Thursday, 26 February 2015

Newsbeat's Ben pounds streets for air ambulance

Photos: Ben Mundy pictured at the Air Ambulance base at Marden

BBC Radio 1 and BBC Three’s Ben Mundy has appealed for runners to join him in signing up for the Brighton Marathon in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The Newsbeat reporter, from Sittingbourne, is aiming to complete only his second marathon when he puts his best feet forward on April 12th.

The former Borden Grammar School pupil, who now lives in south-east London, has been pounding the streets on his way home from work in preparation for the race.

Ben, 30, has also been on training runs in Sittingbourne during visits to his parents in Milton Regis.

He said: “I decided to support the air ambulance after covering a news story about cycling accidents, which the helicopter is often called to.

“I’m from Kent and I have seen the service used several times, although never needed it myself thank goodness.

“The training is going very well and I’m now up to 18 miles and hopefully 21 by the beginning of March. It’s enjoyable and it keeps me fit and healthy, it’s just finding the time to fit the runs in around work.

“I’ve booked a holiday to Dubai two weeks before the marathon so I’ll just have to continue my training out there on treadmills.”

Two years ago, Ben ran the London Marathon and raised £1,800 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children after growing close to the charity while working at Invicta FM and BBC Radio Kent.

He is aiming to complete the Brighton Marathon in under four hours after clocking 4hrs, 20mins on his first 26-mile run.

The air ambulance still has places available for the marathon and one of the helicopter’s paramedics and the Lady Mayoress of Canterbury, Miss Claire Taylor, will also be among the charity’s team of 20 runners.

All entrants will be supported and given sponsor forms, a fundraising pack, training guides, an air ambulance running vest and a chance to see the helicopter and meet the crew.

Community Fundraising Officer Michelle Woodland said: “This is a really special year for us at the air ambulance as we celebrate our Silver Jubilee so it’s great to have such a headline act as Ben on board.”

To enter the Brighton Marathon go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/involved/BrightonMarathon and for more information please call Michelle on 01622 833833 or email michellew@kssairambulance.org.uk

Ben can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/bmundy

Monday, 23 February 2015

FW: Kart racers hit track for air ambulance fundraiser

Photo thanks to Steve Loader, L-R: Air Ambulance paramedics Lewis Allam and Ben Macauley, SGMW Chairman Sue Baker and Paramedic Charles Leahy

A team of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance paramedics swapped their flight suits for racing leathers as they took part in a karting Grand Prix to raise funds for the life-saving charity.

Ben Macauley, Charlie Leahy and Lewis Allam pitted their driving skills against a group of motoring journalists as they tore around the three-storey twisting course at TeamSport Karting in Crawley.

The crew from the Redhill-based helicopter finished sixth overall at the annual high octane event held by the Southern Group of Motoring Writers earlier this month.

But the air ambulance was the winner on the night as a grand total of £4,350 was raised for the cause, beating last year’s cash injection of £3,325.

Each callout of the charity helicopter costs about £2,500 so the sum raised so far will fund three potentially life-saving missions.

Lewis said: “We all enjoyed the racing and found it fast-paced and challenging as we were driving alongside professional go karters and racing teams.

“The money raised and the support from the organisers was absolutely fantastic and we felt very welcomed.”

Charlie added: “The SGMW clearly relish this event and their hard work and word of mouth regarding the success of last year meant this year it was sold out.

“The night was a brilliant mix of fun, competition and fundraising for a charity that has a clear relevance to their industry.”

More than 20 teams of drivers took part with three of the top four separated by just a single point on a night of thrills, spills and spins.

The overall winners were Team Peugeot on 142 points, followed by Renault (137), Audi (136) and Ford (135), Last year’s winners Fiat finished a lowly fifth this time out. The top drivers were Bradley Philpott (Peugeot), Paul Rivett (Renault) and Jake Cassetta (Ford).

Southern Group of Motoring Writers decided to support the air ambulance because half of its callouts are to road traffic collisions.

Chairman Sue Baker said: “The karting event was staged at the same time last year as a one-off fun event to entertain the SGMW’s valued contacts in motor industry PR.”

If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

WIN A MINI at Swan Walk

Photo: L-R, Air Ambulance doctor Fiona Reardon, Pilot Alasdair Auchincloss and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley pictured at the helicopter base with the prize Mini.

Shoppers in Horsham will get the chance next week to win a brand new car worth £15,000, 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 foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB radio.

The car will go on show at Swan Walk Shopping Centre from Monday (March 2nd) until Sunday (March 8th) when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

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.

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 life-saving 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.”

Tickets for the WIN A MINI raffle cost £5 each and can 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.

 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Air scouts' trek for charity helicopter

Photo, L-R: Air Ambulance doctor Fiona Reardon, 20th Gillingham Cub Scouts Leaders Paul Searle and Mike Dowsett, and Paramedic Adam Ormrod.

A group of Air Scouts were treated to a tour of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance helicopter base today (Monday) as they donated almost £1,000 to the lifesaving charity.

The 20th Gillingham Air Scouts watched excitedly as the twin-engine MD902 Explorer was wheeled out of the hangar ready for its first callout of the day.

They were even allowed to sit in the back of the helicopter which flies at speeds of up to 150mph and can reach the furthest part of each county in about 25 minutes.

The scouts took part in a sponsored Incident Hike including various challenges in Hempstead last November.

They raised a grand total of £869 for the air ambulance including a £600 donation from BAE Systems at Rochester, and a further £269 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

The seven highest individual fundraisers were rewarded with a half term visit to the air ambulance base at Marden.

Cub Scout Leader Mike Dowsett said: “We’re very proud of the fundraising efforts of the children and we’re also very grateful to the air ambulance for letting us come down today and present the cheque.”

If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

WIN A MINI this weekend

Photo: L-R Air Ambulance doctor Fiona Reardon, Pilot Alasdair Auchincloss and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley pictured at the helicopter base with the prize Mini.

Visitors to Brands Hatch and Woodlands Garden Centre will this weekend get the chance to win a brand new car worth £15,000, 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 foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB radio.

The car will go on show at Woodlands Garden Centre in Sevenoaks on Saturday (February 14th) and at the Kentish Killer Sportive at Brands Hatch on Sunday (February 15th) where visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

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.

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 life-saving 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.”

Tickets for the WIN A MINI raffle cost £5 each and can 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.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New helipad for Air Ambulance

Photo 1: Building work starts on King’s College Hospital’s helipad

Building work has started on a new hospital helipad in a move expected to benefit hundreds of critically injured patients a year from Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

King’s College Hospital in London, previously featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E, will boast the city’s third helipad serving 5.5million people across the South East.

The multi-million pound landing site will speed up the time it takes Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance to transfer patients to the Major Trauma Centre.

The air ambulance’s two helicopters currently land in a nearby park where patients are then transferred to King’s by road but the new heli-pad will be built on top of the hospital.

The cost of the new facility is being met in part by charitable donations from the County Air Ambulance Trust’s HELP (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) Appeal, as well as donations from fundraisers who supported the helipad’s Time is Life fundraising appeal. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also committed capital monies to the project.

Dr Malcolm Tunnicliff is a Governance Lead at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Director for the Emergency Department at King’s.

He said: “These are exciting times for King’s, the patients we treat, and our staff who go above and beyond - day in, day out – to save people’s lives, and put them back on their feet.”

Company director Tony Gillam, from Oxted, suffered a traumatic brain injury following a motorbike accident in Sevenoaks, in August 2013.

The father-of-three had to be given emergency treatment at the road-side by the air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic before being flown to the specialist neurological unit at King’s.

He said: “The air ambulance saved me and allowed me to make such a remarkable recovery. The only thing I was horrified about when I was well enough to learn about it, was that the air ambulance was landing in a nearby park.”

Last year, Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance crews took 344 patients to King’s. The charity also transfers patients to St George’s Hospital in Tooting and the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, which both have rooftop helipads, and there are plans to build a helipad at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said: “We are delighted to see work starting on the new Helipad at King's and pleased that the HELP Appeal has been able to make donations of £2 million to help make the project possible.

"When a critical injury or accident takes place, every second is vital. The new helipad will help to ensure that patients get the fastest access to the often life-saving treatment they require. It will save many lives."

Rob Bentley, Director of Trauma at King’s, added: “King’s is already a Major Trauma Centre but, with the addition of a helipad on the hospital site, we will bring truly world-class trauma facilities to this part of London.”

The new helipad at King’s will take approximately a year to build, rising 50 metres above the ground on top of the hospital’s Ruskin Wing.

It will be made up of approximately 100 tonnes of steel and will be built off-site before being lifted into place when ready using one of the UK’s largest cranes.

If you would like to find out more about Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Legion club gets quizzical for air ambulance

Photo: Air Ambulance paramedics Simon Goodwin and Lewis Allam pictured at the cheque presentation

Members of Portslade Royal British Legion Club’s community quiz team have donated £1,000 to life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The helicopter’s paramedics, Lewis Allan and Simon Goodwin, were presented with the cheque at the Trafalgar Road club.

Lewis said: “Everyone who attended was very thankful for the work and the service the charity provides. The club members present were keen to talk to us about the work of the air ambulance.”

The funds were raised by the club’s 150 members from quiz nights and raffles throughout last year.

Secretary Trevor Windsor said: “Every Sunday members of the club and the local community have a quiz night and at the beginning of each year they choose a charity to benefit from the money raised each week.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary and has attended 176 call-outs so far this year.

A £1,000 donation would pay for 2,000 sheets of bubblewrap which is used to keep patients warm or 100 doses of a drug used to suppress adverse heart rhythms.