Simon Le Bon gets The Children's Air Ambulance off the ground
31 October 2012
Duran Duran star, Simon Le Bon, is lending his support to The
Children's Air Ambulance today (31 October), to launch the
lifesaving service at the Barclay's London Heliport in
The Children's Air Ambulance (TCAA) will transfer critically ill
children from general hospitals to Paediatric Intensive Care Units
across England and Wales, or help move specialist paediatric teams
to enable children to receive the lifesaving, specialist treatment
and care that they need as soon as possible, cutting transfer
Simon Le Bon comments: "The Children's Air Ambulance is a
fantastic new service that is desperately needed throughout the UK
- each year, thousands of seriously ill children need urgent care
at specialist hospitals. However, at the moment, they can face long
road journeys, which could be detrimental to getting the lifesaving
help they need.
"This service relies completely on charitable donations from the
general public. It is my intention to do all I can to raise the
profile of TCAA and to help raise the money that is so crucial to
keeping the service running."
Applauding the initiative, The Reuben Foundation has pledged its
support of The Children's Air Ambulance, commenting: "We recognise
the crucial service provided by The Children's Air Ambulance across
London and the UK and are delighted to give our support and welcome
them to The Barclays London Heliport." Simon Hutchins, Manager of
The Reuben Brothers-owned Barclays London Heliport, and his
operations team, welcomed the first Agusta AW109 helicopter from
the Children's Air Ambulance Service this morning.
As well as reducing travel times, the air transfer service will
also allow NHS specialist clinical teams to travel with the child -
ensuring both a quick and safe journey.
Andy Williamson, Chief Executive of The Air Ambulance Service,
comments: "It's a hugely exciting day for us. After months of
planning, we're now entering a two month phase of training and
fundraising - our crew will be visiting five children's transfer
groups across the UK for familiarisation purposes - before
beginning to undertake missions in early 2013."
The service needs a further £545,000 to begin delivering a
life-saving service to critically ill babies and children in
England and Wales, with a further £134,000 required per month to
maintain the service. This money will be spent training staff and
kitting out the helicopter to launch the country's first dedicated
Air Ambulance service for critically ill children and babies.
He continues: "We have the helicopter, the pilots and the team
and we're ready to go - our focus now is to secure the funds we
need to get off the ground.
"The organisation is funded solely through the generous
donations received from the public and vital support from corporate
sponsors - without any Government or National Lottery funding - so
we're urging the country to get behind the service to help us reach
our £545,000 target."
Operating under the umbrella service of The Air Ambulance
Service (TAAS), The Children's Air Ambulance will benefit from the
extensive medical, aviation and core fundraising expertise gained
through the running of TAAS' existing helicopter emergency medical
services (HEMS); the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air
Ambulance and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air