We are delighted to have been shortlisted for three categories in the 2021 Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence; Charity Team of the Year, Charity Volunteer of the Year and Young Person of the Year. The prestigious awards, which are sponsored by BMW Group, recognise the professionalism, excellence and dedication of the Air Ambulance community across the UK.
The Independent Judging Panel, including trauma specialist Professor Karim Brohi, Debra Alcock-Tyler, CEO the Directory of Social Change and Steve Irving, Executive Officer of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, agreed the award nominations were of an exceptionally high standard and they were faced with some very difficult decisions when deciding on the shortlist.
Our Operational Support Team has been shortlisted for Charity Team of the Year in recognition of the incredible organisational skills, dedication and commitment of Gary Wareham (Manager), Maire Hatherill (Operational Support Assistant) and Larry Culver (Operational Support Assistant). This small team is the operational backbone of the charity, responsible for sourcing and managing all supplies and medical equipment for KSS. Their achievements over the last year have ensured that we have been able to remain operational 24/7, despite the challenges faced.
David Mantz, one of our longest serving volunteers, has been selected as a finalist for Volunteer of the Year Award. David has dedicated over 30 years to KSS, delivering talks, helping to raise much needed funds, training other volunteers and inspiring and educating people about our life-saving work. Together with his wife, also a KSS volunteer, David has packaged and sent out thousands of Christmas cards to supporters over the years. He is an inspiring volunteer and an outstanding representative for KSS. As a Director of KSS’s subsidiary trading company, Air Ambulance Promotions Ltd., David has been instrumental in our decisions to invest in the promotion of KSS’s lottery which has enabled us to grow from very small shoots into the strong, reliable income stream that it is today, delivering over £8M towards our £15M income target.
Murray Miles, one of our Young Ambassadors, is a finalist for the Young Person of the Year Award. At the age of five, Murray began fundraising for KSS for helping to save his Dad’s life. Incredibly for someone so young, he ran a marathon over five consecutive days and subsequently took part in a number of other fundraising activities, including Run 31. Murray has raised over £14K (including Gift Aid) in total for KSS.
David Welch, CEO, KSS commented: “We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist in three categories for the 2021 Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence. My sincere thanks and congratulations to our Operational Support Team, David Mantz and Murray Miles for their outstanding contributions to KSS. They truly reflect KSS’s core values, pushing boundaries and always striving to go above and beyond so that we can deliver our world-class service 24/7.”
Simmy Akhtar, CEO of Air Ambulances UK, said: “The professionalism, excellence and dedication of all those who work and volunteer within the air ambulance community is extraordinary. We are incredibly proud that these Awards recognise their vital contribution to providing advanced pre-hospital critical care to people who suddenly become critically injured or ill, saving lives and improving patient outcomes every day across the UK.
“I would like to thank everyone who made a nomination for the Awards this year. Each nomination was hugely inspiring and a great testament to the incredible lifesaving work of the UK’s air ambulance charities. Our judging panel had to make some very difficult decisions and so KSS’s Operational Support Team, David Mantz and Murray Miles have every reason to be proud of their incredible lifesaving work across the Kent, Surrey and Sussex regions and to have reached the shortlist for the Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence. We very much look forward to announcing the winners at our virtual ceremony next month.”
Winners of the Air Ambulances UK Awards of Excellence will be announced on 3rd December 2021. The full list of finalists can be found here.
Murray is a finalist for the Young Person of the Year Award