Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex announces two new appointments











Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has announced two new appointments. Kelly Heaton-Ralph has been promoted to Executive Director of Fundraising and Philanthropy and Symon Russell to Executive Director of Individual Giving.

The new Senior Leadership roles have been created as part of a strategic drive to further strengthen income streams at the charity, which needs to raise £15.2M each year to operate its life-saving service.

Kelly Heaton-Ralph joined the charity in 2019 as Director of Development since which time she has successfully transformed high-value giving, raising over £1M in 2021-22. Kelly started her successful career 14 years ago as a volunteer with Sue Ryder, before going on to hold senior fundraising roles at Hospice in the Weald and Action for Children and she has also managed events for Royal Society for Blind Children.

Symon Russell, who joined KSS in 2019 as Director of Individual Giving, has over 15 years’ charity sector experience including as Senior Data Marketing & Planning Manager at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Head of Insight & CRM at Barnardo’s and Database Marketing Manager at Amnesty International UK. Symon is currently Co-Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s special interest group for Insight in Fundraising.

Both roles report directly to KSS Chief Executive, David Welch, and are effective from this month.

Kelly Heaton-Ralph said:

“I feel incredibly privileged to lead the Fundraising and Philanthropy Team as we embark on our ambitious five year strategy and work towards our vision of an end to preventable loss of life from medical emergency.”

Symon Russell said:

“I am proud to work for KSS and really excited to take on the new challenges this role will bring. Leading our Individual Giving and Supporter Experience Teams, I will continue to play my part in making our charity’s vision a reality.”

David Welch, CEO of KSS, said:

“I am delighted to be announcing these new roles. Since joining KSS, Kelly and Symon have been responsible for driving our individual giving, major donor giving and trusts and foundation income streams forward. Led by Kelly, our Development Team have achieved significant success securing a number of substantially large donations made by individuals along with several successful grant applications and, under Symon’s leadership, our appeals, legacies and lottery income has gone from strength to strength.

“Together with other members of the Senior Leadership Team, Kelly and Symon will be responsible for driving forward with our ambitious five year strategy, further strengthening our income streams and working closely with our crew to ensure we save more lives and ensure the best possible patient outcomes.”

The appointments follow the recent retirement of Lynne Harris, Executive Director of Income Generation, Marketing and Communications, who joined KSS in 2004.