Every day Air Ambulance Kent, Surrey, Sussex (AAKSS) answers an average of nine emergency calls. It is a charity which depends on voluntary giving for 87% of its funding. Without its regular supporters they can’t keep flying; without regular gifts they can’t keep saving lives.
The story so far
AAKSS came into being on 6 November 1989 as South East Thames Air Ambulance. It was the brainchild of Kate Chivers, who had the vision of an air ambulance serving Kent. It was supported by McAlpine Helicopters and flew from Rochester City Airport.
Over the last 30 years it has grown to serve Surrey and Sussex, and works in close cooperation with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmbS). This includes a dispatcher embedded in the SECAmbS call centre.
Why an air ambulance?
Emergencies often need treatment calmost immediately, and an air ambulance (often referred to as a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service or HEMS) can shorten the time taken to attend. In some parts of the world distance is the problem, but in the south east of England traffic congestion is a far greater threat. A helicopter can arrive with a medical team in a fraction of the time which a car or ground ambulance would take.
The air ambulance fulfils a number of functions. First the team, which includes an emergency specialist, can administer critical treatment at the site, before the patient is airlifted to a convenient Emergency Department (ED). Second, it can provide rapid transport between hospitals, when critical care is required in a specialist unit.
Funds are limited
We are all utterly aware of the financial strain on the National Health Service, not least here in the South East of England. The cost of providing a HEMS is beyond the budget of Health Service Trusts, and has to rely on the voluntary sector to fill the gap.
Your cuppa will keep us flying.
The charity’s income is made up as follows (£million):
|Donations and legacies|
Other trading activities
‘Other trading activities’ includes the operation of the charity’s weekly lottery and their three raffles each year.
This summer the charity is inviting its supporters to “Raise a cuppa for your crew.” Everyone who signs up to organise a coffee morning, bake sale or afternoon tea, where every treat and cuppa enjoyed helps save lives, will be entered into a free prize draw. The winner will be welcomed at KSS’s helicopter base at Rochester City Airport to share a cuppa with the crew. (Terms and conditions apply.)
To sign up to put on a fundraiser click here. KSS will send you all that you need to make your event a success. Their free fundraising pack includes:
- Cake Flags
- Collection Box
- Gift Aid Form
Your cuppa will help us save lives.
As Bex Ponter, an emergency patient, reminds us,
“You never know when you’re going to need the Air Ambulance. That was certainly the case for me: my eyes rolled and I collapsed. Within minutes the crew from KSS were with us. They anaesthetised and intubated me, saving my life
To enable the crew to respond to similar emergencies, Bex says,
“Please take part in Cuppa for Your Crew, so that KSS can continue to save lives like mine.”
Hosting a Cuppa for your Crew makes you a lifesaver. For help or further information you can email the KSS Community Team, Helene and Nick, or phone them on (01634) 471900.
So, raise a cuppa this summer so we can keep saving lives like Bex’s – because 87% of our service is funded by people like you.
Sign up, spread the word, and raise a cuppa to save a life today.