Monday, 27 February 2012

Loyal supporter wins charity lottery

A Rainham grandmother is planning a second holiday to Austria after winning the top prize of £1,000 in Kent Air Ambulance’s lottery.

Loyal supporter Margaret Le Fevre signed up to the life-saving charity’s fundraising lottery after it was launched in 2004.

She won the jackpot when her numbers came up in last Wednesday’s draw as she celebrated her grand-daughter’s 23rd birthday.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s excellent to win but good to know we are giving to a good cause. That was the main reason for joining.

“I never really thought about winning anything so it’s really unexpected. We hope we never need the Air Ambulance but we never know. It’s a first class service.

“We will probably spend the winnings on a holiday. We went to Austria this year as a late Christmas present and went on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. We’d love to go back and do it again.”

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

The charity also has a Superdraw which costs an additional £1 a week but there was no winner last Wednesday.

The jackpot has now rolled over to the maximum £25,000, a life-changing amount which must be won this week (February 29th). To join the charity’s lotteries call 01622 833833.

Tweet and text to save a life

A Twitter campaign has been launched by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance in a bid to help save a life.

Each emergency call-out by the life-saving charity’s two helicopters, based at Marden and Dunsfold, costs an average of £2,500.

So far the charity has 2,615 followers on Twitter and if each of them donated just £1 it would fund one potentially life-saving mission.

Supporters can donate by texting HEMS to 70300 and 100 per cent of their donation will go to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Director of Communications Jill Playle said: “We already receive a huge amount of support on social network sites such as Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Flickr.

“If you are a Twitter user we would really appreciate your support in re-tweeting our appeal for donations to your family and friends.”

During the campaign, users can follow the helicopter as it flies across all four counties until it reaches its destination and the grand total of £2,500 is raised. The website link is

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance can be found on Twitter and Facebook at or by searching for @kssairambulance or ‘like’ us


Terms & Conditions

  • Texting HEMS to 70300 will cost a one off donation of £1.00 plus your standard network messaging rate.
  • For every donation received the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust will receive 100% of your donation.
  • Texts sent to this number will result in a single donation being made.
  • Always seek bill payer's permission.
  • If you have any questions relating to this service, please contract our specialist charity service provider, VIR2 Ltd ( or text VIR2 to 84424 or email or telephone 08450 947958
  • The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust Registered Charity Number 1021367.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Survivor says "thanks for saving my life"

A stablegroom who suffered life-threatening injuries after she was trampled by horses has thanked the Surrey Air Ambulance medics who helped save her life.

Lottie Taylor was leading four horses back into their stables when the animals were spooked and bolted in a freak accident at a farm in Chiddingfold.

She suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung and was given emergency treatment at the scene by the life-saving charity’s doctor and critical care paramedic.

The 24-year-old was flown to a major trauma centre in London but amazingly returned home just a week later following the accident last month (January 11th).

She recalled: “I tried to let go of the horses but because I was stood in the middle of them there was nowhere for me to go.

“They separated and I hit the floor, which was rather hard, and I knew I had done some damage because I felt my ribs jiggling around.

“I broke several ribs on my right side which punctured my lung but somehow got up and walked to the house. I guess that was just adrenaline which is pretty amazing when you need it.

“I didn’t think I was going to die, I knew I was in trouble but I had no concept of just how bad my injuries were until I woke up in the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) 24 hours later.”

Land paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene to give vital first aid.

They called in Surrey Air Ambulance which arrived in eight minutes and Dr Geoff Healy said it was the worst chest flail injury he had seen in seven years of practice.

He and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley anaesthetised Lottie and performed emergency chest surgery at the scene before Pilot Captain Pete Driver flew her to King’s College Hospital.

Lottie, from Dorking, spent three days on a ventilator but made a rapid recovery and was allowed home a week later.

Last week (February 14th), she visited the helicopter base at Dunsfold to thank the medics for helping to save her life.

She added: “I don’t remember anything about the helicopter ride so they obviously did their job very well! I just remember being given pain relief and that was fantastic.

“I’m so, so grateful for the service and the people who donate and are generous enough to make it function.

“I can’t thank them enough and it’s been made quite clear to me that if the Air Ambulance was not there things could have been very different.

“Anyone who works with horses knows these things happen. You can either be scared by it or get on with it. It’s what I do, it’s what I love and I’m not going to stop doing it just yet.”

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

Luck comes knocking at Jim and Mary's door

The sign on Jim and Mary Arnold’s front door reads: “No cold calling, please don’t incur our wrath by knocking.”

But the couple chose to ignore their own advice when a Kent Air Ambulance lottery canvasser called at their bungalow in Broadstairs.

The 81-year-olds signed up to the life-saving charity’s regular lottery and just four months later won the top prize of £1,000.

Mr Arnold said: “When the canvasser called at the door, he apologised and said he’d only just seen the sign and that he would go if we wanted.

“I said it was all right and that the Air Ambulance was different. He came in, we made him at home and agreed to join the lottery because it’s a worthwhile cause.

“When we got the call to say we’d won I thought it was a hoax but when we realised it was true we were elated and thrilled to bits.

“We’ve never won anything before apart from the odd £10 on the National Lottery and it makes a nice change from some dud £20 notes we’ve had recently.”

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

The charity also has a Superdraw, which costs an additional £1 a week, and the maximum jackpot is £25,000 – a life-changing amount.

There was no winner in last week’s draw which rolled over to £21,021. To join the charity’s lotteries call 01622 833833.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Olympic challenge for Air Ambulance

Photo 1: L-R, Olympia to Olympics cyclists Canon Ed Condry, Cliff Saffrey, Velia Coffey, Mike Robinson, Ebrina Vogelaar-Kelly and John and Tina Downie outside Canterbury Cathedral.

A dozen cyclists are gearing up for a bike ride from the birthplace of the Olympics in Greece to the London 2012 stadium to raise at least £50,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Canon Edward Condry, Canon Treasurer of Canterbury Cathedral, and his Olympic torch-bearing son Jerome will be among the riders taking part in the challenge.

They will set off on their 1,500-mile journey from Olympia on June 30th and cycle through Italy, Switzerland and France before they arrive in Stratford on July 15th - just days before the games get underway.

The other riders are Canon Condry’s son Felix, Paul Barrett, Kevin May, Cliff Saffrey, Velia Coffey, Ebrina Vogelaar-Kelly, Mark Nugent, Michael Robinson and John and Tina Downie.

Canon Condry said: “We are all now beginning our training in earnest. We are so looking forward to the ride but the heat will be the biggest challenge.”

The group, from Canterbury, will cycle an average of 100 miles a day and will be monitored as part of a scientific study by Dr Damian Coleman of Canterbury Christ Church University.

He will be testing all the riders and giving them individually-tailored training programmes to maximize their fitness.

His findings will be used as part of a university research project on the effect of extreme exercise on the human body.

The most gruelling part of the ride will be a 6,909ft climb at Gotthard Pass over the Alps in Switzerland.

The group of experienced cyclists, aged from 21 to 62, have previously completed charity bike rides from Canterbury to Rome and London to Paris.

Among the group are riders who have cycled to Istanbul and Santiago and from Lands End to John O’Groats. They have also rowed the English Channel and the full length of the River Thames.

This year they are raising funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations. Canon Condry is a County board trustee for the life-saving charity.

To sponsor their 2012 challenge visit

or to visit their website go to

Local businesses and organisations interested in becoming a corporate sponsor should contact Ed Condry at

The team has already been sponsored by Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury Christ Church University, Barretts of Canterbury and Chigwell Construction.

Father runs for charity that saved his daughter's life

Photo: Pilot Nick Bramley, Dr Tasha Newton, Pearl and Jason Denny and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge.

A father is to run the Brighton Marathon to raise much-needed funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after his daughter was saved by the life-saving helicopter.

Five-year-old Pearl Denny, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was a passenger in a car which was involved in a road traffic collision in Ashford, Kent, in June, 2010.

She and the 33-year-old driver were given emergency treatment at the scene before Pearl was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London.

The driver was also taken to the major trauma centre by the charity’s second helicopter and both have since made a full recovery.

Pearl’s dad Jason, of Meads, will now be putting his best feet forward for the emergency service which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “I’m very keen to do something to re-pay Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance for saving my daughter’s life.

“If it was not for the rapid response of the helicopter I’m not sure that she would have made a full recovery so I will always be indebted to them.

“Running the marathon is just a small way of raising money for the charity and a token of my appreciation.

“The Air Ambulance played a critical role in saving Pearl’s life and moreover reduced the risk of her having life-changing injuries.

“I’m determined to run the marathon well and the memory of my daughter’s resilience and the support she received will no doubt ease the pain and make it an enjoyable experience.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance still has charity places available for the Brighton Marathon on April 15th and is appealing for runners to sign up.

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.

Following the marathon, all runners will be given an opportunity to see the helicopter and meet pilot, doctor and paramedic and be invited to a post-race reception,

Anyone interested in running the Brighton Marathon should call Amy Salter on 01622 833806 or email

For more information visit

Monday, 6 February 2012

It’s a scouting mission for cub leader Ruth

A Walton cub leader is to embark on an adventure of a lifetime by dog sledding through Sweden in a charity challenge for Surrey Air Ambulance.

Ruth Warden will set off on her week-long expedition next month and will be guiding her own team of huskies through 200kms of snow-covered forests and mountains.

At night she will use her scouting skills to set up camp near traditional Sami villages, chop wood to make fires and cook her own food.

The 40-year-old will also get the chance to see the magnificent Northern Lights and elk and reindeer in their natural environment.

She said: "It's been my dream to see the Northern Lights and it would make my day if I'm lucky enough got to see them.

"I'm really looking forward to looking after the huskies and I'll be making fires so I can melt the snow to provide water for myself and the dogs.

"I've heard the dogs make a racket in the morning so I'll definitely be taking ear plugs. I hate the cold and I'm scared of speed but I'm determined to complete the challenge.

"I've been going to regular boot camps to get my general fitness up and on long hikes to build up my endurance."

Ruth is a cub leader for 9th Walton Air Scouts who have been busy packing supermarket bags in return for donations to boost her fundraising ahead of the trip on March 25th.

She was inspired to raise funds for Surrey Air Ambulance after a local postman was rescued by the helicopter and is aiming to raise £4,150 for the life-saving charity.

If you would like to sponsor her text Sled71, followed by the amount to 70070 or go to