A huge thank you to our Heli Hikers!

We’re sending a huge Team KSS thank you to everyone who took part in our very first Heli Hike on Saturday 24th September, helping us raise an incredible £25,254 – and donations are still coming in!

More than 250 people joined us at the beautiful Friars estate, near Aylesford, where the sun shone on our first sponsored walk. Participants followed either a 3 mile or 7.5 mile route, taking in spectacular views across the Weald. Our operational crew got the event underway with a flyover as the warm up began – a moving moment reminding all walkers about the critical difference their support was making.

Crews also attended to cut the ribbon at the start of the race and present walkers with their medals at the end of their challenge.

Thank you to everyone for joining us, and a special thank you to our event sponsor, Big Motoring World, who currently top the Fundraising Leader Board, having raised a brilliant £2,197! Big thanks also to Gatwick Fire Service, who undertook the challenge in uniform, and to Nigel, who has overcome extraordinary challenges of his own this year since being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in March.  Nigel spent two months in Intensive Care followed by a further two months in a neurological rehabilitation ward, having become paralysed. Amazingly, Nigel took his first unaided walking steps in July and completed our 3 mile Heli Hike on 24th September, with the help of crutches, his supportive family and his gorgeous dog.

Lauren Simmons, Head of Events at KSS, said: “It was such a fantastic day and I’m so immensely proud of everyone who took part, whether as a fundraiser or as a volunteer on the day supporting with logistics and cheering the Hikers along. It costs £15.2M each year to operate our life-saving service, and we could do not do what we do without support from our local communities, who help us raise vital funds. I send my heartfelt thanks to you all for making Heli Hike such a success, and we are already making plans for 2023.”

We’d like to extend a special thank you to all of the organisations who supported us and make Heli Hike possible:

  • R Swain and Sons for allowing us to use their trailer for our DJ
  • Tesco Distribution Centre in Crawley and Kent Frozen Foods for food donations for our refreshment stops
  • GW Highways for the generator
  • Day Aggregates for sponsoring the refreshment stop on the 7.5 mile route
  • Gallaghers for sponsoring the celebratory drinks
  • Mondial Wines for donating water
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*If we exceed our target for this appeal or there is an unexpected change in circumstances, donations will be allocated to our Helicopter and Vehicle fund

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