Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has raised more than £1m which is just over a third of the total shortfall the charity was predicting due to the cancellation of major events and a decrease in fundraising income.
The life-saving charity launched its Coronavirus Emergency Appeal in April to cover the additional costs of operating its world-class pre-hospital emergency response service safely during the pandemic. It costs KSS £14m a year to deliver its emergency service in which specialist doctors and paramedics provide critical treatment to patients at the scene of an incident. 89% of this is raised through the incredible generosity of the people of Kent, Surrey and Sussex and the amazing people who volunteer and fundraise for them. During this unprecedented year, the charity had to launch an Emergency Appeal for the first time in its 30 year history.
Thanks to the generous support from the public and a Government grant of £140,000*, the charity has raised over £1m to date, enabling it to be fully operational at all times.But with all major fundraising events cancelled for the foreseeable future, and many traditional methods of raising money severely challenged, KSS is still facing a significant income shortfall and must raise a further £1.9m to ensure it can continue to save lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
David Welch, CEO, KSS commented: “We simply cannot thank people enough for the support we have received so far. When we launched our appeal, we aimed to raise £535,000 initially to meet the immediate additional costs of continuing our life-saving service during the pandemic and we have received an amazing response. It is truly humbling how generous people can be. We’ve received help from a wide range of sources and in a variety of forms – from financial donations from our supporters and the communities we serve, through to PPE from local businesses, the loan of four vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover and a large supply of oil and AdBlue for our response vehicles from Moove. Every single donation, every single gift has helped, and we are so thankful to everyone who has responded so far.
“Yet despite this, and the contribution from Government, with the continued impact of the pandemic, we still face a significant shortfall of £1.9m. Last year, we were called out to help over 2,500 people in life-threatening situations across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We have an outstanding, highly skilled medical team and we are determined to continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for our patients and to continue to run our charity efficiently and responsibly. To secure our future, we urgently need your continued support – there are so many ways you can join those in the community who have already supported and got involved. Let’s work together to continue to save lives during this difficult and unprecedented time.”
KSS has been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in all five of its inspection criteria - safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. It is the only air ambulance service to have achieved this, it is the busiest in the UK and is also the only UK air ambulance service to fly 24/7.
To support the KSS Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, please visit www.aakss.org.uk/appeal