Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Football chairman kicks into life-saving action

A football club chairman used his first aid skills to save the life of a man who suffered a cardiac arrest near a naturist beach.

Father-of-three David Warren, 47, was trained in CPR through his role as chairman of Milton and Fulston FC in Sittingbourne, Kent.

He performed the technique for the first time on Roger White, 60, after he collapsed and swallowed his tongue in nearby Leysdown on Sunday (July 22nd).

He said: “I had been out for a walk along the beach with my wife, just enjoying the sunshine and watching the world go by, when I heard a woman shouting for help.

“I could see that someone had collapsed and my first thought was that he had tripped over and hurt himself. He wasn’t breathing and had swallowed about 70% of his tongue.

“The first thing I did was get his tongue out of his airway and get him prepared for CPR, then got his airways open.

“You have to have a certain level of emergency first aid but this is the first time I’ve had to use it for something like this.”

David and another passer-by successfully resuscitated Roger before land paramedics arrived and gave him oxygen.

He was then treated by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor Ed Denison-Davies and critical care paramedic Jez Loseby.

Roger, from Gravesend, was flown by the charity helicopter to a specialist coronary unit and later transferred to his local A&E at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.

Dr Denison-Davies said: “This shows the value of the general public being trained in CPR because it can make a real difference. If someone is in cardiac arrest, CPR must begin as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome.”

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Gambling Man

A casino night in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is to be held at the Brands Hatch Thistle Hotel this Friday (July 27th).

Kent Entertainers presents The Gambling Man starring versatile solo singer Darren Show and jazz and swing singer Jason Swan from 7pm to 1am.

Jason is one of the finest and most talked about signers in the UK and is a tribute act to Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett.

He has performed in various musical theatre productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar, A Slice of Saturday Night and Disco Inferno.

Darren plays hits from the 50s to present day dance including Elvis Presley, Take That and Robbie Williams.

He has performed at some of Kent’s most prestigious wedding venues such as Chilston Park, Eastwell Manor and Leeds Castle.

Tickets for The Gambling Man cost £29.95 per person including a three-course meal, live entertainment and casino. To book call 01732 849625.

Proceeds raised on the night will go the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Daughter's charity trek in memory of rescued father

A teacher is to walk the equivalent of eight marathons in as many days to raise more than £6,000 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance after her father was airlifted by the helicopter.

Jo Pearson and Simon Glogiewicz will set off on their 200-mile hike from Liverpool to London this Sunday (July 22nd)

Phil Pearson, who grew up in Liverpool and lived in Croydon, was out cycling with friends when he fell off his push bike and suffered a head injury at Knockholt near Sevenoaks.

The 62-year-old father-of two was flown to a major trauma centre in London following the accident in May last year but sadly passed away a week later.

Jo, 26, said: “The accident left him with life-threatening injuries and in need of urgent medical attention.

“A rapid response from the Air Ambulance meant that Dad was flown to King’s College Hospital where a world class neurosurgery team were preparing to operate.

“Although he was unconscious after the accident my family and I were able to see him before he went in for surgery. The operation went well but sadly he passed away in Critical Intensive Care

“I believe that without the fast response my Dad had from the Air Ambulance, my family would not have had the chance to say goodbye. The extent of his injuries meant that he had a very short time frame to be transported to the right hospital.”

Lambeth Academy science teachers Jo and Simon visited the helicopter base at Marden yesterday (Thursday) ahead of their challenge.

They will set off from Liverpool’s Albert Docks on Sunday (July 22nd) and will stay with family and friends along the way.

Their route will take them through towns and cities such as Mouldsworth, Stoke-on-Trent, Dudley, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and Borehamwood.

The pair have so far received 178 donations totalling more than £6,500 and can still be sponsored at

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

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fundraiser to carry Olympic torch

A keen sportsman who has helped raised almost £200,000 for local charities is to carry the Olympic torch through Chatham tomorrow (Friday) in recognition of his fundraising efforts.

Medical student Jerome Condry, 21, has just completed a 1,500-mile bike ride from the birthplace of the Olympics to the London 2012 stadium in a bid to raise £50,000 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

He was joined by his father Canon Edward Condry, of Canterbury Cathedral, and brother Felix as they cycled through Italy, Switzerland and France before arriving in Stratford on Sunday (July 15th ).

At 8.19am tomorrow (July 20th), he will carry the torch along Dock Road after being successfully nominated for his “huge sense of social awareness and responsibility”.

Although not particularly sporty in his childhood, Jerome caught the bug during a climbing trip in the Atlas Mountains sponsored in aid of a local hospice.

In 2007, he cycled from Canterbury to Rome in 16 days and raised £145,000 for 10 local charities. He has also rowed the English Channel and the length of the Thames, raising more than £40,000.

He now rows at Oxford where he is currently sitting his final exams at Corpus Christi but still found time for his Olympic challenge with 26 other cyclists.

Supporters can still sponsor them at or by texting AIR OLYMPICS to 70300.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fundraiser to carry Olympic torch

Photo: L-R, Josh Smith, Stephen Smith and Tom Smith

A Cranbrook entrepreneur is to carry the Olympic torch through Hastings tomorrow (Wednesday) in recognition of his fundraising efforts for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Film director Tom Smith, 24, embarked on two initiatives to raise more than £5,500 for the life-saving helicopter which airlifted his father following a bonfire accident.

He launched a Blue Book of discount vouchers after persuading 57 local businesses to sign up to the scheme, with proceeds from the sale of every book going to the charity.

He also made a documentary about Cranbrook Football Club’s battle to attract a record number of fans for the biggest match in the town’s sporting history.

As a result he landed a job with broadcast hire company Video Europe and was successfully nominated by his brother Sam to carry the Olympic torch as part of Lloyds TSB’s nationwide search for inspirational people.

Tom, of Angley Park, will carry the torch from 454 Old London Road at 9.10am torch but insists he owes it to the pilot, doctor and paramedic who helped keep his father alive.

He said: “It was a real shock to find out I’d been selected to carry the torch and I didn’t have a clue about it at all but it’s going to be a great occasion and I can’t wait to do it.

“It’s quite ironic that my dad was involved in a fire and now I will be carrying the Olympic Flame through the town whose team we played in the final.”

The Mighty Cranbrook Town charted the team’s battle to win promotion from the East Sussex League in their match against Hastings side Travaux FC.

It was produced by ex-professional footballer Tom in aid of the Air Ambulance after his film producer father was involved in a bonfire accident in June, 2009.
Stephen Smith had been lighting a fire at home when he suffered 20 per cent burns to his back and legs. He was airlifted to the specialist Broomfield Burns Unit in Essex and has since made a full recovery.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Andy's charity bike ride helps save a life

A Smarden cyclist has raised £3,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance by riding more than 800 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Andy Skinner completed the challenge for the life-saving charity to mark his 50th birthday last month.

He set off from Cornwall on June 8th and celebrated his milestone at Clitheroe in Lancashire before finally arriving in Scotland on June 21st.

Last week, he visited the Air Ambulance base at Marden to present his cheque to Pilot Nick Bramley, Dr Ed Denison-Davies and critical care paramedic Jez Harwood.

Each emergency call-out of the Air Ambulance costs about £2,500 so the sum raised by Andy will fund one potentially life-saving mission.

He said: “The hardest part was going across Dartmoor on day two because it was very steep and really windy. I probably only did about 70 miles that day.

“I got fitter as went along and felt really good by the end of it. The adrenaline was still running until about a week later when it finally caught up with me.”

Andy rode solo without a support vehicle and stayed at camp sites along the route during his two-week journey.

He added: “On my birthday I was cycling into Clitheroe and asked a couple sitting outside their house where the nearest camp site was.

“They asked where I was going and I told them I was cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity and mentioned that it was my birthday.

“I didn’t think any more of it but half an hour later a car pulled up at the site and the couple gave me a card and a bottle of whiskey which was a nice surprise.”

Andy has previously cycled from Singapore to Bangkok and 2,500 miles in France which took two-and-a-half months.

He thanked his colleagues and customers at Staplehurst-based Magnetic Shields Ltd for their support on his latest trip.

Managing director Colin Woolger, development director Mick Murby and PA Sue Terry, who coordinated Andy’s ride and fundraising, joined him in his visit to the helicopter base last Tuesday (July 10th)

The company has kindly supported the charity for a number of years and raised a substantial amount from Christmas donations and raffles.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Project Team Raises Hundreds For Ambulance Trust

A project team working for Southern Water went that extra mile when it took part in a charity run.

The company is upgrading Charing Wastewater Treatment Works, Charing, Kent. Sam Edmondson, Harry Helliwell, Robbie Ross, Lil Michaelas from contractor 4Delivery and Will Blake from contractor Dragtone, who are working on the scheme, raised £585 in Folkestone Coastal 10km run in May. Lil’s husband Maz Michaelas and Robbie Ross’ daughter Tennessee also took part.

A cheque was presented to life-saving charity Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance at the site in Dog Kennel Lane this week.

4D Site Engineer Harry Helliwell said: "Working on construction sites, we know the importance of keeping safe. However, by supporting charities like the Air Ambulance, we all have the reassurance that should we need it, help is at hand.”

Cheryl Johnson, Fundraising Manager for Air Ambulance said: "It costs £5 million each year to keep both helicopters flying. Our grateful thanks to the Charing project team for its support.”

Monday, 9 July 2012

Saving lives on our roads

Young motorists will learn how to save lives at the scene of a road traffic accident during a two-day course this week (July 11/12th).

The CRASH First Aid course at Rye College in East Sussex aims to provide pre-hospital first aid skills at the road-side.

Candidates will face crash re-enactments and realistic “patients” under the instruction of ex fire, police and ambulance service staff.

During the course run by Team Cohesion, actors will play out real-life scenarios using dramatic make-up and successful students will receive an Emergency First Aid at Work certificate.

Director Andy Sullivan said: “Team Cohesion has developed this excellent course to prepare young drivers to deal with the often tragic consequences of road traffic collisions.

“Our intention is that by attending this course they will not only learn life-saving skills but also become safer drivers.”

Air Ambulance Clinical Manager Rob Wilkinson will teach students how to give first aid to casualties who have suffered heart attacks, seizures, fractures and head and spinal injuries.

About 40 per cent of the charity helicopter’s calls are to road traffic collisions and vital first aid can mean the difference between life and death.

Rob said: “We believe the course will encourage young drivers to initiate the first aid that will improve patient outcomes and we are happy to support this venture.”

Department of Transport figures show that a total of 1,857 people died on Britain’s roads in 2010 while 20,803 were seriously injured.  

In 2007, 40 per cent of passengers killed or seriously injured were in a car with a young driver at the wheel.

Care worker wins £25,000 jackpot

A Haywards Heath care worker has won the jackpot in Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance’s Superdraw just a month after joining the charity lottery.

Doreen Knight, who works at Walstead Place, signed up after a canvasser called at her door and made her first £8-a-month payment on June 7th.

Two weeks later, she scooped the top prize after lucky numbers 8, 9, 10 and 21 came up in the midweek draw.

The mother-of-three and her husband Brian are now planning to spend their winnings on a holiday to America and a new kitchen.

She said: “I was on my way to work when I got the call to say I’d won and I was shaking. It’s just un-believable to have won so quickly and I had to check the Air Ambulance website to see if it was true.

“It’s come at a good time because my husband will be 60 this year and he’s always wanted to see the New England Falls so that’s on the cards for next year. I’d quite like to see the Niagara Falls as well.”

Last week, Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Jez Harwood presented the couple with their cheque at the helicopter base at Dunsfold.

The charity’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 lottery, call 01622 833833.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Air Ambulance cyclists are mountain high

Photo: Robin and Barbara Cooper at the top of Gotthard Pass. They started the ride a week earlier.

A group of charity bike riders cycling from the birthplace of the Olympics in Greece to the London 2012 stadium face their toughest day tomorrow (Saturday).

Canon Edward Condry, Canon Treasurer of Canterbury Cathedral, and his Olympic torch-bearing son Jerome are among the riders taking part in the challenge for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

They set off on their 1,500-mile journey from Mount Olympus last week and will reach the half- way stage tomorrow (July 7th).

They will cycle a total of 120 miles in just one day as they scale the 6,909ft-high Gotthard Pass in Switzerland – a cobbled mule track which has 38 hairpin bends.

Ed said: “We are all experienced cyclists but this will be our greatest challenge yet. Cycling 120 miles a day in blistering heat is incredibly draining and tomorrow’s ride over the Alps looks pretty terrifying.

“Once on the Gotthard Pass we are looking forward to being joined by 15 more cyclists for the journey to the Olympics. We have all been raising money for the Air Ambulance which is such a good cause.”

The 27 cyclists have so far raised a fantastic £40,000 of their target £50,000 for the charity which relies almost entirely on donations and receives no statutory government funding.

To sponsor them go to or text AIR OLYMPICS to 70300.

Supporters can follow their progress at where the Global Positioning System (GPS) system updates their location every 10 minutes.