Kent Surrey Sussex air ambulance in flightKent Surrey Sussex air ambulance in flight


Family-owned Barretts Motor Group gives air ambulance charity major lift to £1m appeal total

  • Barretts Motor Group is helping the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance
  • It’s donated ‘a significant’ sum to charity’s appeal to own its helicopter
  • Group owner tells of pride at giving support and urges others to follow suit

Time 12:15 pm, May 3, 2024

Barretts Motor Group has given a tri-county air ambulance charity a major boost in its fundraising appeal to own a helicopter.

The family-owned Canterbury-based Car Dealer Top 100 firm has made what’s been described as ‘a significant donation’ to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) air ambulance fundraiser as it nears its £1m target.

Hitting that figure will enable KSS to own rather than lease its air ambulance helicopter, saving it some £500,000 a year.

That’ll allow the charity to fly for six extra hours a day, meaning its specialist lifesaving crews will be able to reach more patients and save more lives.

It’ll also enable the future development of KSS’s ability to fly in more challenging weather, as well as expand its patient and family aftercare service and introduce more community prevention and education activities.

Group owner Paul Barrett, who is an ex-trustee of the charity, said: ‘Everyone at Barretts is so proud to be supporting KSS and its urgent fundraising appeal to buy their air ambulance helicopter.

‘This is one of the most important initiatives in our region right now and one that as many individuals and businesses as possible should be supporting to help KSS reach and push beyond their £1m target.

‘I particularly urge every company in the area to support their local air ambulance charity by donating to the appeal so that KSS can reach more patients and save even more lives.’

He added: ‘As a former KSS trustee, I know just how much every penny matters when lives are on the line and every second counts towards survival.

‘The lifesaving work of this incredible charity is so important to our communities – the helicopters are a genuine lifeline for local people. The more funds that can be raised for this vital appeal, the more lives that can be saved.’

KSS chief executive David Welch said: ‘We are incredibly grateful for the generous donation from Barretts, which provides a huge boost to our appeal.

‘Support from businesses like Barretts is vital to us raising the final £1m we so urgently need to buy our air ambulance so that we can fly for longer, meaning we can save even more lives and keep even more families together.’

Anyone wanting to donate to the appeal can do so here.

The charity also has a fleet of four Volvo XC90 rapid-response vehicles that it uses when weather conditions or unplanned maintenance rule out flying.

They are ‘authority-spec’ vehicles with features such as upgraded suspension and brakes, and have a crew of a pre-hospital care doctor and highly skilled paramedic as well as drugs and equipment that mean they can take the hospital to the patient.

However, unlike the aircraft, they don’t transport patients – that’s done by a land ambulance.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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