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High flying Friary helps keep the high flyers saving lives

Friary Guildford raise funds to keep a very special service in the air — and saving the odd cornet player on the way.

Cheque presentation
 

High flying Friary Guildford, fresh from their fine start to the 2013 contesting season at Yeovil, has presented a cheque for £2,227.47 to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust.

Carols

"The band has always played Christmas carols to raise funds for charity, and four years ago we decided to collect for the Surrey Air Ambulance.

This year was no exception and we played at various locations and venues in and around Guildford," explained Friary’s Secretary, Lauren Cave.

Active help

"Little did we know that, only four months later, one of our cornet players, Chris Powell, would need their services after a mountain bike accident left him unconscious, with a broken neck and other injuries."

Chris also remembers just how vital the service was to him: "Fortunately, I was airlifted by the Air Ambulance from Bisley to the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

When the doctor told me how bad my injury was, my natural reaction was to nod back, but he quickly reminded me of my broken neck!"

Lucky

He added: "I feel incredibly lucky that their speedy intervention helped me to make a full recovery."

Accepting the cheque on behalf of the Trust, volunteer John Glenister explained that no statutory government or National Lottery funding is received.

We are very grateful to the Friary Guildford players who spent many a chilly hour entertaining Christmas shoppers in order to help us keep flyingJohn Glenister

Grateful

He said: "We rely on public support to raise the £5 million needed annually to keep our two helicopters operating. From March we will have a replacement helicopter specially equipped for night flying, giving 24-hour emergency coverage – although that will cost a further £1m a year."

He added: "We are very grateful to the Friary Guildford players who spent many a chilly hour entertaining Christmas shoppers in order to help us keep flying."

Life savers

In just the first five weeks of 2013, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulances have attended 110 call-outs, whilst in 2012 they attended 1,400 of which 30% were road traffic collisions.

Each call-out costs about £2,500, so the sum raised by Friary Guildford will help fund one potentially life-saving mission.

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