A Gatwick team has presented Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) with a cheque for £29,328 raised by airport staff and passengers.

Gatwick Airport staff took part in a range of activities to raise vital funds for KSS – one of the airport’s official charity partners – including the Run Gatwick half-marathon, FIFA World Cup sweepstakes and a Heli Hike fundraiser.

The latter was supported by Gatwick Fire and Rescue Service in September, when 16 members of Red Watch and Green Watch hiked the 7.5-mile route in full firefighting kit. The fundraiser was aimed at providing KSS paramedics with protective footwear – an essential piece of kit in the varied terrain in which they are saving lives.

The money raised by Gatwick could also help fund aviation fuel to support more than 100 helicopter missions, purchase more than 300 boxes of tubing for the charity’s ventilator – helping patients to breathe when they have been anaesthetised – or buy 750 'nose balloons' to stop bleeding when a patient has fractured their face.

Lee Braidwood, Red Watch fire fighter, Gatwick Airport Fire and Rescue Service, said: “KSS means a lot to me, the men and women that turn up in the Air Ambulances are true heroes. When someone is in a life-threatening situation where they need urgent medical care, these crews suddenly appear out of the sky and provide that immediate critical care.

“Gatwick Fire Service works closely with the Air Ambulance on medical calls we attend, so we thought we would give something back and support them by raising money with Heli Hike.”

In addition to its own fundraising efforts, Gatwick Airport has also supported KSS through sponsorship of events, including Hound Hike 100 – a sponsored dog walk which invited people to cover a total of 100km or 100 miles with their pets throughout April 2022, raising £17,000 – and Run 31, a challenge which encouraged participants to win sponsorship by running 31 miles across the 31 days of January.

Supporting local charities forms part of Gatwick Airport’s sustainability policy – Decade of Change – and since 2015, the airport has raised more than £1m for its official charity partners.

Image: London Gatwick Airport