conceived in the American jazz community.

BBC South East Today presenter Rob Smith will introduce the acts on Saturday at Dickens World including funky New Orleans street band Blew Tubes.

The six-piece band, billed as a rhythmical and historical jazz treat, features Ray Butcher who played the trumpet in BBC1 drama Land Girls.

The sounds of Frank Sinatra will also fill the Britannia Theatre courtesy of male crooner Ryan Sanders and Jim Hastings while Universal Records artist Shane Hampsheir will perform a Michael Buble-style of swing.

British jazz legend Tommy White and vocalist Barbara Jay will then bring the curtain down on the festival at The Roffen Club at Rochester on Sunday where music lovers can enjoy a full Sunday roast.

For tickets and information about the five day festival go to or call 01634 365453.