RUN 31 FOR LIFE-SAVING CHARITY AIR AMBULANCE KENT SURREY SUSSEX

This January, Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is inviting members of the public to join their Run 31 challenge, which encourages people to run a total of 31 miles across the 31 days of January to get fit, have fun and to help raise vital funds for the life-saving charity.

Timed to launch the charity’s 31st year in 2021, the Run 31 challenge is open to everyone and people can choose how they wish to complete it, from running each day around the local park to an endurance run on a treadmill at home – whatever works best.

By creating a Run 31 Facebook fundraising page for the challenge, participants can help KSS raise much-needed funds. It costs £15 million each year to deliver the charity’s world-leading pre-hospital emergency care service 24/7 and 88% of this is raised through public donations.

The Run 31 challenge has been devised to encourage people to get physically active in the New Year, and the charity is delighted that already more than 1000 people have joined the event’s Facebook community and over 600 Facebook fundraising pages have been set up, with pledges exceeding £60,000 so far.

Amongst those to be participating in the challenge is former KSS patient, Graham Beswick. Graham was taking part in a golf day when he started to experience strange muscle spasms in his chest and arms. When he suddenly collapsed, due to a cardiac arrest, Graham’s fellow golfers called 999 and, with the guidance of the emergency services, Graham’s brother was able to perform CPR until the ambulance service arrived. 

Graham had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, and when the paramedics from The South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) recognised that he needed to be taken to hospital rapidly, KSS was dispatched bringing an A&E Consultant and HEMS paramedic to Graham. They were able to assess him following the expert care delivered by SECAmb, and transfer him quickly and directly to a specialist hospital where he received the care he needed.

Graham Beswick said:

“I am just so grateful that KSS was there for me when I needed them. The paramedics told me that I’d actually died for 23 minutes, and without their help and without the expertise of the KSS crew, I wouldn’t be here today.” 

“I urge people of all ages to join the Run 31 challenge and help KSS continue to provide its life-saving service that the world can’t do without.”

Helene Poursain, Director of Fundraising and Events at KSS, said:

“We want to thank Graham and everyone who has already signed up to take part in our Run 31 challenge – and we hope that many more people will join us!”

“2020 was an incredibly challenging year, but thanks to our supporters and to the dedication of our team, we have been able to deliver our life-saving service uninterrupted throughout.”

“Now, we are asking for your support so that we can continue to be there 24/7 for the most critically ill and injured people in our region in their hour of need. By taking part in the Run 31 challenge, you can help us to save even more lives.”

The KSS Run 31 challenge takes place throughout January 2021 and is open to everyone. Those taking part will be invited to join the Run 31 Facebook community group and will receive a free t-shirt along with tips on how to promote challenges through social media. For further information and to register (FREE), please visit:

To help members of the public see how their donations support KSS:

·         £8 could buy 100 syringes which are needed to administer life-saving drugs to patients

·         £30 could pay for a Gigli Saw, used when performing a thoracotomy (surgically opening a patient’s chest)

·         £50 could buy a frontline chest drain kit, used to place a chest drain to drain blood or air from a patient’s injured chest, allowing the lung to work properly

For further information:

www.aakss.org.uk