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