Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Music in the Air

Tickets are still on sale for a charity concert hosted by the mayor of Reigate and Banstead in aid of Surrey Air Ambulance at the Harlequin Theatre.

Cllr Brian Stead is appealing for members of the public to join him at Music in the Air on Sunday, March 25th, featuring selections from musicals, big band favourites and popular classics.

There will also be great tunes played by the Band of the Surrey Yeomanry - a 45-piece band of professional and amateur players of woodwind and brass instruments.

The concert will feature a varied programme of tunes based around a flying theme and organisers are hoping to fill the 400-seat theatre where parking is free on Sundays.

Tickets cost £12 for adults and £5 for accompanied children. Book online at www.harlequintheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01737 276500. For more information call 01737 276249.

On May 10th, the mayor is also holding a charity golf match at Reigate Hill Golf Club in aid of Surrey Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Magic Society Conjures Up Cash for Air Ambulance

Photo L-R: Doctor Ed Denison-Davies, Megan Knowles-Bacon, Simon Smith, Kalysha Howard and Critical Care Paramedic Chris Fudge  

Cash strapped students from the University of Kent in Canterbury raised funds for the Air Ambulance when they attended a magic show on the university campus recently.

The UKC Magic Society held their first ever public show in front of an audience of mainly students, showcasing the talents of some of the up and coming magicians studying at the university. The performers who demonstrated illusions and close up magic for the audience included a Andy Smith from Alakazam Magic UK, sponsors for the evening and nineteen year old Megan Knowles-Bacon. Megan who performed on ballet points was runner up in the UK’s  Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year and has taken her act to Vegas.

Simon Smith from the Society said ‘It was a pleasure to host a fundraising event for Kent Air Ambulance; a worthy cause and a service that’s there when you need them. The Magic Society chose Kent Air Ambulance as their Charity of the Year last November, just a month after starting up. In January eight of our members, all complete beginners to magic snatched ever spare hour between lectures to practice and rehearse for the show.’

A group from the UKC Magic Society visited the Air Ambulances base at Marden two weeks later to present a cheque and impress members of the charity’s staff and crew with some of the magic they performed on the night.

Director of Communications for the Air Ambulance, Jill Playle, who attended the show, commented ‘It is lovely to see young people who are already working hard to gain their degrees take time to put on such an entertaining show to raise funds for the charity. We are very grateful for their support.’

Thanks for saving my life, says former patient

Photo 1: Surrey Air Ambulance paramedic Natalie Brodrick and former patient John Hewitson

A cyclist was reunited with the Surrey Air Ambulance paramedic who helped save his life as the charity hosted an Up Close and Personal evening for local businesses and dignitaries.

Retired lawyer John Hewitson, 73, was cycling to his GP’s surgery to collect a prescription when he was blown off of his bike by a passing lorry in Compton.

He suffered a fractured skull and broken ribs and was given emergency treatment at the scene before being airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London.

The father-of-three, from Puttenham, spent 10 days in hospital before he was finally allowed home and has since made a full recovery.

Last week (March 6th), he met paramedic Natalie Brodrick for the first time since his accident as he spoke to 30 guests at the helicopter base at Dunsfold.

He told them: “I like many people thought the Air Ambulance was an extension of the land ambulance service but was shocked to learn it relies almost entirely on donations.

“I don’t remember anything about the accident because I was heavily sedated but when someone went to get my wallet from my back pocket to find out who I was I suddenly became very agitated which apparently is a good sign!

“That first hour is so critical with a head injury and I’m living proof of the value of the service that the doctor and critical care paramedic provide.

“It’s very important for me to meet someone like Natalie who was on duty that day because I will forever be in her debt.”

The deputy mayor of Reigate and Banstead and representatives from Haslemere Travel, Hamlyns Accountants and Baker Tilly Accountants were among the guests at Up Close and Personal sponsored by TWM Solicitors.

Surrey Air Ambulance’s pilot, doctors and paramedics spoke about their life-saving work and gave a guided tour of the aircraft and medical equipment demonstrations.

Win a car at charity golf day

A brand new £13,000 SEAT Ibiza car will be among the prizes at a charity golf day in aid of Kent Air Ambulance.

Canterbury Lions Club is holding its annual fundraiser at St Augustine’s Golf Club at Cliffsend, Ramsgate, on June 29th. Tee off is at 1pm.

Teams of four and individuals are needed to take part in the event sponsored by Cardy Construction Ltd.

The maximum handicap is 24 for men and 26 for ladies.

Barretts SEAT is offering a 1.4 Ibiza SE sport coupe (three-door) to any player who scores a hole-in-one on the 16th green of the 18-hole course.

Other fantastic prizes for par three hole-in-ones include a golf holiday in Portugal, golf at the Belfry and a set of Callaway Irons.

Tickets cost £42 per player including coffee on arrival and an evening meal. For entry forms email mollytof@btinternet.com by the closing date of June 8th.

Peter celebrates £25,000 lottery win

L-R, Dr Emma Rowland, Superdraw winner Peter Drye and critical care paramedic Jon Sanders

A Ewell grandfather popped open a bottle of champagne and sang Cliff Richard’s Congratulations after winning the jackpot in Surrey Air Ambulance’s charity lottery.

Peter Drye, 78, toasted his win with a glass of bubbly as he visited the helicopter base at Dunsfold to collect his giant cheque.

He won the top prize in the Superdraw with random numbers 4, 17, 33 and 35 as the jackpot rolled over to the maximum amount.

He said: “I thought it was a wind-up at first but it worked out remarkably well because my daughter has just got married and bought a house so I lent her £25,000.

“It was my lucky day to then win that amount three weeks later. I’ve not really given any serious thought as to how to spend it but I’ve always wanted to do a tour of the United States.”

Peter’s biggest win until now was £750 on the football pools in 1953 when and his work colleagues were just one point away from winning £40,000.

The grandfather-of-five was among the first apprentice engineers at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Dunsfold in 1954 and also helped repair Hunters.

Last week (March 6th), he returned to the aerodrome with fellow volunteers at Brooklands Museum where the aircraft enthusiasts are currently involved in re-building a Hurricane.

They met Surrey Air Ambulance Pilot Captain Pete Driver, Dr Emma Rowland and critical care paramedic Jon Sanders who gave them a guided tour of the life-saving helicopter.

Surrey 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.

The charity has also launched scratchcards which cost £1 each and are available to purchase from the charity’s website www.kssairambulance.org.uk. Prizes range from £1 to £1,000 but players must be aged over 16.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Air Ambulance recycling collections

Supporters of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance are being warned to be aware of a door-to-door recycling collection service called Air Ambulance Service.

Representatives of the registered company are visiting homes asking for donations of goods such as clothes, toys and mobile phones.

Leaflets advertising the collections state: “We are working towards providing financial assistance to cover or reduce the cost of ground and air ambulance medical transportation for patients caught in difficult medical circumstances, having an unfortunate accident or illness in another city or country.”  However the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance wishes to make clear it has no association with Air Ambulance Service who are carrying out these collections.

Chief Executive Adrian Bell said: “I am not saying that the Air Ambulance Service is purporting to be collecting on our behalf, far from it, as its literature makes clear it is not associated with any HEMS service. However, I would like to make clear that the Air Ambulance Service is NOT a registered charity and we will certainly not benefit from any donation you make to them, so please do not think otherwise.”

The company also asks for unwanted shoes, handbags, perfumes, blankets and bed linen which it says will be recycled and re-sold.

In small print at the bottom it says Air Ambulance Service is not associated with any local Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operators.

Textile banks are a genuine source of income for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance but only at allocated venues.

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