Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has launched a new lottery draw to help fund the cost of night flying.
It currently costs £5million per year to keep the service airborne but this figure will soon rise to £6million.
Research has shown there is a genuine need for the Air Ambulance to provide a 24-hour service and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now changed regulations to allow ad hoc landing at night away from lit airports or hospital landing sites.
In preparation to operate by helicopter at night, the Air Ambulance has commenced night operations by car. Although not as responsive and capable as helicopter operations, the doctor and paramedic are already attending a significant number of incidents where patients desperately need pre-hospital care that only Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) crews are able to provide at the scene of an incident.
Members of the charity’s £1-per-week Regular Lottery now have the opportunity to help save lives at night by joining the new 24/7 Club Lottery, for just 57p per week or £2.47 per month.
The first draw was held on July 24th and the winner was Louis Maule-Cole from Crawley who scooped the weekly jackpot of £247.
He said: “I was shocked but privileged to be the first winner of the 24/7 Club Lottery. I’m 83 and it’s the first lottery I’ve ever won.
“The Air Ambulance took my attention after someone came and gave our Probus group a talk about the service. It never really dawned on me that it is supported by donations.”
For more information about the Air Ambulance lotteries, please call 01622 833833 or visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk