Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rotary president's bike ride for air ambulance

Photo, L-R: Air ambulance doctor Richard Lyon, Simon Kroner and paramedic Adam Ormrod

An Ashford cyclist is gearing up for a 460-mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London next month in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Ashford Rotary Club President Simon Kroner will set off from Buckingham Palace on September 17th and will be aiming to reach Edinburgh Castle in just five days.

The 51-year-old civil servant has already completed 1,000 miles in training and will be joined on the ride by friend James Bellingham.

Simon chose to support the air ambulance during his year as president following a presentation from one of the charity's volunteers.

He said: "I have always been impressed by the service that the air ambulance provides for people in their hour of need. They have no Government funding and rely on donations from the public.

"The service they provide for the sick and injured and in getting them to hospital rapidly cannot be underestimated.

"The two accidents that the air ambulance attended at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey just reinforced my desire to support them as much as possible.

"Fortunately, I don't know anyone who has been airlifted but I have seen the helicopter in operation a couple of times.

"I was out on a ride once when I saw a cyclist come off and break his collarbone and because of his rural location, he needed the air ambulance."

Simon and James will pedal all the way from London to Leicester (114 miles) on the first day of the Edinburgh to London Cycle Challenge, flanked by Simon's wife in a support vehicle.

On day two, they will be aiming to reach Tadcaster near York, followed by Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales (day three), Langholm on the Scottish border (day four), and finally Edinburgh Castle.

In 2001, Simon successfully completed a 300-mile bike ride from Lands End to Ashford over five days.

He added: "The bottom line is that I know I can go out and do 100 miles at the drop of a hat but it's doing 100 miles on five consecutive days that is more challenging.

"I recently did 400 miles in four days just to become accustomed to such a big ride."

Simon has so far raised £280 of his £1,000 target and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-kroner1


Villagers in charity helicopter push for air ambulance

Photo: The helicopter which villagers will push for 24 miles over two days

A team of intrepid fundraisers are to embark on a painstaking challenge this weekend to push a 1.5tonne helicopter for 24 miles, in a bid to raise more than £5,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and Stroke Association.

Sandhurst Charity Push Team will enlist the help of 40 volunteers as they snail through nine villages in 30 hours.

The push is to be held on Saturday, August 27th, and will start in Tenterden High Street before passing through Rolvenden, Newenden, Northiam, Staplecross, Ewhurst Green, Bodiam, Hawkhurst and then finishing in Sandhurst on Sunday.

The team is being led by Adam Kerry who, with help from his friends, organises fundraising events every two years in memory of his late father, Tony Kerry.

Tony himself organised similar events including pushing a trailer from the Houses of Parliament to Sandhurst.

Adam said: "We've pushed a boat, a tractor and now we're reaching for the skies. This time, it's a helicopter – well, a full-size sculpture of one.

"The team will be made up of around 40 volunteers from in and around the Sandhurst area."

Sandhurst Charity Push Team have so far raised £3,962 including Gift Aid and can be sponsored at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/helicopterpush where family and friends have left messages of support.

Ross, who donated £50, wrote: "Good Luck Craig! - two excellent causes, although I expect if I tried to push a helicopter 24 miles, I'd probably need the services of both charities you're supporting!"

Two years ago, the team raised £21,000 for Stroke Association and Cancer Research by pushing a tractor. In 2012, they raised £11,000 for Stroke Association by pushing a boat.


Friday, 19 August 2016

Rye Jazz & Blues Festival announce more fantastic music events

Photo: Cuban band Kandela Mi Son

This August Bank Holiday weekend the streets of Rye come alive with the sounds of top class blues, jazz, Funk, Fusion, Cuban and Jive. Bring the family and soak up the wonderful vibrancy of the best music this side of New Orleans and experience the fun of the festival and the wonderful heritage of Rye.

The festival's official charity partners are the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance. Ian Bowden, the festival director said: "We are delighted to be working with this fabulous charity and we are asking people to make donations over the festival weekend at the many free music events."

For more information about the trust please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Headline concerts for Mica Paris the UK Queen of Soul and Jazz singers Liane Carroll and Joe Stilgoe are selling fast but there are still tickets available so be sure to book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

The festival kicks off on Thursday 25th August with three superb events. Phil Law local pianist is joined by friends from 7.00pm at the Standard Inn mixing their unique blend of jazz, Blues and Rock n Roll.

A very special free music event at the Kino Cinema outdoor stage takes place on Friday 26th August from 7.00pm with Sky Arts Guitar Stars, Blues guitarist and finalist Steve Morrison and Jazz Fusion guitarist and winner of the 2016 Guitar Star Zayn Mohammed who also performed at Latitude Festival earlier this year.

The organisers are thrilled to be able to include these two amazing performers which have kindly been sponsored by Pizza Express Live. For lovers of top class Blues and Jazz this evening of music top class music is a must to attend so make that special journey to Rye Friday night!

Other exciting announcements include Dorset based multi – award winning blues singer Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion performing at the Kino Cinema outdoor performance stage on Saturday 27th August and on Sunday 28th August London based Cuban band Kandela Mi Son will be performing their vibrant blend of Cuban music guaranteed to get you and the family dancing. Headlining Sunday 28th August will be the Fabulous Red Diesel the Hastings based funk band that will get you into the groove with catchy originals and edgy retro funk.

The Butter Market below the Rye Town Hall plays host to outstanding free music performances from the Louis Turpin Blues Trio on Saturday 27th August at 3.00pm. New Orleans Jazz maestro's Dom Pipkin and his band the Ikos will transport you to Bourbon Street on Sunday 28th August at 1.00pm and on Monday 29th August, Brighton based Paul Richards and his Latin Guitar Trio will get your hips swaying to the coolest Latin sounds with catchy Bossa Nova's and Sambas.

The outdoor Kino Cinema performance Stage and the Butter Market will create a wonderful atmosphere within the heat of Rye where there will be a fully licensed bar serving the best local beers and wines including the 'Jazz Top' festival pale ale and all of your usual favourite tipples. Amazing Street food will also be available serving up delicious Cajun Jambalaya and the mouth-watering BBQ cuisine and face painting for the kinds!

Come to Rye this Bank Holiday weekend and have an amazingly fun weekend.

For more updates go to the festival website www.ryejazz.com to see the full line-up of ticketed and free music events.



Jamie Cheshire

Press, Media & Marketing Officer


01622 833833 / 07800 904194



Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust

Wheelbarrow Park Estate, Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent TN12 9QJ

Registered Charity No. 1021367

A Company Limited by Guarantee ▪ Registered in England & Wales No. 02803242






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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Saddle up for Canterbury Bike Ride

Photo: Cyclists at the air ambulance's Double 100 Cycle Challenge last year

Cyclists are being urged to sign up for the Canterbury Bike Ride in aid of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance next month (Sunday 25th September).

The ride starts and finishes at Canterbury Rugby Football Club with a choice of three routes – 85 miles, 55 miles or 25 miles.

The benefitting charities are the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Wheelchair Rugby and the Kent MS Therapy Centre.

One of the riders will be Canterbury Fire Station's Watch Manager, Mark Jones, who was airlifted three years ago.

He is aiming to complete one of the distances with his colleagues, having previously entered the event two years ago.

Mark, 51, was playing at Canterbury Rugby Football Club when he suddenly collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest, but has since made a full recovery.

Mark, from Eastry, was taking part in an end-of-season friendly match between players and coaches

when it happened.

Colleagues and off-duty friends from the emergency services began CPR and used the club's defibrillator five times, to shock Mark's heart into re-starting after it had stopped for 15 minutes.

The air ambulance landed on the pitch and the charity's doctor and paramedic put Mark into an induced

coma, before airlifting him to the William Harvey Hospital.

Mark underwent surgery at the specialist coronary unit to clear a blocked artery and had a stent

fitted. He has since made a full recovery and helped to raise more than £5,000 for the air ambulance.

Mark said: "Without the immediate first aid and CPR undertaken, the early intervention of the defibrillator and the rapid transport to a specialist  coronary unit, the outcome could and more likely would have been a lot worse.

"I am eternally grateful for the services and specialist medical care given to me by the fantastic staff at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance."

The Canterbury Bike Ride has been sponsored by Barretts of Canterbury, Sally Hatcher Estates, Clague Architects, Dynamix Accountancy, Lenleys and Bang & Olufsen. To register, at £25 per person, go to www.canterburybikeride.co.uk


Biddenden Vineyards raise £24,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

Photo: Visitors pictured at last year's Taste the Best of Produce in Kent

Biddenden Vineyards celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Taste the Best of Produce in Kent food day, raising enough funds to help the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance potentially save nine lives.

Biddenden, Kent's oldest family-run vineyard, has been supporting the life-saving charity since the launch of its annual festival of food and drink.

In that time, they have raised a grand total of £24,210 for the charity, including £4,620 from this year's event (despite the rain!).

Biddenden Vineyards owner and director Sally Barnes said: "Despite the fact that it was a very, very wet and miserable day, we had the same number of visitors as in previous years and consequently were humbled by the local support."

Visitors to Taste the Best of Produce in Kent were given the chance to meet, taste and buy from over 40 producers of cheese, game, chutneys, sauces, pies, herbs, fudge, liqueurs, beers and honey and much more. This year the Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch also had a selection of small animals for children to interact with.

They were also given the chance to win a new car in the charity's Win a Mini draw, which raised £885 alone.

Head of Corporate Relations for the charity, Julie Clare, said: "Biddenden Vineyards is a much-valued supporter and we are extremely grateful for their longstanding support."


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Double joy for air ambulance lottery winners

Photo: Door-to-door lottery representative Mike Stevens and Superdraw winner Ray Spicer

A retired couple from Folkestone who won more than £6,000 in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance's lottery were presented with their cheque by the door-to-door lottery representative who signed them up.

Ray and Pat Spicer joined the life-saving charity's Regular Lottery and Superdraw just three months ago.

Their £8-a-month subscription paid off when they won a grand total of £6,303.24 in last week's draw with random lucky numbers 7, 28, 34 and 35.

The couple are now planning to spend their winnings on a holiday to Italy to celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary, with further trips planned to Costa Brava and Gran Canaria.

Amazingly, their win came on the same day that Ray won £630 on the races at Glorious Goodwood.

He said: "When the air ambulance called to say we had won some money, I thought it would be one of the smaller prizes of £25. My jaw dropped and I was speechless when I was told how much.

"We are shocked to have won because we've only been in the lottery for three months and never expected to win that amount.

"We support the charity because my brother-in-law was once airlifted after a shop sign fell on him whilst walking down the street – none of us know when we may need the services of this life-saving charity."

Retired forklift driver Ray, 65, and former factory worker Pat, 68, were at their home in Holly Close when lottery representative, Mike Stevens, called at their door in May.

Pat said: "He was very polite and we didn't find him intrusive at all. In fact, I'm really glad he called because otherwise, we wouldn't have won! I would encourage more people to join the lottery because it's such a great cause, and people really do win."

Air ambulance Head of Lotteries & Gaming James Cook said: "The charity is heavily supported by ordinary people who give a small amount each week, but it makes a huge difference. Mike was delighted to meet Ray and Pat again, and deliver their winning cheque to them personally."

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 per week, players can join the Superdraw which has a maximum jackpot of £25,000.

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