On Thursday 28th April, we were delighted to welcome ten Mayors from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to our headquarters at Rochester Airport and to our base at Redhill Aerodrome.
At Rochester, the Mayors of Dover, Maidstone, Medway, Swale and of Tonbridge and Malling met our Chief Executive David Welch, Dispatcher Lottie Ticehurst, Community Fundraiser Sarita Taneja and former KSS patient Josh Senior. The visit was an opportunity to learn more about the life-saving work of our charity and to hear at first-hand about the vital importance of our service.
In 2010, Josh Senior fell 35ft to the ground during a simulated parachute landing. He suffered serious life-changing injuries which left him paralysed from the waist down. The injuries to Josh’s right leg were so severe that they resulted in his leg being amputated below the knee.
KSS attended Josh within nine minutes of being dispatched, and provided emergency treatment at the scene before transferring him by helicopter to Royal London Hospital. Josh spent a month at Royal London and was then moved to the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for rehabilitation.
Josh shared his story with the Mayors, saying: “It’s impossible to say whether or not I would have survived without KSS’s help, but I do think it’s incredibly likely they saved my life that day. It is because of them I am able to spend the future with my partner and three gorgeous children – something I will be forever grateful for.”
In the afternoon at Redhill, David Welch welcomed the Mayors of Crowborough, Guildford, Elmbridge, Sevenoaks and the Deputy Mayor of Crawley. KSS Emeritus Doctor Katherine Hunter explained more about how she became a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) doctor and ran a question and answer session after showing a video of a day in the life of a HEMS paramedic.
The visit provided an opportunity for us to highlight the wonderful support we receive from our communities. Each year, we must raise £15.2M to operate our 24/7 life-saving service, and 86% of our total income is raised through the generosity of our supporters. From Run 31 to Hound Hike 100, buying a ticket for our Spring Draw to taking part in our weekly Lottery, we could not do what we do without help from our communities.
David Welch said: “It was an immense honour to welcome Mayors from across our region to both Rochester and Redhill. I want to thank you all for taking the time to visit, and also for your ongoing support and dedication in helping us to raise awareness across the community, and provide the best possible care to our patients.”
“It is only with support from our communities that we are able to save lives and to work towards our vision of an end to preventable loss of life from medical emergency. My heartfelt thanks goes to each and every one of our inspiring supporters.”
During the visit, David introduced the Mayors to The KSS Way, our new five-year strategy developed to help our charity respond to an increasing number of patients, ensuring the best possible outcomes and saving even more lives. We are looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks and months.
The visiting Mayors were:
Mayor of Dover Cllr Gordon Cowan and Town Sergeant, David Hunt-Cooke
Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Fay Gooch and Consort Peter Gooch
Mayor of Medway Cllr Jan Aldous and Consort Tony Aldous
Mayor of Swale Cllr Paul Stephen and Mayoress Sarah Stephen
Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling Cllr Roger Roud
Deputy Mayor of Crawley Cllr Morgan Flack
Mayor of Crowborough Cllr David Neeves and Mayoress Jen Neeves
Mayor of Elmbridge Cllr Tony Popham
Mayor of Guildford Cllr Dennis Booth
Mayor of Sevenoaks Cllr Dr Merilyn Canet
We were also delighted to welcome the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Roger Roud and Mayoress Mrs Pam Roud to our Rochester base on Monday 9th May.
Cllr Roud presented Captains David Gifford and Mike Wong, HEMS Paramedic Adam Ormrod, HEMS Dr Ed Clitheroe and Medical Director Duncan Bootland with a cheque for over £4,800, raised through a variety of fundraising events during his time in office.
Sarita Taneja, Community Fundraiser: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Roger Roud and Mayoress Mrs Pam Roud to our Rochester office recently and thank them personally for all of their wonderful support throughout the past year. We are immensely grateful for all of their fundraising efforts, which have included afternoon teas, dinners and more, to raise vital funds for our life-saving charity.”