Thursday, 26 May 2016

Roger De Haan Charitable Trust funds life-saving equipment

Photo: An AutoPulse

Cardiac arrest and heart attack patients are to benefit from a new life-saving piece of equipment carried by the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) is to take delivery of an AutoPulse – an automated, battery-powered chest compressor, following a £5,000 donation from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

The support pump has a load distributing band which squeezes the entire area of the chest rather than pushing on a single spot, which is the case with manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation and some automated CPR devices.

It automatically calculates the shape, size and resistance of each patient's chest, giving them the best treatment.

Air ambulance Assistant Director of Operations, Richard de Coverly said: "In effect, the AutoPulse can function as an extra pair of hands, allowing the doctor and paramedic to perform other life-saving procedures.

"This has the potential to improve the likelihood of survival and recovery and will also allow us to transport more people on the helicopter who are either at risk of cardiac arrest or who are in cardiac arrest.

"This piece of equipment could be the difference between life and death for the seriously sick and injured people that we attend."

Director of Income Generation, Lynne Harris said: "We are incredibly grateful to the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust for their very generous donation to fund this life-saving piece of equipment.

"Without the support of grant-making trusts, individuals, businesses and groups across the region, we simply could not continue our vital work for the benefit of the community.

"The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has supported the charity for a number of years and we are so grateful for their continued support."

 

Shoppers raise £2,762 for air ambulance

Photo: Air ambulance volunteer Bryan Mayfield and patient Bob Morgans

Shoppers at Marks & Spencer in Tunbridge Wells raised more than £2,700 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in a raffle to win a brand new convertible Mini Cooper.

Staff and volunteers for the life-saving charity sold tickets for the draw at the Fountains Retails Park store last week (May 17th, 18th and 19th).

Among the customers were former patients Bob Morgans, from Southborough, who survived a cardiac arrest, and former school minibus driver Les Garrett, from Tonbridge, who was involved in a road traffic collision.

A grand total of £2,762.81 was raised in ticket sales and donations for the Win a Mini draw in aid of the Marden-based air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public support.

The £19,000 three-door Caribbean Aqua 1.5 Mini Cooper, a brand new model, 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 audio, reversing camera and parking distance sensors.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships in Canterbury and Ashford who are supporting the year-long campaign.

Tickets for the raffle cost £5 each and can be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk and the draw will take place on March 31st, 2017, making it a perfect present for the summer months.

Last year's raffle was held to celebrate the charity's Silver Jubilee and raised more than £210,000 – enough to fund 84 potentially lifesaving missions.

Staff at Marks & Spencer chose the air ambulance as their 2015/2016 Charity of the Year and raised a grand total of £5,068.

Air ambulance Lottery Manager James Cook said: "We are really grateful to Marks & Spencer Tunbridge Wells for allowing us to come back for a second year to promote the Win a Mini raffle, and to the public for their support.

"Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the fantastic sum raised again this year will effectively fund a potentially life-saving mission."

 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Hammers fan hits jackpot

Photo: Superdraw winner Ann Inward

A retired bank worker from Crawley who won more than £12,000 in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance's lottery has donated her winnings to charity.

Ann Inward, from West Green, signed up to the life-saving charity's Regular Lottery and Superdraw at her local Sainsbury's store two 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 in the Superdraw.

The West Ham fan won a total of  £12,244.68 with lucky numbers 1, 3, 34 and 35 which she could use to buy 13 top-of-the range season tickets at the Hammers' new Olympic Park Stadium.

However, she very kindly donated her winnings back to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the RNLI.

She said: "I was surprised to win and it put a big smile on my face for a couple of days because you don't think it's going to happen to you.

"I just felt on top of the world and it's nice to know these things are genuine. The most I've won before was £50 in Premium Bonds and it's a brilliant prize for a local charity.

"I wanted to give the money back as it was an unexpected win and I don't have a need for it. I suppose more people ought to sign up to donate to the air ambulance because none of us ever know when we might need them."

Ann picked up her cheque during a visit to the air ambulance base and celebrated her win with a dinner at The Hillside Inn at Pound Hill.

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. To join the lottery go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/lottery or call 01622 833833.

 

Shoppers raise £2,150 for air ambulance

Photo: The 2016 Win a Mini promotion at Whitefriars

Shoppers in Canterbury raised more than £2,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in a raffle to win a brand new convertible Mini Cooper.

Staff and volunteers for the life-saving charity sold tickets for the draw at Whitefriars Shopping Centre last week (May 13th  - 15th) .

A grand total of £2,150.21 was raised in ticket sales and donations for the Win a Mini draw in aid of the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public support.

The £19,000 three-door Caribbean Aqua 1.5 Mini Cooper, a brand new model, boasts tyre pressure monitoring, alloy wheels, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB audio, reversing assist camera and rear parking distance control.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a family-run business famous for its motor dealerships in Canterbury and Ashford who are supporting the year-long campaign.

Tickets for the raffle cost £5 each and can be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk and the draw will take place on March 31st, 2017, making it a perfect present for the summer months.

Last year's raffle was held to celebrate the charity's Silver Jubilee and raised more than £210,000 – enough to fund 84 potentially lifesaving missions.

Air ambulance Lottery Manager James Cook said: "We are really grateful to Whitefriars for allowing us to come back for a second year to promote the Win a Mini raffle, and to the public for their support."

 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Doctor in 100k run for air ambulance

Photo: Sarah Honess

A Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor will be swapping her stethoscope for a pair of running shoes as she takes on her first ever 100k run in aid of the life-saving charity.

Sarah Honess is limbering up for the London to Brighton Challenge – one of the UK's greatest endurance events.

She has previously completed four marathons and the distance of an Ironman triathlon – a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a marathon.

But nothing will prepare her for the sheer scale of a 60-mile run on May 28th which has to be completed in 33 hours.

She said: "It's a long way and I'm hoping to complete it but I'm not worried about what time I do it in, I just want to finish it.

"It's unknown territory for me because I've never run this far before. The furthest I've run is about 30 miles in training. I ran from my home in Angmering to Brighton and back.

"After running marathons and lots of triathlons I started looking for something else to do and an ultra marathon is the next step. I'm going to set off at 6.30am and I'd like to finish it in 12 to 15 hours.

"To get me through it, I'm just going to think of it as two slow marathons and a bit on top. I know my body can cope with 15 hours of exercise as that's how long it took me to do the distance of an Ironman."

Sarah joined the air ambulance on a 13-month secondment from the Royal Sussex County Hospital at Brighton where she was an A&E registrar.

After being on the receiving end, she now delivers patients to the Major Trauma Centre.

Sarah is nearing the end of her tour of duty and will be clocking on for a 12-hour night shift just a day after her epic run.

She added:  "It's a charity close to my heart and it's good to raise not only vital funds but awareness that it is a charity because a lot of people still don't know that. It's a no-brainer really.

"I got into running in 2000 when I saw a 90-year-old running the London Marathon and thought that if he could do it, so could I. I've also run the Paris, New York and Brighton marathons."

Sarah has so far raised £543 and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/sarah-honess or text AIR to 70300 to make a one-off £3 donation to Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (plus your standard network messaging rate).

 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Predator strikes back for air ambulance

Photo: Predator pictured at the Silver Screen Cinema

Fans of Predator raised more than £1,700 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance at a rare screening of the cult Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster.

Hundreds of filmgoers flocked to the Silver Screen Cinema in Folkestone on Saturday (May 7th) to watch the 1980s epic about a band of mercenaries who head into the jungle on a rescue mission only to confront an additional evil force at work… something not human.

The much-loved film spawned many classic lines, the most famous of which is "Get to the chopper".

Many fans posed for photos, taken by Don Linkin, with a real-life Predator courtesy of "Predator Appearances" who kindly waived their appearance fee to help boost additional funds for the charity.

The fundraising event was held by The Folkestonian, a community-focused organisation that hosts charity screenings in and around the town.

Founder Tom Langlands produced 500 limited edition button badges to mark the occasion in return for a £1 donation to the air ambulance and a grand total of £1,715 was raised in ticket and badge sales.

He said: "This is my 13th charity screening and was a thoroughly enjoyable night for all involved. It wouldn't have been possible without the kind support of event supporters Copper & Spices, Big Boys Fine Burger Co., Blitz Tea Room & Bar, CEX Folkestone and obviously the Silver Screen cinema itself."

Two fans were awarded champagne for the biggest toy guns and biceps while another won a remote control car in a competition for online ticket bookers only.

Tickets for charity screenings of The Thing and Die Hard later in the year are available at  www.thefolkestonian.co.uk

* Text AIR to 70300 to make a one-off £3 donation to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (plus your standard network messaging rate).

 

Friday, 13 May 2016

School wears red for life-saving charity

Photo: Jack Towler with an air ambulance cake

Pupils at Lynsted and Norton Primary School in Sittingbourne raised £390 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance by wearing red clothes for the day.

Youngsters donned their bright clothes to match the flying suits of the helicopter's doctors and paramedics, in return for a £1 donation to the charity.

The funds were also raised from a cake sale and Dr. Dudley, the charity's mascot, visited with a volunteer who gave a presentation about the work of the charity.

The event was organised by five-year-old Jack Towler whose grandmother, Carol Lewis, is a dispatcher for the air ambulance.

Carol said: "Jack is obsessed with helicopters, especially the air ambulance. He often browses the website and reads stories about patients they have helped. He says when he's old enough, he's going to be a pilot for the air ambulance."

A £390 donation is enough to fund 390 sheets of bubblewrap used to keep seriously injured patients warm, 39 doses of a drug used to suppress adverse heart rhythms or 12 specialists bandages used to actively clot a serious wound.

Wear Red Instead is just one of many ways that schools that can help to raise funds for the air ambulance.

If your school would like to fundraise or arrange a talk for pupils about the life-saving work of the charity, please call 01622 833 833 or email info@kssairambulance.org.uk

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Shoppers raise £3,044 for air ambulance

Photo: Air ambulance staff members Ashley Grinsdale and Mark Clayton pictured with the promotional car at Tesco, Guildford

Shoppers at Tesco in Guildford raised more than £3,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in a raffle to win a brand new convertible Mini Cooper.

Staff and volunteers for the life-saving charity sold tickets for the draw at the Ashenden Road store last week (May 6th, 7th and 8th).

A grand total of £3,044.70 was raised in ticket sales and donations for the Win a Mini draw in aid of the Redhill-based air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public support.

The £19,000 three-door Caribbean Aqua 1.5 Mini Cooper, a brand new model, boasts tyre pressure monitoring, alloy wheels, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front foglights, on-board computer, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB audio, reversing assist camera and rear parking distance control.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a family-run business famous for its motor dealerships in Canterbury and Ashford who are supporting the year-long campaign.

Tickets for the raffle cost £5 each and can be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk and the draw will take place on March 31st, 2017, making it a perfect present for the summer months.

Last year's raffle was held to celebrate the charity's Silver Jubilee and raised more than £210,000 – enough to fund 84 potentially lifesaving missions.

Kent Air Ambulance was launched in December, 1989, followed by the Surrey and Sussex helicopter at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, in June, 2007.

Lottery Manager James Cook said: "We are really grateful to Tesco in Guildford for allowing us to promote the Win a Mini raffle at their store as a new venue for us, and to the public for their support."

 

Monday, 9 May 2016

Ayla's run for air ambulance lifesavers

Photo, L-R: Sisters Ava and Ayla Kashani

A seven-year-old girl from Eastbourne is to take part in a 2.5k run this weekend (May 14th) to raise funds for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance that helped save her life.

Ayla Kashani suffered a ruptured spleen after she fell from a climbing frame and had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic.

The schoolgirl was flown with her mother Ellie to St George’s Hospital in London where she was in intensive care for 24 hours.

Ayla spent a week at the specialist Major Trauma Centre before she was finally allowed back home and has since made a full recovery.

Now, a year on from the accident, Ayla and Ellie are to take on a 2.5k in aid of the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Ellie said: “The air ambulance crew were absolutely brilliant. Thanks to their skill and expertise, combined with everyone at St George’s, Ayla has made a remarkable recovery.”

Runners will be dressed as Superheroes as they take on the 2.5k and 5k run which starts and finishes at St Andrews Prep School in Eastbourne.

The charity run starts at 9.30am at the school grounds in Meads Street and is open to members of the public for a £10 entry fee. To enter, please call the school on 01323 733203.

The school has so far raised almost £4,000 for the air ambulance from a number of events including a Burns Night, Advent Fair, Mufti Day, BBQ and Christmas carol service collection and nativity play.

Ayla is planning to present the cheque to the crew who helped save her life, during a visit to the helicopter base later this year.

She was the first paediatric patient to be given a pre-hospital emergency transfusion of plasma by a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the UK.

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance started carrying blood in February, 2013, followed by plasma in March last year. The procedure is now carried out an average of 10 times a month.

 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Shoppers raise £2,603 for air ambulance

Photo: Air ambulance volunteers John Glenister and Shirley Wood with the promotional Mini

Shoppers at Sainsbury's Brookwood raised more than £2,600 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in a raffle to win a brand new convertible Mini Cooper.

Staff and volunteers for the life-saving charity sold tickets for the draw at the Redding Way store last week (April 27th and 28th).

A grand total of £2,601 was raised in ticket sales and donations for the Win a Mini draw in aid of the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public support.

The £19,000 three-door Caribbean Aqua 1.5 Mini Cooper, a brand new model, 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, reversing camera and parking

distance sensors.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships in Canterbury and Ashford who are supporting the year-long campaign.

Tickets for the raffle cost £5 each and can be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk and the draw will take place on March 31st, 2017, making it a perfect present for the summer months.

Last year's raffle was held to celebrate the charity's Silver Jubilee and raised more than £210,000 – enough to fund 84 potentially lifesaving missions.

Lottery Manager James Cook said: "We are really grateful to Sainsbury's Brookwood for allowing us to come back for a second year to promote the Win a Mini raffle, and to the public for their support.

"Each helicopter callout costs about £2,500 so the fantastic sum raised over the two days is enough to fund a potentially life-saving mission."