Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Team's £32,000 fundraiser helps friend close to home

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

A group of cyclists who raised more than £32,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance watched as the helicopter was called out to a friend during a visit to present their cheque to the pilot, doctor and paramedic.

The 14-strong Hamstreet Ultimate Road Trip (HURT) team began their epic journey with a 1,344m hike up Ben Nevis - the highest mountain in Scotland.

They then cycled to and swam across Loch Lomond before getting back on their bikes and riding to Cumbria where they scaled Scaffell Pike. The next stage of their quest saw them get back on the saddle and cycle to Lake Windermere before swimming across it.

Finally, they cycled to Wales where they climbed 1,085m Mount Snowdon before crossing Bala Lake and riding all the way back to Hamstreet in July, stopping off at the air ambulances bases on the way.

They recently returned to the Marden base to present a grand total of £32,500 just minutes before the helicopter took off on a callout to a road traffic collision in Bethersden.

Organiser Spencer Goddard, Director of Marsh Academy Community Hub, said: “By coincidence, we knew the man in the crash and we drove past the car on the way home.

“It just proves how close to home the service is needed sometimes and without the air ambulance he wouldn’t have survived. We are glad our amount can help in the bigger picture.”

Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the massive sum raised from the Hamstreet Ultimate Road Trip will fund 13 potentially lifesaving missions.

The team successfully completed their challenge and beat their target of raising £25,000 for the air ambulance in the year the charity celebrates its 25th anniversary.

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