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Sussex's Air Ambulance Charity Praises "Incredible" Appeal Response

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance (Photo: © Flickr user James / Creative Commons)

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has been overwhelmed by the incredible response from communities across Sussex after an appeal to help it buy a second helicopter.

The charity's leaders called its appeal "urgent" so that the charity can continue its plans to reach more patients and save more lives.

In its first week, the organisation stated, "thousands" of donors across Kent, Surrey and Sussex raised more than £250,000 – a quarter of the way to the to the final £1 million that the charity needs to raise to buy the helicopter in what it termed a "time-limited window of opportunity" until the end of May. 

Until now KSS has leased its second air ambulance.

But owning the aircraft, rather than leasing it, is expected to give the charity 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. 

David Welch, Chief Executive of KSS, said:

"We’ve all been particularly touched by the many kind messages we’ve received from people supporting the appeal, including some of our former patients and their families.

"We’re truly humbled and inspired by the generosity of everyone in our communities and so grateful to everyone who has donated so far to help us to save more lives and keep more families together.   

"However, there’s still a long way to go and it’s still a race against time. We need to raise the rest of the £1 million we need before the end of May to buy our air ambulance."

The charity claims that owning rather than leasing its air ambulance will save KSS almost half a million pounds a year.

Such a purchase is expected to help the organisation fly for six more hours every day, meaning it can reach more patients and save even more lives. 

Saving this money, leaders said, 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.  

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

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.

Information is available by browsing to this website: https://aakss.org.uk/helicopter.  

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