Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Pantomime magic for air ambulance charity

A pantomime performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs created more Christmas magic than usual last week.

The cast presented a cheque for £5,000 to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and two other charities after Barretts of Canterbury hired the theatre for a special staff performance and donated the proceeds.

Employees of the family owned motor group in East Kent and colleagues enjoyed an evening of pantomime fun as they watched the production at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. The fabulous Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders) headed the cast along with CBeebies star Phil Gallagher (Mister Maker), everyone’s favourite Dame, Ben Roddy, and the hilarious Lloyd Hollett. This year’s performance featured exciting a new 3D effect as well.

Paul Barrett, managing director of Barretts of Canterbury said “It was a great evening out for us all and we are delighted to be able to support these fabulous local charities at the same time”

The annual event raised a total of £15,000 for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Porchlight and The Pilgrims Hospices.

The fundraising pantomime ended a year of celebrations for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance who celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. The charity delivers enhanced pre-hospital care directly to the scene of serious medical emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and crews will be working around the clock throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Lynne Harris, Director of Income Generation for the air ambulance, said: “We are really grateful for the support of Barretts of Canterbury for such a generous donation and the amazing support they have given us during our anniversary year. The money they have raised goes directly to the charity and helping us to help those people who need our services.”

Air ambulance doctor to speak at Christmas Lectures

Photo: The Royal Institute’s Christmas Lectures

An air ambulance doctor working for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will feature in the Royal Institution’s prestigious Christmas Lectures to be broadcast on BBC Four next Monday (December 28th), Tuesday, (December 29th) and Wednesday, (December 30th).

Dr Kevin Fong is one of a team of pre-hospital physicians who fly with the charity. He also holds degrees in Astrophysics, Medicine and Engineering and has worked with NASA’s human space exploration programme at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Christmas Lectures began in 1825 are now broadcast on UK television every December forming part of the British Christmas tradition for generations.

In this year’s series ‘How to survive in space’ Kevin will open a window onto today’s most exciting space missions, explore the future of space travel, and offer a unique insight into the challenges of protecting human life in the hostile environment of space in the 2015.

The specialist medical doctors and paramedics on the air ambulance deliver enhanced pre-hospital care directly to the scene of medical emergencies 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

For further information about the lectures visit http://www.rigb.org/christmas-lectures and for information about the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Join the Christmas Lectures conversation on Twitter by searching for #xmaslectures.

Jean wins brand new car in air ambulance raffle

Photo 1, L-R, Air ambulance paramedic Ben Clarke, Jean Heffer and Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa Manager Nick Bosse.

Photo 2, L-R, Jean and daughter Pauline having lunch at the Reflections restaurant

Photo 3: Air ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, picks the winning ticket

A retired teacher from Chichester has won a brand new car worth £15,000 in a raffle to celebrate Kent, Surrey & Sussex Ambulance’s Silver Jubilee.

Jean Heffer bought five tickets for the December 15th draw and was stunned when her name was picked out by Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard at the helicopter base.

She will now be swapping her four-year-old Renault Clio for a brand new Mini One kindly donated by Barretts of Canterbury.

The red 1.2 Mini One three-door hatchback boasts tyre pressure monitoring, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

Jean celebrated her win at a champagne reception and lunch at the luxury five-star Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa in Turners Hill where Paramedic Ben Clarke handed her the keys to the prize motor.

She said: “Funnily enough I was sort of thinking of changing my car in the Spring but the air ambulance has done it for me.

“As a member of the air ambulance’s lottery, I’ve bought raffle tickets for several years, just thinking it would be an extra contribution but never expecting to win.

“I didn’t even know there was a car to be won, I just assumed it was a cash prize. I had a Mini Traveller in the 1960s and my son had a Mini One a few years ago so you could say we love our Minis.”

Tickets for the Win a Mini raffle were sold throughout the year at shopping centres, supermarkets and various events and shows across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the grand total of £214,249 raised from the raffle is enough to fund 84 potentially lifesaving missions.

Paramedic Ben Clarke said: “We would like to sincerely thank everybody who purchased draw tickets and donated. We really do rely on the support of the public to enable us to continue our important work, and help people in their time of need.
“We extend our gratitude to Barretts of Canterbury who very kindly donated the car to the charity and supported the campaign throughout the year. Without this generous support, we would simply not have been able to raise these funds.”

Barretts of Canterbury is a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships based in Canterbury and Ashford. It currently has six car franchises including Broad Oak Mini which donated the prize car.

Crash survivor featured in TV medical documentary

A motorist airlifted to hospital after crashing into a tree in Edenbridge is to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E in the New Year.

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

The episode on January 6th focuses on children and being a parent and tells the story of 41-year-old Sam who lost control of her car and crashed into a tree.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was called as she was trapped in her vehicle which had rolled over.

Sam sustained head and abdominal injuries and was treated at the roadside by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic.

24 Hours in A&E shows her arriving at St George’s where doctors sent her for a CT scan, concerned about possible spinal and internal injuries.

Husband Mark told how the couple met and Sam explained that she couldn’t have children after having leukaemia as a child.

Mark was not going to forsake his love for Sam because they couldn’t have a family but years later, to their amazement and delight, Sam became pregnant.

24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Wednesday (January 6th) at 9pm and if you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

 

Air ambulance lottery winner

Photo 1: Margaret Denman

Photo 2: Margaret pictured with David Beckham at Harrods in 2013

A retired care home worker from Turners Hill splashed out on her 70th birthday at the weekend after winning the £1,000 jackpot in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s lottery.

Margaret Denman signed up to the lifesaving charity’s Regular Lottery when a canvasser called at her Turners Hill Park home four years ago.

She thought nothing more of her £4-a-month subscription until she received a call telling her she had landed the top prize in last Wednesday’s draw – just four days before her 70th birthday.

The grandmother-of-four, pictured with David Beckham at Harrods, celebrated her win with a family meal at Peacocks Lodge in Lingfield at the weekend.

She said: “I’ve never won anything before apart from a box of chocolates in a raffle. We’ll certainly have a nice Christmas, better than we were going to have. It’s a great surprise, just before Christmas as well.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s Regular Lottery costs just £1 per week and there are 12 winners drawn each week with prizes ranging from £25 to £1,000.

For an extra £1 a week, players can join the Superdraw which has a maximum jackpot of £25,000 – a life-changing amount.

For information on how to join the fundraising lottery go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/give/howtojoin or call 01622 833833

Santa Claus is coming to Camberley

Photo 1: Father Christmas pictured at the Redhill helicopter base

Photo 2, L-R: Air ambulance doctor David Hunt, Father Christmas and Paramedic Lewis Allam

A glow-in-the-dark Father Christmas will be delivering festive cheer in Camberley to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Santa will be patrolling the Heatherside estate for fours hours on Christmas Eve, complete with glowing lantern and a colour-changing sack of presents.

He said: “I’ll be walking around the local housing development that evening, so that the little ones can get a spy of Santa doing his advanced reconnaissance visit of all the good childrens’ houses, ready to return later with sleigh, reindeer and presents of course.

“I did it last year, just as a bit of fun for all the kids and especially the Armed Forces families close by and it went down a storm.”

Santa will also be taking up residence in a purpose-built grotto for a Christmas Extravaganza at Pistachios Café in Frimley Lodge Park on Sunday (December 13th), between 10am and 4pm.

There will also be an indoor market, face painting, carol singing, mulled wine, mince pies and hot chestnuts.

Santa has made previous appearances at Christmas fairs at Heather Ridge Infant School and Connaught Leisure Centre in Aldershot and more details can be found on his Santa in Heatherside Facebook page.

Supporters can donate to the air ambulance by visiting www.kssairambulance.org.uk/give/online or by buying a raffle ticket to win a brand new Mini at www.raffle.me.uk

The draw will take place next week (December 15th), making it an early Christmas present for one lucky winner.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Christmas baubles campaign raises £17,000

Photo: Paramedic David Griffiths and Dr Sarah Honess. Please credit Darren Woolway

A Christmas baubles campaign has raised more than £17,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Supporters of the lifesaving charity have been urged by a former patient to send season’s greetings to the pilot, doctor and paramedic on a bauble-shaped card.

More than 570 have so far sent messages and some of them now adorn a Christmas tree at the helicopter base at Marden.

The charity has also received a total of £17,448 in donations as it nears the end of its year-long 25th anniversary celebrations. Some of the messages include:

“Keep up the wonderful work which saved my son eight years ago and who got married in August to the girl who was with him in the accident back then.”

“I wish you all a very happy Christmas. May it also be peaceful and trouble-free so that you can enjoy it with your families.”

“I’m very pleased to say we have never had to use your services and we hope we never will but we would like to say we appreciate all your hard work you all do.”

“Thank you for being there when you are needed. The sound of the helicopter arriving must bring great comfort to the sick and injured.”

“Thank you for all your hard lifesaving work. You make a big difference to people in life-threatening situations.”

The air ambulance’s first ever Christmas baubles campaign was launched by mother-of-two Liz James, from East Grinstead, who was involved in a road traffic accident on her way home from work.

She told supporters: “My family and I would like to thank you for your continued support of the air ambulance because this is what undoubtedly helped to save my life and keep us all together.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has attended more than 2,100 callouts so far this year and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Supporters can still send the air ambulance a seasonal greeting and donation at www.kssairambulance.org.uk/help/crewmessage

Volunteer to the rescue

Photo: The air ambulance after landing near volunteer Phil Cornford’s home

A volunteer for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance went above and beyond the call of duty when he gave the crew a lift to the scene of an accident after they landed near his home.

Phil Cornford sprung into action when he heard the helicopter landing in a field at the back of his home in Haywards Heath.

He spotted the doctor and paramedic coming through his neighbour’s back garden and kindly offered them a lift the scene of a road traffic collision nearby on Friday (December 4th).

He said: “I heard the helicopter flying overhead so I went outside out of curiosity and saw the crew coming through the side gate of my neighbour’s house.

“They couldn’t find an access out of the field so I offered them a lift to the scene which probably saved about five minutes.

“They noticed my air ambulance car sticker and that’s when I told them I was a volunteer for the charity. I just dropped them off and went back home.”

A pedestrian was treated at the roadside by the doctor and paramedic before being taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in a land ambulance, accompanied by the helicopter crew.

Phil has been an air ambulance volunteer for two years and normally helps at fundraising events and store collections. Other roles include placing and collecting collection boxes, cheque presentations, couriers, office administration and giving talks about the lifesaving work of the charity.

Members of the public occasionally give the doctor and paramedic a lift to the scene of an incident when they are unable to land next to the patient.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Bonnie the donkey takes up the reins

A new donkey has taken up the reins to deliver Christmas cards to villagers next week and raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Bonnie will be clip-clopping around Crockham Hill on Saturday and Sunday (December 12th and 13th), posting season’s greetings on behalf of residents in return for donations to the life-saving charity.

Her predecessor Harry sadly passed away earlier this year after eight years of doing the rounds and winning an Active Donkey Cup.

Villagers drop off their cards at The Royal Oak pub where a team of Santa’s helpers, the Greenaway family, then spend hours sorting and stamping the mail.

Organiser Peter and Sheila Greenaway said: “Each card is stamped with a donkey logo so recipients know their cards had been delivered by ‘Donkey Post’.

“Bonnie will be adorned in Christmas attire and set off at a steady plod to make the deliveries. We have tremendous support from the residents of Crockham Hill and from well-wishers on our travels.

“We are very grateful to everyone who makes donations and to Paul and Dawn at The Royal Oak for their support too. We couldn’t do it without them all.

“Harry is greatly missed by our family but we are delighted to be able to continue our fundraising with Bonnie.”

Last year, the deliveries raised £1,466 for the air ambulance, which relies almost entirely on donations, and Hospice in the Weald.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Last chance to win a Mini at Sainsbury's Brookwood

Photo 1: L-R, Air Ambulance paramedics Sloane Philips and Lewis Price, Dr Leonieke Vlaanderen and Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, pictured at the helicopter base with the prize Mini.

Photo 2: Darren Cooper

Shoppers at Sainsbury’s Brookwood will get the last chance next week to win a brand new car worth £15,000 in a raffle to celebrate Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s Silver Jubilee.

The red 1.2 Mini One three-door hatchback has been kindly donated by Barretts of Canterbury and boasts tyre pressure monitoring, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at the Redding Way store in Knaphill on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (December 9th,10th and 11th) when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the December 15th draw, making it an early Christmas present for one lucky winner.

The charity has helped thousands of people and saved many lives after attending more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

One of these patients was Darren Cooper from Woking who was driving to work when his car veered across the road and hit a tree.

He suffered a fractured skull and was airlifted to the Major Trauma Centre at King’s College Hospital in London but has since made a full recovery following the accident in March, 2008.

Tickets for the Win a Mini raffle cost £5 each and can also be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships based in Canterbury and Ashford. It currently boasts six car franchises including Broad Oak Mini from where the prize car has kindly been donated.  

Air Ambulance Head of Promotions Katie Eeles said: “The service we provide today would simply not be possible without the kind support of the public.

“The need for our lifesaving service will never go away, and your support will help to ensure that we can continue helping patients who need us for many years to come.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Karate kids' tile chop for charity chopper

Photo 1: Senpai Thomas Skardon, 14, performs a tile chop watched by, from left to right, Sensei Trevor Kingston, Senpai Connor Wyatt and Sensei Ian White at Drapers Mills Primary Academy

Photo 2, L-R: Churchill Primary School pupil Emma Gardiner, 10, and Trevor

Karate kids from east Kent held a sponsored tile chop to raise more than £2,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

More than 70 students took part from classes held at Drapers Mills Primary Academy in Margate, Whitfield Aspen School in Dover, Spires Academy in Sturry, Sandgate Primary School in Folkestone and Churchill Primary School in Hawkinge.

They smashed their way through more than 200 tiles and slates in the fundraising event which was held during lessons at each of the venues.

Sensei Trevor Kingston 4th Dan said: “We chose the air ambulance because it’s a charity that is there to benefit everybody.

“None of us know when one of our family may need it and it’s hard to imagine the consequences of it not being able to operate through a lack of funding.”

It costs about £6.5million a year for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance to stay airborne with no National Lottery funding.

Each air ambulance callout costs about £2,500 so the grand total of £2,650 raised is enough to fund one potentially lifesaving mission.

Community Fundraising Officer Veronica Wiseman said: “It’s heartwarming to see young people being so community-minded and we’re extremely grateful to all the students for raising funds in such a novel way.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Cyclists raise £10,000 in memory of Ray

Photo, L-R: Stephen Yeo, Steve Dunlop, Jill, Sean and Jo Yeo

A team of cyclists made an emotional visit to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance on Saturday (November 28th) as they presented a cheque for £10,000 raised in memory of a much-loved father and friend.

Ray Yeo, from Goring, was helping a neighbour put up a car port when he fell from a step ladder earlier this year. 

He was flown to the specialist neurological unit at St George’s Hospital in London but sadly passed away, leaving his wife Jill and their children Sean, Stephen and Sarah.

Friends Steve Dunlop and Jason Leith, and Ray’s sons, decided to raise funds for the charity helicopter by cycling from Ray’s home to St George’s and back.

In total, they raised £10,486 which they handed over to air ambulance paramedic Gary Wareham during a visit to the helicopter base.

Steve, 46, from Littlehampton, said: "It was a pleasure to meet the crew of the air ambulance and present our cheque. The pilot, doctor and paramedic took time to explain to us their roles which was very interesting.

“It was an emotional visit as we all remembered why we were there, although I think Ray would be so very proud and amazed at what was raised in his memory."

The team set off on their “Riding for Ray” challenge in August and completed the 120-mile round trip in eight hours.

Each air ambulance callout costs about £2,500 so the substantial sum raised is enough to help potentially save four lives.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for the 2106 Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Christmas tree farmer branches out support for air ambulance

Photo, L-R: Clive Collins and Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard pictured at Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm

A Christmas tree farmer is raising funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in its Silver Jubilee year after he was airlifted by the charity helicopter 25 years ago.

Clive Collins, 54, was working as a forestry contractor when he fell 30ft from a tree and broke his back.

He was left paralysed from the waist down but with the aid of a specially adapted tractor he launched his Catsfield Christmas Tree Farm business.

He said: “My life has ended, that was the way I felt, that was my initial reaction. But then I started thinking I could make something out of my situation and there was no reason why I couldn’t have dreams and goals like everyone else.

“I’d always wanted to grow Christmas trees before I was paralysed because I love working outside in the fresh air and I was able to set the farm up so that it was accessible for me.”

Clive employs a team of 15 helpers at his 33-acre farm which produces about 2,000 trees a year for clients including TV presenter Ray Mears.

More than 6.5million Christmas trees are sold across the UK each year which is equivalent to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s annual running costs.

Clive is donating 10p from the sale of every tree to raise funds for the charity which relies almost entirely on public support.

He decided to support the air ambulance this year after learning that one of his customers was Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, who picked up his tree today (Monday).

Kevin said: “Clive’s farm is on my way to work and we’ve always bought our trees there since we moved to Bexhill. One of the things that attracted us is that you can walk round and select your tree.

“Clive then puts a ribbon around it and cuts it down on the day you pick it up. We usually get two, one for indoors and one for outside.”

Kent Air Ambulance was launched in December 1989, and has helped thousands of people and saved many lives after attending more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

Clive was one of the charity’s first patients when he was airlifted to the Conquest Hospital following his accident in June, 1990, and later transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for next year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Off with the fuzz for police in charity wax

Photo, L-R: Dan Holdstock and Terry Vine

Two police officers are preparing for a wax off next week in a hair-raising bid to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Dan Holdstock and Terry Vine will be marking the end of Movember with a sponsored “Wax off Wednesday” on December 2nd.

The pair decided to have their chests waxed in a “moment of madness” and will be filmed as they lose their locks at the Hempstead House Hotel & Spa.

Dan, 34, said: “Unfortunately, we both have a healthy chest wig so it’s going to be painful with lots of expletives and passing out but we don’t mind going through a little pain for the greater good.

“I’ve been waxed before and it was extremely painful but that’s the lengths we go to for charity.

“The event will be filmed with a censored version and there will be before and after pictures. If you have seen the film The 40-year-old Virgin then you know what to expect.”

In the 2005 American comedy, Andy Stitzer’s work colleagues take him to have his chest waxed in a bid to finally woo a woman but he is left screaming and swearing in agony as a salon worker tears strips off him in the shape of a smiley face.

Dan and Terry have so far raised £120 and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/danandterrywaxoffwednesday

Riders' legacy in memory of Wendy

Photo 1: Members of Limpsfield Riding Club at the air ambulance base at Marden

Photo 2: The 2015 Wendy Norris Memorial Fun Ride

Photo 3: Wendy Norris

MEMBERS of Limpsfield Riding Club have helped raise more than £7,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance from an annual ride in memory of a former colleague.

Wendy Norris, 47, was working at a yard in Tatsfield when she suffered a brain aneurysm in September, 2013. She was taken to the specialist neurological unit at St George’s Hospital in London where she sadly later passed away.

Club chairman Alex Bonnell said: “On the evening Wendy was taken ill the air ambulance team attended my yard and their professional and calm approach meant we knew she was in their best hands.

“Knowing after Wendy died that the air ambulance was reliant on charity funding, I felt that something to remember her and to help raise funds for them would be a lasting legacy and the memorial ride was born.”

More than 70 riders took part in this year’s Wendy Norris Memorial Fun Ride at Lingfield Lodge Farm, in Marsh Green. They raised a total of £3,775 which was match-funded by air ambulance sponsors Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

On Friday, (November 20th), they were given a tour of the air ambulance base at Marden as they presented their cheque to the pilot, doctor and paramedic, and they watched as the helicopter landed following a callout.

Each flying mission costs about £2,500 so the £12,350 raised from the ride so far is enough to potentially help save five lives. Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has attended almost 2,000 callouts so far this year, 40 of them equestrian accidents.

Survivor's triumph as he finally completes cycle challenge

Photo, L-R: Air ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, Peter Goatham and Paramedic Jez Harwood

A cyclist who survived a road accident and a cardiac arrest has finally completed a 24-hour bike ride in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Father-of-two Peter Goatham was training for the epic ride three years ago when he was involved in a collision with a car and suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung.

The 53-year-old, from Sittingbourne, recovered from his injuries and started training again but then suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming at Reynolds Gym last year.

Peter, of Clive Road, was forced to stop cycling for a year but has now completed the 210-mile ride and raised £1,315 for the charity helicopter which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “I know I was extremely lucky not just to survive the cardiac arrest but I was also fortunate to regain a good level of fitness.

“I was determined to achieve my goal of taking part in a long distance bike ride to support the air ambulance.

“Although it wasn’t called out to me when I had my cycling accident and cardiac arrest, the medical care I received from the paramedics, doctors and nurses was first class.

“I’d also like to thank all the people who were there when I had my cardiac arrest because without their help I would not have survived and be able to raise money for such a worthwhile charity.”

Peter set off on his ride in September and passed through Gravesend, Seasalter, Folkestone, Dover, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge.

He was joined by his sons Michael, 20, Anthony, 23, and friend Owen Taylor as his route took him back to the scene of his accident in Bexhill, East Sussex, which left him in hospital for nine days.

He added: “The first 100 miles weren’t too bad and I did it in a reasonably good time but then I started getting tired after I reached Hastings.

“The hardest part was coming into the night stop at Dymchurch because my backside was no longer agreeing with the seat!

“When I got to Ramsgate I sat down and didn’t want to get up, I was absolutely shattered but it was fantastic to have my sons there for support.”

Peter successfully completed his challenge just a year after returning to work as a production operator at Kemsley Paper Mill following his cardiac arrest, and has previously completed the London to Brighton ride six times.

Bestselling books benefactor

Photo 1: Romney Marsh from the air book cover

Photo 2: Romney Marsh from the air cheque presentation

An unexpected donation from an anonymous donor whose husband was treated by the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has agreed to sponsor additional copies of a book raising funds for the charity.

The authors of the book “Romney Marsh from the air”, John Wimble and John Harmer from New Romney, originally commissioned 1,000 books which quickly sold out donating all proceeds to the air ambulance. However when they presented the cheque to air ambulance volunteer Chris Longfield, and were asked about a reprint, a member of the audience was quick to show her support.

They said: “The air ambulance is a great cause and we wanted to offer our support. We hadn’t expected the first 1,000 books to sell so well but couldn’t afford a reprint, despite there being a demand. It was a coincidence that the lady in the audience was there that day and had experienced the wonderful work that the air ambulance does when they were called to her husband.”

The book of aerial photographs shows stunning views of Romney Marsh and has so far raised over £10,800 for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Veronica Wiseman, Community Fundraising Officer for the charity, said: “We are very grateful to the two Johns for their support and to the lady who donated funds for the reprint. The money raised by the book will make a significant difference to the air ambulance and our patients”.

The books are available from various shops on Romney Marsh or from the authors.

Sevenoaks Friendship Centre helps save 13 lives

Photo: Members of Sevenoaks Friendship Centre pictured at the air ambulance base

A Sevenoaks club has raised a grand total of £34,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in 23 years of supporting the lifesaving charity which this year celebrates its Silver Jubilee.

Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the sum raised by Sevenoaks Friendship Centre is enough to help potentially save 13 lives.

The over-50s club was founded in 1992 and has raised funds for the air ambulance ever since from coffee mornings, whist drives, plant and book sales, raffles and its annual Christmas dinner.

Members were recently given a tour of the Marden helicopter base as they handed over their latest £1,000 donation to the charity which was launched in December, 1989.

And they watched as the pilot, doctor and paramedic were called out to a road traffic collision during their visit.

Sevenoaks Friendship Centre chairman Alan Walter said: “Being an ex-police officer, I’ve had plenty of experience of the air ambulance attending various incidents.

“Any one of us may need it as we go about our lives, living, working and travelling in the counties.”

Air Ambulance Community Fundraising Officer Veronica Wiseman said: “We are incredibly indebted to everyone at the centre for their continued support, and for raising such a substantial sum over the years.

“As a charity, we rely almost entirely on donations so the support of the public is absolutely vital to our operation, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.”

Sevenoaks Friendship Centre has 72 members and meets once a month at the Community Centre in Otford Road with regular days out including Ten Pin Bowling, trips to the theatre and monthly rambles.

To find out more call Angela Heron on 01732 351529, Mo Haslam on 01732 761903 or email contact@sevenoaksfriendshipcentre.co.uk

Daisy, 2, reunited with lifesaver

Photos 1 and 2: Daisy and Dr Kevin Enright

Photo 3: L-R: Louis, Poppy, Georgie and Daisy Osborne, and Dr Enright

Photo 4: Kevin and Daisy watch from the hangar as the air ambulance lands

A toddler who was kicked in the head by a horse at her family’s racing stables in Ashurst Wood has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor who helped save her life.

Little Daisy Osborne clutched a teddy and a toy helicopter as she met Dr Kevin Enright for the first time since her accident in June.

And she watched as the air ambulance landed at its base following a callout which served as a chilling reminder to her parents of the day they almost lost her.

Daisy was flown to the specialist neurological unit at St George’s Hospital in London accompanied by her grandfather after her mother Georgie fainted at the scene.

Georgie said: “I thought she was brain damaged, I thought she was going to die. I just picked her up and there was blood everywhere. I could see her skull where the skin had split open.

“I grabbed her and ran to the house and shouted for an ambulance, it was just pure panic. In the car on the way to hospital, I was thinking she could come out and not be able to ever walk again. I just couldn’t deal with the thought of it.”

Daisy’s father Louis was working near St George’s when he heard about the accident and watched as the air ambulance landed on the rooftop helipad and Dr Enright cradled her in his arms as he carried her in to Resus.

Louis told Kevin: “I knew she was in safe hands because you gave me the phone call before you actually flew so that put my mind at ease and I knew she was going to be OK.”

Daisy had a 6cm cut to her forehead and a CT scan revealed that she had suffered a fractured skull and bruising to her brain.

Georgie said: “When I walked into the hospital and saw her I just wanted to grab her but I couldn’t. She was just lying there helplessly and it was horrible to see her like that.

“It felt so awful accepting what had happened, I was thinking she could be brain damaged from this and there’s no turning back.

“You can fix a fracture, you can fix a break, but If she’s brain damaged then those two minutes where I let her out of my sight, and this has happened, it felt like I had failed her.”

Daisy spent three days in paediatric intensive care where her brain injury was closely monitored before she underwent surgery to repair the wound to her head.

She had to have regular check-ups for the next two-and-half months but has now a full recovery and a tiny scar was the only sign of her accident when she visited the air ambulance base on Tuesday.

The youngster sat in the back of the MD902 Explorer, which flies at speeds of up to 150mph, as Dr Enright explained how he sedated Daisy and gave her pain relief at the scene.

He said: “With an injury like Daisy had suffered, it can be life-threatening. She wasn’t fully alert as a result and it would have been very difficult for a land ambulance crew to take her all the way to a Major Trauma Centre by road.”

Daisy’s story was featured in Channel 4 medical documentary 24 Hours in A&E  where she was shown feeding the horses at her family’s Shovelstrode stables just three months after her accident.

Her grandmother Zoe, a racehorse trainer, held a Family Fun Day which raised £2,000 for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

Georgie added: “Daisy now loves horses more than ever and is still as strong-willed and as independent as she was before.”

Asda raise £12,000 for air ambulance

Photo 1: Staff at Asda Folkestone pictured at the Win a Car raffle on Halloween

Photo 2: Asda staff pictured at the air ambulance base at Marden

Staff and shoppers at Asda stores throughout Kent and Sussex have helped raise more than £12,000 for the air ambulance.

Most of the funds were raised from the sale of raffle tickets to win a brand new car to celebrate the lifesaving charity’s Silver Jubilee.

The £15,000 red 1.2 Mini One has gone on show at stores in Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Chatham, Folkestone, Gravesend, Greenhithe, Tunbridge Wells, Crawley and Eastbourne.

Supporters can still buy a ticket for next month’s draw online and next week (November 24th/25th) when the car will again be at Tunbridge Wells Asda.

Eight representatives from various stores were recently given a tour of the air ambulance base at Marden as they handed over a grand total of £12,145.

They raised more than £4,000 alone from in-store fundraising including bucket collections, tombolas the sale of air ambulance wristbands

Air Ambulance Head of Corporate Relations Julie Clare said: “We’re extremely grateful to Asda for allowing us to sell raffle tickets for the draw at their stores, and for raising such a substantial sum.

“Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the staff and customers have effectively helped potentially save five lives.”

The three-door hatchback Mini has been kindly donated by Barretts of Canterbury and boasts tyre pressure monitoring, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB radio.

Tickets for the raffle cost £5 each and can also be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk. The draw will take place on December 15th, 2015, making it a perfect Christmas present for one lucky winner.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships based in Canterbury and Ashford. It currently boasts six car franchises including Broad Oak Mini from where the prize car has kindly been donated.

Lawrence featured in TV medical documentary

Photo: Dr Neel Bhanderi

A pedestrian who was involved in a collision with a car after a night out in Eastbourne is to be featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E  tomorrow (November 17th).

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

Tomorrow’s episode tells the story of 26-year-old Lawrence who was rushed to St George’s after he was involved in a collision with a car while crossing Friday Street in Langney. He was thrown 15ft after “bull’s-eyeing” the car’s windscreen and was bleeding from his ears.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s doctor and paramedic attended by car and gave him emergency treatment at the roadside.

They put him in an induced coma before taking him by land ambulance to St George’s as his family were rushed by police to be by his bedside.

24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving at the specialist neurological unit where the charity helicopter’s doctor Kevin Fong listed Lawrence’s injuries and treatment at scene during the handover.

Consultant Neel Bhanderi is a former air ambulance doctor who was in charge of A&E at St George’s when the accident happened at 1am, in May.

He said: “’Bull’s-eyeing’ is where the patient’s head has gone into the windscreen. That is serious. You know they’ve potentially got very significant brain injuries that could kill them.”

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Tuesday (November 17th) at 9pm and if you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Masonic motorcyclists gift to air ambulance

Photo: Master of the Sussex Motorcycling Lodge, Colin Stanley presenting the cheque to air ambulance pilots.

Chief pilot Nick Bramley and First Officer David Milton from the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance were presented with a cheque for £1,400 from the Sussex Motorcycling Lodge at the charity’s Redhill base last week (6th November).

The money was raised at a charity auction organised by the Sussex masonic lodge members who also presented SERV (Sussex Emergency Rider Volunteers) with the same amount.

The keen riders of the Lodge support motorcycle-related social activities such as ride-outs and attend popular annual events in the motorcycle calendar.

Mike Alderson, Charity Steward for the Lodge, said: “As motorcyclists we are only too aware of the vital work both organisations do on a daily basis. As Sussex masons we are delighted to be able to support their work helping the people of Sussex.”

In 2013, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance broke new ground by becoming the first and it is still the only air ambulance in the country to fly 24 hours a day. In the same year the charity also introduced blood on board the helicopters so that blood transfusions can be carried out at the scene.

Jill Hunt, Communications Director for the air ambulance, said: “We are really grateful to the Sussex Motorcycling Lodge for their very generous support. We work closely with SERV who deliver blood to our bases on a daily basis, so it is fitting that they were presented with a cheque at the same time”.

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance relies almost entirely on donations to raise the £6.5million a year needed to fund the service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Cyril, 91, featured in TV medical documentary

A 91-year-old motorist airlifted to hospital after a car crash in Bletchingley is to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E tomorrow (November 10th).

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

Tomorrow’s episode tells the story of 91-year-old Cyril who was on his way home to wife Betty with some fish for their supper.

But he never made it back as he was involved in a road traffic collision and had to be cut free from his car. Redhill-based Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was called and landed in a nearby field.

He was treated at the road-side by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being flown to St George’s.

24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving at the Major Trauma Centre where doctors were concerned about injuries to his chest and side.

As Cyril awaited further reports and examinations, his wife talked about how she fell for the former miner and the strength of their 68-year marriage.

A second patient, an adult male car driver, was taken by land ambulance to East Surrey Hospital with a head injury following the accident in July.

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 tomorrow (November 10th) at 9pm and if you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

 

Air ambulance lottery winner

Photo: Air ambulance Pilot Kevin Goddard

A retired supermarket checkout worker from Sheerness is splashing out on a holiday to Australia after winning more than £11,000 in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s lottery.

The winner, who wishes to remain anonymous, signed up for the lifesaving charity’s Superdraw just seven months ago when a canvasser called at her home.

She thought nothing more of her £8-a-month subscription until she received a call telling her she had won the top prize in Wednesday’s draw (October 28th).

The grandmother won a total of £11,329 with random lucky numbers 1,2,18 and 25 and is now planning a trip Down Under to see her son.

She said: “I’m shocked and astonished because it’s the first time I’ve won anything apart from a raffle. The air ambulance is a great cause and I often hear it go over my house.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s Regular Lottery costs just £1 per week and there are 12 winners drawn each week with prizes ranging from £25 to £1,000.

For an extra £1 a week, players can join the Superdraw which has a maximum jackpot of £25,000 – a life-changing amount. To join the lottery go to http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/give/howtojoin or call 01622 833833.

 

Daisy, 2, featured in TV medical documentary

Photo 1: Air ambulance pilot David Milton after landing at St George’s with Daisy

Photo 2: L-R, Air ambulance paramedic Richard Crabb, Daisy’s step-grandfather Andy, Daisy and Dr Kevin Enright

Photo 3: Daisy in hospital

A toddler airlifted to hospital after being kicked in the head by a horse in Ashurst Wood is to be featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E tomorrow (November 2nd).

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

Tomorrow’s episode tells the story of little Daisy Osborne who was just 22 months old when she was kicked in the head by a horse at her family’s racing stables.

Her mother Georgie was so shocked she fainted at the scene as the youngster was given pain relief and sedated by the air ambulance doctor and paramedic before being flown by the charity helicopter to St George’s.

24 Hours in A&E shows her arriving within minutes at the specialist neurological unit, accompanied by step-grandfather Andy, and her father Louis was working nearby when he heard about the accident.

He watched as the helicopter landed on the rooftop helipad and the air ambulance doctor cradled Daisy in his arms as he rushed her into Resus at the Major Trauma Centre.

A CT scan revealed she had a fractured skull, a bruise on her brain and concussion and she was monitored for any signs of brain damage as surgeons planned their next move.

Daisy has since made a good recovery following the accident in June and her grandmother Zoe, a racehorse trainer, held a Family Fun Day at her stables which raised almost £2,000 for the air ambulance that relies almost entirely on donations.

She said “The air ambulance undoubtedly saved the life of our vivacious granddaughter. The fast response of the crews and the excellent treatment she received in hospital in intensive care for the next eight days is the very reason she celebrated her second birthday.

“Daisy has further operations to deal with but the outlook is extremely positive and bright”.

Zoe’s eldest daughter Gemma, a former professional jump jockey, was previously treated by paramedics when the horse she was racing fell on top of her, in a separate accident.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has been called to 50 equestrian accidents so far this year but was not called to Zoe’s.

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Tuesday (November 3rd) at 9pm and if you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk