A partnership between the South East Lions Clubs and the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance will help to save even more lives, at night, in 2013.
In launching their public appeal, Lions Clubs in the South East have pledged to raise £250,000 over the next 10 years which will help the charity to achieve its aim of night flying. The funds will be a significant contribution towards the additional £1 million a year needed to allow the Air Ambulance to extend its operations.
Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance said ‘Lions clubs have been long term supporters of the Air Ambulance for many years. This is a major step forward in forging a path to operating by night and potentially saving many more lives each year’.
The Air Ambulance currently operates two helicopters with two crews working from 7am – 7pm. But early next year the charity will replace one of its aircraft with a newer helicopter with night flying capabilities which will allow the charity to operate after dark from the charity’s Redhill base. The specialist doctor and paramedic crew take to the scene of serious medical emergencies, the type of skills normally only found in a hospitals A & E department.
Howard Lee, Chairman of the SE Lions Night Flying Appeal Steering Committee, said
"For quite some time, Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust has done a wonderful job during daylight hours reaching out to those in distress and bringing life-saving medical help as quickly as possible. Lions Clubs across the four counties have been more than pleased to assist over many years. Now we are proud to be able to act as one of the main catalysts to expanding the Air Ambulance service to cover the hours of darkness as well, bringing help to around 700 more people each year. Through this initiative, we feel we are making a difference; indeed we feel that this really is Lions Clubs Saving Lives.”
The seventy Lions Clubs across the South East and south London have been raising funds and providing services and facilities to their local communities for 50 years including helping to make a difference to the needy and to those experiencing less fortunate circumstances. Members of the Clubs come from varied backgrounds and professions using their skills and initiatives to improve the quality of life and the community.
Biggin Hill & Westerham Lions Club have supported the Air Ambulance in the past and will supporting the appeal with a bucket shake at Sainsbury's Otford in February.