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 http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/Community/realife_sussex/story/63