Tuesday, 28 May 2013

All the fun of the fair....and a flyover

A flyover by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will be among the attractions at the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair next month.

The three-day show is to be held on June 6th, 7th and 8th at Hole Park, Rolvenden, featuring gorgeous goodies for home and garden, fashion, jewellery, and artisan food and drink.

Royal Tunbridge Wells estate agents Knight Frank has kindly sponsored this year’s event and has chosen the Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year.

A flyover by the life-saving helicopter is planned for Saturday, June 8th, between 12noon and 2pm - subject to emergency call-outs.

There will also be a collection in aid of the charity on all three days and an opportunity for visitors to meet volunteers and find out more about the Air Ambulance.

Head of Corporate Relations Cheryl Johnson said: “With an expected crowd of some 8,000 – 9,000 from Thursday to Saturday, this will be an ideal opportunity for us to highlight the life-saving work we do in the community.

“We are enormously grateful to Knight Frank and the Wealden Times for their support.”

Knight Frank’s spokesman Andrew Harwood said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair this year – something of a tradition and a fixture in the calendar for many people.

“The fair gives us a chance to showcase what we do and to heighten awareness of this very worthy charity.”

For more information about Wealden Times Midsummer Fair, go to www.wealdentimes.co.uk/events/midsummer/2013/ 

From Wellington Rocks to the Three Peaks

 

L-R, Julie Bedford, Ian Knipe, Stuart Foden, Richard Searle and Simon Pockett pictured at Wellington Rocks, Tunbridge Wells

A team from a Tunbridge Wells firm of financial advisers are embarking on a challenge to climb Britain’s three highest mountains to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.                                                                                                        

Five members of staff at The Goodman Partnership will attempt to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Mount Snowdon, all in just 24 hours.

The Three Peaks challengers are Julie Bedford, Ian Knipe, Stuart Foden, Richard Searle and Simon Pockett.

They will set off on July 4th and are aiming to raise a total of £2,500 which would fund one potentially life-saving call-out by the Air Ambulance.

Simon said: “We’ve been training hard since the beginning of the year and unfortunately picked up a few injuries along the way. Hopefully we will avoid any mishaps on the day and we want the weather to be kind.

“We know this will be a real challenge but are confident in completing this for such a worthy cause. You never know when it might be you who needs the Air Ambulance.”

The Goodman Partnership has some of the best qualified and most experienced advisers in retirement planning, investing and long-term care funding.

The firm has so far raised £1,249 and can be sponsored at

http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/goodmanpartnership

Survivor's father joins charity bike ride

A Bletchingley father whose son was airlifted to hospital after a road accident is gearing up for a 100km charity bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Ben Alston, 8, was on holiday in Devon when he ran across a road and was pulled under a double decker bus.

He was flown to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth in a critical condition but has since made a full recovery following the accident in 2011.

His father David, 58, has now signed up for his local Air Ambulance’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge on June 23rd.

The 100-mile or 100km ride starts and finishes at the helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome and cyclists can still enter the fundraising event.

David said: “Ben was saved by an Air Ambulance in addition to all the other emergency services involved and I want to raise funds so that it can help people in the future.

“People may not think about the Air Ambulance until they need them, as in our case, and I want to help promote the service by doing the Double 100.

“I work outside as a landscape gardener so I’m fairly fit and I’ve done the London to Brighton bike ride but that was about 10 years ago.

“I had keyhole surgery on my knee only six weeks ago so I’ve only been able to get out on my bike for about four training rides since then.”

The Double 100 is open to regular and occasional cyclists with feeding stations along the routes.

To register go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/FundRaising/Double100CycleChallenge .

This year’s ride has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People. For more information call Julie Clare on 01622 833833 or email juliec@kssairambulance.org.uk

Steve sheds the pounds for charity bike ride

A Dorking businessman who has lost four stone in just 18 months is gearing up for a 100km charity bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Father-of-two Steve Kreuchen tipped the scales at 17-and-half stone before he took up cycling and started going to the gym.

He now weighs a healthy 13-and-a-half stone and has signed up for the Air Ambulance’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge on June 23rd.

The 100-mile or 100km ride starts and finishes at the helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome and cyclists can still enter the fundraising event.

Steve said: “Two years ago, I weighed 17-and-a-half stone and decided that at the age of 50 it was time to take control.

“I’m now down to 13-and-a-half stone, I go to the gym three or four times a week and cycle at weekends.

“A year ago I struggled to walk up Box Hill, now I cycle up it then another hill just for fun. I signed up for the Double 100 to give myself a focus and to contribute to an excellent cause.

“The Air Ambulance is an essential service and it needs all the support it can get and more. I hope I never have to use it but I always hope it’s there if I do.”

The Double 100 is open to regular and occasional cyclists with feeding stations along the routes.

To register go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/FundRaising/Double100CycleChallenge

This year’s ride has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People.

For more information call Julie Clare on 01622 833833 or email juliec@kssairambulance.org.uk

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Join Geoff Rambler for a trip down memory lane

Walkers are being urged to join the fourth in a series of historic hikes around the Kent countryside next week, followed by collection in aid of the county’s Air Ambulance.

Lifelong rambler Geoff Ettridge, otherwise known as Geoff Rambler, will lead a three-mile Kent Messenger Walk from Addington to the Coldrum Long Barrow on Saturday, June 1st.

The walkers will set off from the The Angel Inn (ME19 5BB) at 10am and points of interest include the site where Dr Who landed to save the Earth from The Dominators in the cult sci-fi show.

Geoff will be joining forces with local resident Joan Bygrave to offer an insight into the work of the Medway Magalith builders and the famous stones at The Chestnuts.

He said: “It’s not appreciated by many but in the third and fourth millennia BC Medway could have been as important as Salisbury to our Neolithic ancestors.”

Geoff has led walks for the Medway branch of the Ramblers’ Association and the Kent Messenger since retiring as a local government officer and has raised more than £5,000 for charity through his walking.

His 2013 diary of walks include Blue Bell Hill (July 6th), Farningham to South Darenth (August 24th), Stodmarsh Nature Reserve to Wickhambreaux (September 28th and Sandling to Boxley (November 2nd).

The Kent Messenger Walks are free but a collection will be held at the end of each walk for the Air Ambulance. For more information go to www.geofframbler.co.uk

Monday, 20 May 2013

Join life-saving crew in charity bike ride

Doctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance are appealing for cyclists to join them in the life-saving charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge next month.
The 100-mile or 100km bike ride will start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome on June 23rd.
Both routes take in all counties covered by the two helicopters and the 100-mile route will pass through Marden – the home of Kent Air Ambulance.
Among the riders will be Team KSSAAT (Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust) including crew members and a former patient.
Critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley said: “This is an exciting year to be involved with the Air Ambulance with the launch of our blood transfusion service in February and night flying later this year.
“However, to enable us to provide a 24-hour service we need an extra £1million which is why fundraising events such as the Double 100 are even more vital.
Last year’s Double 100 was held at the former Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold but the routes have been changed following the relocation of one of the charity’s helicopters to Redhill in preparation for the launch of night flying.
This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People.
Howard Cundey Senior Partner Tim Foulkes said: “With a network of offices based around the counties covered by the Air Ambulance, we are delighted to be the main sponsors of the charity’s 2013 Double 100.
“We look forward to welcoming the riders to our Forest Row branch which will also serve as a feeding station on the day.”
The Double 100 is open to regular and occasional cyclists with feeding stations along the scenic route.
For more information call Julie Clare on 01622 833833 or email juliec@kssairambulance.org.uk

Daredevil David set for lofty challenge

A paraglider is preparing to embark on the challenge of a lifetime by flying more than 60 miles non-stop through the Himalaya Mountains, to raise funds for Kent Air Ambulance.

Father-of-two David Maidman, 48, from Hawkenbury, Kent, will set off from Himachal Pradesh in Bir, India, in October.

He is planning to fly un-assisted in one continuous flight over mountain ranges for up to five hours, reaching heights of 15,000ft above sea level.

The avid adventurist is aiming to raise a grand total of £9,000 for the Air Ambulance and Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

David said: “The challenge is ambitious but achievable and there is always the possibility that there won’t be enough lifting air in which case I’ll be heading down.

“I’ll then have to seek a safe landing zone and prepare to hike to the nearest village and this is where the adventure truly begins.”

David qualified as a glider pilot four years ago after training at Airworks Paragliding School in East Sussex, and has since flown in France, Spain and Morocco.

He was inspired to complete his challenge by Ed Stafford who became the first man to walk the entire length of the Amazon river in South America.

He is aiming to raise £5,000 for the Air Ambulance and £4,000 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/david-maidman 

Last month, the helicopter was called to a 75-year-old paraglider injured at Mount Caburn and flew him to the nearby Royal Sussex County Hospital at Brighton.

David added: “The Air Ambulance is very respected in my flying club because we know we can always call upon their service when things don’t quite go according to plan.”

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Award-winning author supports Air Ambulance

Celebrated novelist and acclaimed author Elizabeth Buchan is to give a talk at a special Literary Evening as part of the 2013 Haslemere Festival next week, to raise funds for Surrey Air Ambulance.

Elizabeth Buchan will talk about the influences on her writing and her themes as well as giving guests a preview of her forthcoming book at Haslemere Educational Museum on Monday, May 20th, at 6.30pm.

Born in Guildford, Elizabeth spent much of her childhood in Surrey and is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and The National Academy of Writing.

She began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at publishers Random House before leaving to write full time.

Her novels include the prize-winning Light of the Moon and Consider the Lily, described by The Independent as “a gorgeously well-written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated”.

A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS TV prime-time drama. This was followed by several other novels including The Second Wife, Separate Beds and most recently Daughters.

Elizabeth has just finished A Thousand Little Lies, a novel about the Special Operations Executive (SOE) operating in Denmark during the Second World War, and her short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines.

She also reviews for the Sunday Times and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) awards.

Elizabeth’s talk has been organised by award-winning agency Haslemere Travel and all proceeds will be donated to the firm’s chosen charity, Surrey Air Ambulance, and the Haslemere Festival Fund.

Tickets cost £10 each including wine and canapes and can be bought in advance from Haslemere Travel at 2 Petworth Road or by calling 01428 658777.

Monday, 13 May 2013

It's in the bag for Ironman Isaac

A Herne Bay student will be helping shoppers pack their bags this weekend (May 18th) in his bid to raise £5,000 for Kent Air Ambulance from an Ironman triathlon.

Isaac Searle, 21, is to embark on the challenge of a lifetime by completing a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run in just 11 hours.

The PE and sport student at Christ Church University will take part in the event in Barcelona on October 6th and will be tested as part of a study into the effects of training on amateur athletes.

On Saturday, he will be packing bags for shoppers at Sainsbury’s in Kingsmead in return for donations to help him with his fundraising, and will be dressed in his Ironman training gear.

Isaac, of Curtiswood Park Road, recently completed the Tonbridge Lions Triathlon to help him with his fitness and has previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

He has so far raised £420 and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/isaac-searle or by texting IMAN55 to 70070.

Wilkinsons' Charity of the Year

Photo L-R: Wilkinsons staff members Anne Jenkins, Ray Age, Nikki Jackson, Andy Morris and Steve Bishop

Staff at Wilkinsons in Chatham dressed up as superheroes to raise £250 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Store manager Steve Bishop was Bananaman while his colleagues were caped crusaders Superman, Superwoman and Spiderman.

They wore fancy dress to encourage shoppers to make a donation and a local baton cheerleading group held a collection at the tills for packing bags.

Wilkinsons stores across Kent have chosen the Air Ambulance as their Charity of the Year and kicked off their fundraising at the Chatham branch earlier this month.

Regional Manager Nick Dubery said: "We couldn’t be more pleased to announce the Air Ambulance as our new Charity of the Year. We are really keen to support the vital work the charity does.

“Their emergency crews can be anywhere in the region in less than 20 minutes and we’re lucky to have their life-saving service in our local area.”

Friday, 3 May 2013

Join Howard Cundey for coffee and cake

A coffee and cake morning is to be held by Howard Cundey Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The event is to be held on May 29th from 10am to 1pm at the firm’s offices in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Biggin Hill, Bletchingley, Lingfield, East Grinstead, Edenbridge, Oxted, Forest Row and Reigate.

Senior Partner Tim Foulkes said: “The coffee and cake morning is open to all clients and customers and we look forward to seeing them on the day for a very worthwhile cause.”

Howard Cundey has previously raised more than £600 for the Air Ambulance from a Christmas raffle and donations from clients instead of Christmas cards.

The company has also sponsored the Air Ambulance’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge – a 100mile or 100km bike ride which starts and finishes at Redhill Aerodrome on June 23rd.

The ride is open to regular and occasional cyclists with feeding stations along the scenic route. To register go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/FundRaising/Double100CycleChallenge .

Wish you were here..knee deep in mud?

Staff at an Aylesford holiday firm swapped their sunny brochures for a mudbath as they took part in an Army obstacle race to raise almost £2,000 for Kent Air Ambulance.

The brave team at James Villa Holidays battled a 10km course including deep stench trenches, balance beams, blockade walls, wobbly bridges and a freezing ice crawl.

They successfully completed The Major Series, designed by British Armed Forces personnel, at Eridge Park set in 3,000 acres of hills, lakes, open parkland and mud.

The team were Rebecca Hinks, Donna Brincat, Gary Horsford, Dave Woollcott, Andrew Waters, John Campbell, Karl Greenslade, Malcolm Hoad, Mark Murphy, Jamie Whitebread, Shelley Kingsnorth and Judy Collins.

James Villa Holidays, based in Aylesford, has chosen Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year.

In total, they raised £1,826 for the life-saving helicopter which relies almost entirely on donations and receives no statutory Government or National Lottery funding.

Captain America flies flag for Air Ambulance

A Gravesend biker is gearing up for his third fancy dress motorbike rally in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance - this time as Captain America.

Graphics specialist Ian Skinner will be riding a 150cc monkey bike dressed as the caped crusader for the 2013 Welsh National Rally next weekend (May 11th).

He will be joined by friends Mike Gore and Chris Pettigrew-Symonds, from Rainham, who will be dressed as two California Highway Patrol officers from hit Seventies TV drama CHiPS.

Ian has previously taken part in the rally dressed as Shaun the Sheep and a snorkeller, complete with flippers and goggles.

He said: “I want to do it for the Air Ambulance because it saves lives, especially bikers. It’s a worthwhile cause.

“A lot of people take the rally seriously but we go for the fun and craic. Mike and Chris have previously done it dressed as gorillas and I think we’re the only novelty act there.”

The Welsh Rally is open to riders and drivers of two, three and four-wheelers and the object of the competition is to collect answers to clues at various checkpoints along the route through the valleys and mountains.

Two years ago, a former Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance patient donned an Easter bunny costumer for a motorbike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

About 40 per cent of the helicopter’s call-outs are to road traffic collisions, many of them involving motorcyclists.

Ian has been sponsored by his employers AGFA, and the Roffen Club at Rochester. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Ian-Skinner3