Monday, 29 June 2015

Three peaks, three lakes....and an 800-mile bike ride

Photo: Members of the Hamstreet Ultimate Road Trip (HURT) team pictured at the Air Ambulance base at Marden.

A group of fundraisers from Hamstreet are preparing to embark on the challenge of a lifetime this weekend in a bid to raise £25,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The 14-strong team begin their epic journey on Saturday (July 4th) with a 1,344m hike up Ben Nevis - the highest mountain in Scotland.

They will then cycle to and swim across Loch Lomond before getting back on their bikes and riding to Cumbria where they will scale Scaffell Pike.

The next stage of their quest will see them get back on the saddle and cycle to Lake Windermere before swimming across it.

Finally, they will cycle to Wales where they will climb 1,085m Mount Snowdon before crossing Bala Lake and riding all the way back to Hamstreet a week later.

Team member Kevin Hughes, 43, took on the challenge despite a fear of water after his canoe capsized on Lake Windermere when he was a child.

He said: “Before I signed up to this I wasn’t able to swim the length of a swimming pool and I couldn’t even contemplate being in a lake. That was a massive fear for me. I’ve now swum in a lake four times but I still have a fear of being in the water.”

The Hamstreet Ultimate Road Trip (HURT) team are aiming to raise £25,000 for the air ambulance as the charity celebrates its 25th anniversary.

To help them with their training, they took part in the charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge last September which raised almost £38,000 for the charity.

And to boost their fundraising, they held a Pick Your Own Pumpkin event, pub quiz and golf day at London Beach Golf Club in Tenterden, and a ball at The Hythe Imperial Hotel.

The group have so far raised £18,814 and can be sponsored at www.hamstreet3peakchallenge.co.uk/ or  www.facebook.com/hamstreet3peaks

Win a Mini at Darling Buds Farm Classic Car Show

Photo: Association of Air Ambulances patron Sir David Jason

Visitors to this weekend’s Darling Buds Farm Classic Car Show will get the chance to meet the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance crew and win a brand new car worth £15,000 in a raffle to celebrate the lifesaving charity’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 be at the show on Sunday, July 5th, when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw and there will be a visit from the air ambulance between 12pm and 3pm – subject to callouts.

Now in its 20th year, the show last year featured more than 900 classic vehicles at the farm in Bethersden where hit 1990s TV series The Darling Buds of May was filmed, starring Sir David Jason as Pop Larkin.

Association of Air Ambulances patron Sir David said: “I’m delighted that the Darling Buds of May is remembered in this way and for such a worthy cause. I have very special memories of the wonderful television show set in such a lovely part of the country. 

“We had a lot of fun making it and I hope that all the visitors to the car show also have fun and enjoy the surroundings as I did.

“Something else close to my heart is the work that the air ambulance team does in the area which is immense and not enough of us know how important their role is in emergency rescue in difficult circumstances. 

“I hope that the weekend is a huge success and the work of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team is rewarded for their 25 years of hard work and dedication. As Pop Larkin would say – here’s to a ‘perfick’ day.”

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 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.”

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.  

The organisers of the Darling Buds Classic Car Show, the Rover P5 Alive Club, have raised more than £50,000 for the air ambulance in the last 20 years.

This year’s show, also in aid of Demelza House Hospice, will feature Pop Larkin’s yellow Rolls Royce, gun dog displays, arena events and traditional children’s rides. For more information call 01233 226110 or go to www.darlingbudsfarm.co.uk The address is Buss Farm, Bethersden, Kent, TN26 3EQ.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Survivor marks anniversary with charity abseil

Photo: Les abseiling the Spinnaker Tower

A Tonbridge pensioner who survived a horrific road accident has finally met the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team more than 20 years after the helicopter helped save his life.

Les Garrett, 69, was driving a minibus to pick up pupils at Goudhurst Primary School when he was involved in a head-on collision with a lorry on Halloween in 1994.

He was airlifted to Maidstone Hospital with internal bleeding and severe spinal injuries after being trapped in the wreckage for almost two hours but has since made a good recovery.

Now, almost 21 years after his accident, he has raised more than £800 for the air ambulance by abseiling the 350ft Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

He said: “It’s strange really because had I not had my accident in the first place I would never have done anything like this. It just shows you how positives can grow out of something negative in your life.”

Les is now planning to raise further funds for the air ambulance by taking on the charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge – a 100-mile or 100km ride which starts and finishes at the helicopter bases.

He is also aiming to complete a 1km swim at Tonbridge Swimming Pool despite losing his kneecap and fibula in his left arm in the accident.

Yesterday, (Tuesday), he and his wife Jan visited the Marden base to present his cheque to the pilot, doctor and paramedic and watched as the helicopter took off on an emergency call.

He added: “It was strange seeing the air ambulance, thinking I was strapped into it and it brings a tear to the eye.

“I thought I was dying when it was called to my accident, I thought they only came out to people who were dying.

“I was in and out of consciousness and I remember the pilot coming over to the paramedic and saying they had another call but they were staying with me. That confirmed to me that I was dying.”

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, and is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Paramedic's appeal for London 10k runners

Photo 1: Gary Wareham

Photo 2: Air Ambulance doctor Hania Glinska and Paramedic Sloane Phillips pictured on The Mall at last year’s London 10k

A long-serving Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance paramedic is appealing for runners to join him in the London 10k next month.

Operational Support Manager Gary Wareham, from Chatham, will be swapping his stethoscope for a pair of running shoes as he takes on the challenge for the second time.

The air ambulance still has places available for the London 10k on July 12th when Gary’s colleague Dr Hania Glinska will also be among the runners.

Both will be supporting the charity which relies almost entirely on public donations and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Gary, 55, said: “I ran the London 10k last year for the first time and really enjoyed the whole spectacle and atmosphere.

“I wanted to support the air ambulance again this year, especially as we are celebrating our Silver Jubilee and it would be great to have more runners flying the flag for the charity.”

Gary joined the air ambulance in 1996 when the helicopter was based at Rochester Airport and was instrumental in the launch of the charity’s blood transfusion service two years ago.

In 2010, he trekked to Everest Base Camp and three years ago he scaled Mount Snowdon and helped to raise £13,500 for the air ambulance.

To enter the London 10k call Community Fundraising Officer Michelle Woodland on 01622 833823 or email michellew@kssairambulance.org.uk before the July 3rd deadline.

School raises £1,700 in memory of Kai

Photo: Pupils at Woodmansterne CP School pictured with air ambulance volunteer Beryl Smith and mascot Dr Dudley

Pupils at Woodmansterne Primary School in Banstead have raised more than £1,700 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in memory of a fellow student.

The youngsters rallied their support for the charity helicopter after it was called to Kai Arnold, 11, and his mother Nicola Morris who sadly died in a road accident last year.

They held a number of fundraising events including a raffle, fruit kebab sale and bag-packing at supermarkets.

In total, they raised £1,709 for the Redhill-based air ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations - almost doubling their £1,000 target.

The fundraising drive was led by the school’s house captains who yesterday (Monday) proudly presented their cheque to air ambulance volunteer Beryl Smith and mascot Dr Dudley.

Woodmansterne CP School spokeswoman Sarita Grimster said: “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and enthusiasm of all our pupils, the parents and the wider community.

“The house captains showed real dedication and commitment in their fundraising efforts to achieve something so positive in the face of such a tragedy.”

Woodmansterne was the first school to pilot a new air ambulance presentation to educate youngsters about the work of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).

Primary and secondary pupils can learn about how the helicopter is called out, landing sites and how just £1 will buy a sheet of bubblewrap which is used to keep patients warm.

Air Ambulance Community Fundraising Officer Veronica Wiseman said: “We are enormously grateful to everyone at Woodmansterne School for raising such a substantial sum.”

Win a Mini at Newnham Court

Photo: Kye and Kerry Sharrad

Shoppers in Maidstone 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 Newnham Court Shopping Village on Saturday (June 27th) and Sunday (June 28th) when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

The Marden-based 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 them was five-year-old Kye Sharrad from Harrietsham who suffered a potentially-fatal head injury after being knocked over by a horse.

He had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by the helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being flown to hospital but has now made a full recovery following the accident two years ago.

His mother Kerry said: “Our family had already been through a trauma and to have lost Kye that day would have been the end for us as a family.

“Without a doubt, the air ambulance and their amazing team saved Kye’s life that day but not only that all of ours as well and brought us back as a family.”

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, 17 June 2015

Cross-channel kitesurf for air ambulance

Photo: L-R, Thomas Cawte, Rupert Cawte, Alex Thompson, and Tristan Cawte

A group of kitesurfers have successfully completed a challenge to cycle and sail from London to Paris in just 24 hours, to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the RNLI.

The team at The Kitesurf Centre in Camber, East Sussex, set off from Jubilee Park at daybreak last week (June 9th) and pedalled 74 miles to Dungeness.

They then swapped their Lycra for wetsuits and kitesurfed cross the Engilsh Channel as they tried to beat the individual and team world records.

They arrived on the French coast between Wissant and Boulogne Sur Mer before cycling 152 miles to the Champs Elysees – a total of 256 miles across land and sea.

Organiser Tristan Cawte, 28, said: “After all delays and stops we managed to reach Paris in 23 hours, 30mins - six hours from London to Dungeness, 1hr,23mins’ kitesurfing, three hours going to Folkestone and getting the train to Boulogne and 13 hours’ cycling to Paris.

“We did the challenge to raise awareness and funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the RNLI, two charities that are hugely valued by The Kitesurf Centre.

“Unfortunately, kitesurfers can experience serious accidents and the air ambulance is an invaluable resource in dealing with these. Access is often difficult and it can be hard to assess the severity of an injury until the kitesurfer is out of their wetsuit.”

The London to Paris team were Tristan and his brothers Thomas, 30, and Rupert, 26, and friend Alex Thompson, 27.

Tristan and Thomas have previously kitesurfed across the Channel while Rupert will be aiming to beat the 100mph British snowboard speed record, in March 2016.

All four were trained by a sports coach specialising in strength and conditioning, and sports psychology.

The team has so far raised £1,180 of their £2,000 target and can still be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/teams/LondontoParis24

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Sewing group has fundraising stitched

Photos: Sandra Pochin, in white, pictured with fellow Needleart members at the Air Ambulance base

A retired nurse from Wartling who almost lost her leg in a horse carriage riding accident has helped make a quilt to raise funds for the charity helicopter that flew her to hospital.

Sandra Pochin, 69, suffered a badly broken leg and six broken ribs when the horse suddenly bolted through a gate and she and the cart collided with a fence post.

She has since made a good recovery and helped sew a patchwork quilt to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Sandra said: “It’s our way of trying to help the air ambulance in the hope that they can make some money out of it.

“I couldn’t have been treated any better by them and I can’t praise them enough. I owe it to them that I’ve still got my leg.”

Sandra was training the horse for Carriage Driving for the Disabled when the accident happened in August, 2012.

The horse’s owner raised the alarm, the air ambulance was called and the helicopter landed in a nearby field.

The helicopter’s doctor and paramedic gave Sandra treatment at the scene before flying her to the regional Major Trauma Centre - the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton

She spent three weeks in hospital before she was allowed home and recently visited the helicopter base at Marden to present the quilt which took four months to complete.

Each square including one featuring the helicopter was crafted by Needleart members Maureen Wadhurst, Pam Britton, Pauline McFee, Barbara Willis, Marianne Gunther, Ruth Willcox, Pat Norman, and Sandra.

Win a Mini at Motor Madness

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 this weekend’s Motor Madness show at Sandwich 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 fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at Sandwich Showground on Saturday, June 20th , and Sunday, June 21st, 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.

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 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.”

Monday, 15 June 2015

Win a Mini at Brighton Bikers' Night

Photo: Neil and Samuel Akers

Visitors to Brighton Bikers’ Night tomorrow (Tuesday) 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 fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at the Brighton Bikers’ Night on Madeira Drive between 7pm and 9.30pm when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

Bikers are the road user group at highest risk on the roads of Kent, Surrey and Sussex and the ambulance has helped and saved hundreds of them among more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

One of them was father-of-one Neil Akers from Horsham who was involved in a collision with a car at Devil’s Dyke six years ago.

He suffered multiple injuries and had to be given emergency treatment at the road-side before being flown to hospital but has since made a full recovery.

He said: “I’ve experienced at first hand the fantastic work of the air ambulance which receives no government aid and relies almost entirely on donations.

“Without this dedicated team of professionals I wouldn’t be here today to see my son grow up.

I would say to bikers to do what they can to support this cause because you never know when you may need them.”

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 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.”

Win a Mini at Clacket Lane Services

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

Motorists 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 Clacket Lane Services off the M25 on Wednesday (June 24th) and Thursday (June 25th) when visitors and passers-by can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

About half of the air ambulance’s callouts are to road traffic collisions and the pilot, doctor and paramedic have helped thousands of people and saved many lives in more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

One of them was former lorry driver Kevin Williams, 57, who suffered multiple injuries when his vehicle jack-knifed on the A21 bypass near Sevenoaks.

He had to be given emergency treatment at the road-side by the helicopter crew before being flown to hospital but has since made a full recovery following the accident two years ago.

He said: "I never thought that I'd need the services of the air ambulance and hadn’t given it much thought until the day of my road accident.

“Now I know how important they are. I cannot thank the crew enough for the care I received and the calm and very professional treatment during my trip into hospital.”

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 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.”

Win a Mini at Biggin Hill

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 this weekend’s Biggin Hill Festival of Flight 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 fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at the Biggin Hill air show on Saturday, June 13th, 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 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.”

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.  

RAF Biggin Hill was at the forefront of Britain’s defences during the summer of 1940 so this year’s festival, sponsored by Howard Cundey Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors, will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with displays including the Red Arrows, Spitfire and high-G Aerobatics.

Win a Mini at Biddenden Vineyards

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 Biddenden Vineyards this weekend 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 fog lights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will be at the “Taste the Best of Produced in Kent” show on Sunday, June 14th, when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw and there may be a flyover by the air ambulance – subject to callouts.

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 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.”

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.  

Biddenden Vineyards is holding its 9th annual festival of food and drink in aid of the air ambulance with free admission and tastings between 11am and 4pm.

Visitors will get the chance to meet, taste and buy from producers of cheese, game, chutneys, sauces, pies, herbs, fudge, liqueurs, beers and honey. For more details go to www.biddendenvineyards.com or call 01580 291726.

Meet the air ambulance crew at Redhill Aviation Festival

Photo: The air ambulance crew pictured at Redhill Aerodrome

Members of the public will get the chance to meet the crew of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at an aviation festival in aid of the lifesaving charity this weekend (June 14th)

The Pilot’s Hub and Redhill Aerodrome are hosting a day of classic aviation including air display acts, aerobatic flights and helicopter pleasure flights.

Visitors will get an opportunity to have a tour of the aircraft based at the aerodrome including the Air Ambulance and National Police Air Service - subject to callouts.

There will also be a “lean to fly” exhibition with special offers on trial flying lessons and a motorbike rally with more than 250 Harley-Davidsons on display alongside vintage aircraft that will be flying in especially for the event.

All funds raised on the day will go to the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations and is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The Pilot’s Hub is a 1930s aviation-themed brasserie and coffee house which was featured on Sky TV’s Living Surrey.

Gates for the Aviation Festival at Redhill Aerodrome open at 10.30am and admission prices are £12 in advance or £14 on the day, £5 or £6 for children aged over five, and £32 or £36 for two adults and up to three children. To book tickets go to www.redhillavfest.co.uk.

Cleaner mops up £25,000 lottery win

Photo: L-R, Bob Crowther, Air Ambulance paramedic Sloane Phillips and Julie Crowther

A cleaner from Gillingham is splashing out on a holiday of a lifetime to Australia after winning the £25,000 jackpot in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s lottery.

Julie Crowther, 57, joined the lifesaving charity’s Superdraw when a canvasser called at her home three years ago

She thought nothing more of her £8-a-month subscription until she received a call telling her she had won the top prize with lucky numbers 1, 7, 9 and 16.

The mother-of-four is now planning to spend her winnings on a trip to see her mother in Sydney for the first time in three years, and a new car for her husband Bob.

She said: “When I got the call to say I’d won, my first thought was it was a scam. I couldn’t believe it until I saw the cheque. It’s a fantastic prize for a local charity and more than enough to make me happy.”

“I picked the number 7 because it’s the date I met my husband, 9 is the date we got married and 1 and 16 is his birthday.

“I’ve never won anything before apart from the odd £10 on the National Lottery but we stopped doing that to support the air ambulance because saving lives is more important than anything else.

“I’ve got two sisters who are nurses and my husband used to work in a hospital so I come from a family of medical workers.”

Julie is the air ambulance’s first £25,000 winner this year as the charity celebrates the 25th anniversary of its launch at Rochester Airport.

She celebrated her windfall with a glass of bubbly as one of the helicopter’s paramedics presented her with her cheque at the helicopter base at Marden today (Friday).

The charity’s Regular Lottery costs just £1 per week and there are 12 winners drawn each week with prizes ranging from £25 to £1,000. Last week’s top prize winner was also from Medway - Doreen Capocci from Rochester.

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.