Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Golf day lands £1,000 for Air Ambulance

Photo: Richard Rose pictured with the Air Ambulance taking off in the background

A Surrey businessman watched Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance take off on an emergency call as he donated £1,000 to the life-saving charity.

Morrisons Solicitors Senior Partner Richard Rose visited the helicopter base at Dunsfold on Friday (August 24th) to present a cheque to the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.

During his visit, the crew were called to a woman who suffered a head injury after falling down stairs in Englefield Green. She was given emergency treatment before being flown to a major trauma centre.

Each call-out costs about £2,500 so the sum raised from Morrisons Solicitors’ annual golf day will help fund one potentially life-saving mission.

Richard said: “About four years ago a client was airlifted after having a heart attack so we wanted to help keep the helicopter flying.

“Our headquarters are based at Redhill and we often see the Air Ambulance flying patients to East Surrey Hospital. We have also supported the biennial Air Aid Ball at Redhill Aerodrome in aid of the charity.”

Morrisons Solicitors has been providing legal services to individuals and businesses since opening in Reigate nearly 300 years ago and has branches in Redhill, Woking, Camberley and Wimbledon.

The Surrey helicopter was first launched in 2007 and can reach the furthest part of the county in just 20 minutes, saving vital time which can mean the difference between life and death.

The doctor and paramedic can carry out advanced medical procedures at the scene of an accident or medical emergency, giving patients the best chance and quality of survival.

Early birthday present for lottery winner

An Ash grandmother was given an early birthday present when she won the top prize of £1,000 in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s charity lottery.

Retired personal assistant Diane Dobinson joined the fundraising regular lottery two years ago after a canvasser called at her door.

Her numbers came up in last Wednesday’s draw on the eve of her 66th birthday and it was her biggest lottery win since she was part of a work syndicate which won £2,000.

She said: “It’s amazing, what a birthday present. It was a nice surprise and I was in disbelief when I got the call to say I’d won.

“I joined the lottery because the Air Ambulance is a local charity and we never know when we may need it.”

Mrs Dobinson is now planning to spend her winnings on a family holiday to Devon with her three children and grand-children.

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.

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 Superdraw which is expected to roll over to £17,000 this Wednesday. To join the lotteries, which raise more than a third of the charity’s income, call 01622 833808.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Chris Knott Insurance helps save lives

Thousands of motorists, bikers, homeowners and businesses could help Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance save lives by choosing Chris Knott Insurance.

The Hastings-based firm will donate 25 per cent of its earnings from every new policy and callers simply need to mention the Air Ambulance when taking out car, bike, home, business or even breakdown cover.

Each year the policy is renewed the donation will be repeated and there is no limit to the amount of financial support the scheme could generate or how much it could save customers.

Neil Franklin, Chris Knott Insurance Managing Director said: “The Air Ambulance is available to anyone living, working and travelling in all four counties and any one of us may need it.

“About 40 per cent of its calls are to road traffic collisions so as a local insurer we believe it makes perfect business sense to invest in the Air Ambulance’s future in this way.”

The average car insurance premium will result in a £16 donation which could buy enough drugs to perform two general anaesthetics – skills usually performed in hospital.

A Chris Knott home insurance premium, resulting in a £33 donation, could buy a specialist bandage designed to actively clot a serious wound.

On a business premium of £5,000, a £240 donation could buy two protective road traffic collision helmets used by the doctor and critical care paramedic when working inside crashed cars.

Customers should call 01424 205060 and mention Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance when their insurance is due for renewal.

999 Family Race Day

A fly-in by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will be among the attractions at the Kent Messenger 999 race day at Folkestone next month (September 2nd).

Racegoers at the emergency services theme day will get the chance to see the life-saving charity helicopter and meet the pilot, doctor and critical care paramedic.

There will be emergency service displays and re-enactments from Kent Fire & Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), British Divers Marine Rescue and Folkestone Coastguard.

Other demonstrations will be held by Kent Fire & Rescue Service Bikes Team, the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), Kent County Council Road Safety Team and Kent and Medway Safety Partnership.

There will also be family entertainment including a Wii entertainment tent, balloon modeling, face-panting, bucking Bronco, an inflatable moon walker and a visit from Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley.

Gates open at noon when there will be a fly-in by the helicopter, subject to emergency call-outs, and the first of seven races get underway at 2pm. Afterwards there will be live music from the Counterfeit Notes.

Tickets booked in advance start at £14 and can be booked online at www.folkestone-racecourse.co.uk or by calling 01303 405801.

Funds raised on the day will go to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Birdman takes flight for Air Ambulance

A Ferring grandfather will be among the entrants vying to win this weekend’s Worthing Birdman competition in a bid to raise £5,000 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Retired Worthing Hospital orthopedic surgeon Andrew Jarvis, 65, will launch himself off the pier in a 30ft wingspan glider called Vulture.

He will be among the eccentric inventors’ class aiming to be the first-ever contestant to reach a distance of 100 metres.

If he wins the £10,000 prize money, he plans to donate half to the life-saving charity which relies almost entirely on public donations and receives no statutory Government funding.

He said: “I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with this contest and first entered it in 1974 when it was held at Selsey. I didn’t get very far and just plummeted into the water.

‘“I entered last year but the wind was too strong and I didn’t think it was worth wrecking. It sounds crazy but if it’s too windy the problem is holding the thing down as it’s intended for light winds only.

“I’m adding a water ballast tank which will hold five gallons and the plan is for the water to drain out over the first 10 seconds of the flight once I’ve hurled myself off the launch platform.”

Alan has spent countless hours building the glider which weighs 70lbs and is made from aluminium, carbon fibre and timber covered in heat-shrink polythene.

The garage at his home in Elverlands Close has been turned into a makeshift hangar and he is planning to take it on a test flight at Parham where he is a member of the Southdown Gliding Club.

In May, the Air Ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic were called there after an accident involving a glider.

Andrew added: “I’ve been a glider pilot since I was 16 and I’m aware that if it goes wrong I may well need the helicopter’s assistance one day. 


Paramedic nominated for 999 Award

A Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance paramedic has been nominated for a 999 Award at a ceremony to be shown this Thursday (August 16th) on BBC One.

Critical care paramedic Stuart Plumbley, from Caterham, was on duty when the charity helicopter was called to a stablegroom trampled by two horses in a freak accident at Chiddingfold.

Lottie Taylor, 24, was leading the animals back into their stables when they suddenly bolted after being spooked.

She suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and the worst chest flail injury Air Ambulance doctor Geoff Healy had seen in seven years of practice.

He and critical care paramedic Stuart anaesthetised Lottie and carried out chest surgery at the scene – skills usually only performed in hospital.

Pilot, Captain Pete Driver then flew her to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London.

Lottie, from Buckland, has since made a full recovery and was filmed at the stables where she works as part of BBC’s 999 Awards in which Stuart is to receive an honourable mention.

For the first time on television, the programme honours the outstanding and tireless work of Britain’s emergency services.

The show is to be hosted by Kirsty Young and Lenny Henry at BBC Television Centre and will see a host of celebrity names pay tribute to heroic acts.

Pilots prepare for lofty challenge

A group of eight walkers will today (Monday) embark on a challenge to climb 42 peaks of the Lake District to raise funds for life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The adventurists will aim to complete one of the most demanding treks in England with an ascent of 27,000ft over 72 miles, in just five days.

They will set off from Moot Hall at Keswick today and climb an average of 6,000ft over eight hours each day before finishing back at Keswick on Friday.

The group consists of three marine pilots based at Sheerness Docks, a medical student, health manager, barber, prison officer, IT engineer and a midwife who will be joining them half way.

Organiser Chris Griffiths, of Medway Pilots Association, said: “It’s a hell of a challenge but we’re determined to do it.

“We originally had 32 people interested in doing it but after we put them through their paces in training we were left with just eight.

“We will be carrying our food, tents and sleeping bags and my fear is ankle injuries and blisters. I’ve done it several times with my son and he collapsed twice, that’s how hard it is.”

One of the party will celebrate their 40th birthday tomorrow (Tuesday) and presents have been hidden under rocks along the route.

A surprise party will also be thrown near Scafell Pike where they will be camping on day two. The group has so far raised £5,000 and can still be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/42peakchallenge.

The so-called Bob Graham Round of 42 peaks is named after the Keswick guesthouse owner who first completed the challenge in June, 1932.