Friday, 29 May 2015

Service of Celebration for Air Ambulance

Photo: L-R, Kate Chivers with Tony Monteuuis at Canterbury Cathedral.

The historic Canterbury Cathedral was the venue for a service celebrating 25 years of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance last night (May 27th).

More than 800 guests including supporters, volunteers, former patients, crew, staff, trustees and dignitaries gathered at the cathedral for a special service to celebrate the charity’s Silver Jubilee.

The air ambulance has helped thousands of people and saved many lives after attending more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century since the helicopter was first launched at Rochester Airport.

Former patient Michael Lutener who was airlifted following a farming accident and Peter Parvin whose young son was also airlifted spoke about their experiences of the air ambulance. Dr Richard Lyons received enthusiastic applause when he talked about his work as a doctor on the air ambulance and shared a patient story.

Among the guests were the founder and Chief Executive from 1990-2003, Kate Chivers.

Kate said: “We owe thanks to those who have supported us and all who have served with the air ambulance over the past 25 years.

The current Chairman, Tony Monteuuis who read the first lesson said: “This service appreciates and remembers the wonderful people who have given so much and enabled us to develop our operations, as well as those patients who have had the good fortune to benefit from your generosity.

The hour-long service was kindly sponsored by Fidelity Worldwide Investment and finished with a blessing from the Bishop of Dover.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Little Mikey's big walk for air ambulance

Photo 1: Air Ambulance doctor Leonieke Vlaanderen and Mikey Ballard

A Marden schoolboy has raised more than £600 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after completing a five-mile sponsored walk around the village.

Mikey Ballard, 7, decided to raise funds for the charity after seeing from his home how often the helicopter is called out form its Pattenden Lane base.

The Marden Primary School pupil was joined by his proud father Ricky as he completed “Mikey’s Big Walk” in 3hrs,20mins.

He doubled his target by raising a grand total of £616 for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

He said: “I wanted to raise money for the air ambulance because I want them to have funds to help save lives and I can see from my home how many times a day it gets called out to serious accidents. I think it is a very good charity to do a sponsored walk for.”

Mikey’s walk around Marden – Home of the Kent Air Ambulance – took him through farmland, orchards and past an ancient boundary stone and woodland where charcoal was produced to dry the hops.

He set off from the library car park, through the recreation ground, along Goudhurst Road, and followed the so-called Festival route before heading back to the rec.

His father Ricky said: “It’s the first time Mikey has done anything like this and I think he could have done 10 miles because he wasn’t worn out at all. He got back and went and played football for three hours.”

“His mum and I are really proud of him for what he has done and at his age as well.”

On Tuesday, Mikey was treated to a tour of the air ambulance as he presented his cheque to one of the helicopter’s doctors, Leonieke Vlaanderen.

He was even allowed to sit in the back of the MD902 Explorer which flies at speeds of up to 150mph.

Dr Vlaanderen said: “I’m truly amazed by what Mikey has achieved. Every step he took will mean something for our patients. He has every reason to be proud.”

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Win a Mini at Whitefriars

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 Canterbury will get the 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 Whitefriars Shopping Centre on Saturday, May 30th, 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.

One of these patients was Canterbury Fire & Rescue Station Watch Manager Mark Jones who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing rugby.

He was taking part in an end-of-season Family and Friends Day at Canterbury Rugby Club in May, 2013, when he suddenly collapsed.

He said: “Without the club’s defibrillator and the literally life-saving attention of the air ambulance and their dedicated team, the outcome could have been so much worse.
“Rapid transport by the helicopter to the William Harvey Hospital for emergency heart surgery has undoubtedly led to me recovering fully from the event, so much so that I was released from hospital five days later and was back at work after  four months.
“The vital lifesaving service is of paramount importance to increasing the chances of survival of major trauma and heart attacks and I would urge everybody to contribute to the charity as you never know if the next person who needs their help could be a member of your family, a friend or a work colleague.”

Tickets for the Win a Mini 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.  

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.”

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance given £4,000 by Freemasons

Photo: Members of East Kent Masonic Province pictured presenting their cheque to Air Ambulance paramedic Lewis Price

A group from the East Kent Masonic Province visited the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s base at Marden recently to present a cheque for £4,000 to the crew.

The masons who were from lodges throughout the county were able to meet  the helicopter’s pilot, paramedic and doctor and have a tour of the aircraft before it was called out to attend a seriously injured horse rider.

The visit was arranged by Peter Rodd, Assistant Grand Provincial Master from the Province of East Kent.

Presenting the cheque, Peter said: “We are delighted to be able to show our continued support of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance. Charitable giving is central to Freemasonry and a great many lives would be lost without the swift lifesaving help provided by the dedicated air ambulance doctors and paramedics.”

The cheque was donated through the Freemasons’ Grand Charity which supports the air ambulance and many other charities on an annual basis. The Grand Charity has donated more than £1.6million to Air Ambulance Trusts throughout England and Wales since 2007.

Jill Playle, Director of Communications for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, said: “We are very grateful for this cheque and the very generous support we receive from the Masons. I am delighted that they were able to visit the base and speak to the crew to find out just how their donations are used and the vital difference it makes to those people who need our services.” 

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is the only charity of its kind in the country to operate a 24-hour Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). The crews respond to an average of 4-6 callouts during the day and 1-2 at night and the service is funded almost entirely by donations.

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

Monday, 18 May 2015

Win a Mini at Hempstead Valley

Photo 2: Air Ambulance critical care paramedic Chris Fudge and Caleb Weller

Shoppers in Gillingham will get the chance this weekend 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 foglights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre on Saturday (May 23rd) and Sunday (May 24th) 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.

One of these patients was Caleb Weller who was just five years old when he fell out of a first floor window at his home in Gillingham.

His family were told by doctors that if he survived it was likely that he would be severely brain damaged but amazingly he went on to make a full recovery.

His mother Gemma, 31, said: “Without the air ambulance it would have been a completely different story and I owe everything to them.

“My message to people would be to buy as many tickets as possible and really get behind the air ambulance because they never know when they may need it.”

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 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.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Air ambulance lottery winner

Photo: Air Ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard

A retired Dover ship worker has docked in with a £1,000 win after scooping the jackpot in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s lottery today (Wednesday).

Gordon Goodacre, of St Margarets Bay, joined the lifesaving charity’s Regular Lottery nearly 10 years ago and thought nothing more of his £4-a-month subscription.

The longstanding supporter was shocked when he received a call from the air ambulance telling him he had landed the top prize in the midweek draw.

He said: “That’s wonderful, I could do with that, couldn’t anybody? I’m shocked and surprised, it’s tremendous.

“It’s my wife’s birthday on Friday so even more reason to celebrate. She deserves a treat for looking after me because I’ve not been too well lately.

“She’s been a tower of strength so it will be nice to treat her. We’ll probably take a trip to London for a show or a nice dinner. The air ambulance is a charity we felt we ought to support and to win something is a real bonus.”

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. There was no winner this week with numbers 5, 25, 30 and 36 so the jackpot has rolled over until next week and currently stands at £18,871.021.

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

 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Survivor's charity abseil for air ambulance

Photo: Bob Taylor

A businessman who survived a heart attack at work is to abseil the UK’s tallest sculpture next month to raise funds for the charity helicopter that helped save his life.

Bob Taylor, 57, was in his office at B&CE/The People’s Pension in Manor Royal, Crawley, when he suddenly collapsed.

His colleague Vicky Allen gave him CPR before paramedics and Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance arrived and he was given emergency treatment by the helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic.

Bob has since made a full recovery and is now aiming to raise funds for his company’s Charity of the Year by abseiling the 376ft Arcelormittal Orbit at London’s Olympic Park.

He said: “In a moment of madness when watching The Apprentice last year, I made a throwaway remark to my wife about the treat that Lord Sugar had laid on for the team winning one of the tasks.

“The treat was a freefall abseil from the top of the Arcelormittal Orbit and I think I said something along the lines of, ‘I bet that would be fantastic’. 

“However, I did not then expect to be opening my presents at Christmas and finding among them a picture of the sculpture with a date of June 27th underneath it. Oh dear, my wife had booked me an abseiling experience.”

Bob’s cardiac arrest happened just three weeks after a British Heart Foundation advert starring TV hardman Vinnie Jones was first screened, in January, 2012.

His colleague and trained first aider Vicky Allen carried out CPR after seeing the advert which showed the ex-footballer performing chest compressions in time with the Bee Gees’ hit Stayin’ Alive.

Paramedics battled for half an hour to successfully resuscitate Bob before the Redhill-based air ambulance arrived to deliver post-resuscitation care.

The helicopter’s doctor, Magnus Nelson, and critical care paramedic David Wright anaesthetised Bob at the scene to protect his airway and control his breathing before flying him to a specialist coronary unit.

Bob spent four days at the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s intensive care unit before he was allowed home and was back at work in April that Year.

He has previously completed three charity bike rides for the British Heart Foundation and is now preparing for his abseil in aid of the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is taller than Big Ben , the Statue of Liberty and more than double the height of Nelson’s Column, or the equivalent of 954 drinks cans stacked on top of each other.

B&CE/The People’s Pension Chief Executive Patrick Heath-Lay said: “We at B&CE are deeply indebted to the exceptionally professional individuals of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance who helped to save Bob’s life. It is our honour to support the charity over the coming year.”

Bob can be sponsored at https://www.justgiving.com/BobTaylorAbseil/

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Win a Mini at Kent 2020 Vision

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 the Kent 2020 Vision business exhibition next week will get the chance 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 foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB radio.

The Mini will be among more than 300 trade stands at the Kent Showground at Detling on Wednesday (May 13th) when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

Julie Clare, of Air Ambulance Corporate Relations, said: “We look forward to seeing a number of our business supporters on the day and they can find us on Stand 338.”

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance has helped thousands of people and saved many lives after attending more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

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 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.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Win a Mini at Woodlands Garden Centre

Photo: The Mini at Woodlands Garden Centre in February

Visitors to Woodlands Garden Centre in Ash will again get the chance this weekend 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 foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB radio.

The Mini will go on show at the Ash Lane garden centre on Saturday (May 8th) and Sunday (May 9th) where visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw. The car previously went on display there in February.

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 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.