Motorsport legend John Surtees OBE, has presented a £75,000 cheque to charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, on behalf of the Henry Surtees Foundation.
The presentation, which took place at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey was made to the Air Ambulance Chief Executive Adrian Bell; the money will be used for ‘High Fidelity Simulators’.
Presented by John Surtees OBE, the £75,000 will be used to fund ‘High Fidelity’ simulation manikins for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAAT). High Fidelity manikins are the very latest in simulation technology, helping the clinical teams to practice their skills, learn new techniques and improve patient safety by creating situations that are as close to ‘real life’ as possible.
Speaking of the charity, John Surtees OBE, said “With a background in motorsport, I know that every second counts and none more so than for the Air Ambulance Services; I am honoured to present the cheque to such a fantastic charity. The idea that this money will contribute to saving lives is outstanding! The Air Ambulance already offers an exceptional service, but if we can help them reduce risk even further then we have done a good thing!”
Motorsport enthusiast and Hollywood legend Sir Patrick Stewart, said “I am disappointed not to be present this evening. My admiration of John for his dedication to the Foundation goes without saying and I must congratulate them on the marvellous sum raised. Air Ambulances do an outstanding job and this donation will have a significant impact on their ability to respond to emergencies.”
KSSAAT Charity Chief Executive, Adrian Bell said “We are overwhelmed to receive such a fantastic donation; The Air Ambulance Service is a charitable trust and without funding we are unable to deliver the service that’s so sorely needed! The High Fidelity Manikin Simulators will mean we can develop our education and training programme to ensure that our crews are able to provide the highest possible care to our patients, 24 hours a day, in any situation.
Our thanks go to John Surtees for his time and effort, to the Henry Surtees Foundation for their fundraising and to Sir Patrick Stewart for his support.”
As well as raising and donating £75,000 to KSSAAT for the simulators, the Henry Surtees Foundation has also previously supported the provision of a blood transfusion service for KSSAAT. This support included vital equipment such as thermostatically controlled boxes and blood warmers, and the purchase of two Honda CR-V vehicles for SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) to transport blood, enabling the service to provide nearly 70 transfusions in its first year. The Foundation has also donated £131,000 to Headway to help people with brain injuries.
This year, both John and his machines will be at some of the most prestigious classic racing events and venues across the country, raising funds for the Henry Surtees Foundation. George Barber, owner of the Barber Museum which holds a collection of cars and motorcycles from John Surtees’ life, has made a title-winning Ferrarri 158 available for these events. He has also committed to matching £50,000 with a donation, if the Henry Surtees Foundation manage to raise it.
Report and picture contributed by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.