Surrey's Air ambulance in £1million race against time to secure the future of its lifesaving helicopter

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is today launching an urgent £1 million fundraising appeal, ‘Buy it for Life’, to raise the final funds needed to secure the future of its lifesaving helicopter and enable it to reach more patients and save even more lives across Kent Surrey and Sussex.
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Until now the charity has leased its second air ambulance. But owning, rather than leasing, it gives KSS far more security over its helicopter which is so fundamental to its lifesaving service and a genuine lifeline for the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.  

 Owning rather than leasing its air ambulance also saves KSS almost half a million pounds a year which will enable it to drive forward with its plans to fly for six more hours every day, meaning it can reach more patients and save even more lives. Saving this money will also enable the future development of the charity's ability to fly in more challenging weather conditions as well as their ability to grow their patient and family aftercare service and introduce more community prevention and education initiatives.  

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 As part of the appeal, and for the first time ever, supporters are being given the unique opportunity to have their name on the helicopter.   

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex urgently needs to raise £1MAir Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex urgently needs to raise £1M
Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex urgently needs to raise £1M

 Anyone donating £100 or more can have their name, name of a friend or family member, team, community group or business, or the name of a loved one in their memory, on the air ambulance – making them a part of every lifesaving mission. To secure one of the limited number of spaces visit aakss.org.uk/helicopter.  

David Welch, Chief Executive of KSS, said: “Demand for our service has been growing year-on-year and has never been greater. Last year we made a record number of over 3,300 missions to people in urgent need of our lifesaving care. We must continue to respond to this growing need, now and into the future.  

 “That’s why we now urgently need the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, to help us raise the final £1 million to buy our air ambulance. Owning rather than leasing our air ambulance will secure the future of our helicopter and allow us to increase the number of hours we can fly every day, as well as continue to improve and innovate our lifesaving care. This will mean that we can reach even more patients and save even more lives. But we only have until the end of May to raise the funds as it is a time-limited window in our new contract with our aviation partner.  

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“For your community. For your family. For your friends. Please help buy our air ambulance helicopter so that when the worst happens, we can keep even more families and loved ones together.”  

Chris Pounds was saved by KSS after being run over by his tractorChris Pounds was saved by KSS after being run over by his tractor
Chris Pounds was saved by KSS after being run over by his tractor

Every day, KSS is called to the most serious medical emergencies in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, making around nine missions every day. The charity’s air ambulance helicopter is like a flying emergency room, getting its specialised doctors and paramedics, and lifesaving treatment, to loved ones when they need it the most.    

The race against time to buy the helicopter is on. KSS needs its communities in Kent Surrey and Sussex to support this unique, time-limited, ‘Buy it for Life’ appeal. 

A Story of Survival: 

Chris Pounds from Tonbridgewas crushed by a tractor when working along miles from anywhere. He managed to call 999 and a KSS air ambulance was dispatched. “It was the medical intervention that they brought to me, lying in a field in the grass with crush injuries that saved my life. If the air ambulance hadn’t got there I wouldn’t have survived, it’s as simple as that. 

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“We never know in our daily lives what is going to happen. We wake up, go to work, do the things we are going to do. But there may be a time when we, a loved one, a friend, a child, needs that intervention. The help that KSS brings is beyond what you would normally get. Situations change in seconds and to have the air ambulance to support people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex is s godsend and something we all really need to support.” 

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