Air ambulance chief saddles up for a 247-mile fundraiser

Nusrat Ghani

The new event is running through the whole of October to raise vital funds for the 24/7 lifesaving charity.

CEO David Welch lives in Tunbridge Wells, and his ambitious target equates to cycling 18 miles a day either at his home or out on the road.

Commenting on his fundraising bid, he said: “Cycling 247 miles throughout the month of October is a great challenge and I plan to complete my 247 miles within 14 days, which means I need to cycle just over 18 miles a day.

“I’m definitely up for the challenge as I love to cycle and I’m also going to switch between indoor and outdoor bikes to make it even more interesting.

“It is a significant undertaking for KSS to have to raise £15million every year to remain operational 24/7, and I am very keen to play my part as a fundraiser.

“I am also delighted to support our fantastic fundraising team who continually come up with new ideas to inspire much welcome support from the local communities we serve.”

Last month, David won the accolade of being named the national Charity Leader of the Year in the Charity Times’ awards.

In a separate event, KSS won the Large Charity category in the 2021 Kent Charity Awards as well as being crowned Kent Charity of the Year.

Commenting on his national recognition as the head of KSS, David said: “I am honoured and immensely proud to have won this award, which reflects the outstanding achievements of KSS over the last year.

“This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the whole of Team KSS and the people in our regions who have so generously fundraised or donated to us.

“I am incredibly grateful to them all. I also wanted to extend my sincere thanks to Charity Times for this fantastic accolade.”

Over the last year, KSS overcame significant challenges under David’s leadership and was able to operate 24/7 throughout the pandemic without dropping a single shift.

In addition, and working in partnership with South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust [SECAmb], David spearheaded the extension of KSS’s service capabilities to support the NHS by transferring over 100 critically-ill Covid patients between ICUs.

Now he is saddling up for KSS’s latest initiative – its inaugural 247 Vital Cycle ride.

The charity hopes that through sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues 247 Vital Cycle will raise £20,000. Helene Poursain, Director of Fundraising and Events at KSS, said: “KSS relies on the generosity of it’s fundraisers in order to be able to deliver its vital service to save lives.

“Every mile completed on a bike and every pound donated to KSS will help to make sure we’re there for the sickest and most critically-injured patients across our regions in their hour of need, whatever time of the day or night.”


£5 could buy a pressure infuser, which is used when a critically ill or injured patient requires a rapid administration of fluids of blood products because of low blood pressure or bleeding

£17 could buy one set of tubing for KSS’s ventilator, helping patients to breathe when they have been anaesthetised

£60 could buy a set of fire-retardant undergarments for a crew member to wear

£120 could buy enough aircraft fuel for one life-saving mission

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