Runners of all ages and fitness levels have raised £28,759 for Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) by taking part in KSS’s Run 31 fitness fundraiser.
Run 31 involved participants running a total of 31 miles throughout the 31 days of January. A number of KSS team members also took part in the fundraising initiative, including KSS’s CEO, David Welch.
David Welch, CEO, KSS said:
“My sincere thanks go to everyone who took part in Run 31 and to their generous sponsors. From my own perspective, I know how much I enjoyed taking part and challenging myself – and I certainly appreciated the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some exercise.
“We are delighted to have raised such a significant amount of money for our charity. To put this figure in perspective, this could help us pay for the aircraft fuel required to reach 239 people in urgent need of our help.
“Each year we must raise £15.2M to operate our life-saving service. 86% of our total income is raised through the generosity of KSS’s supporters. We couldn’t continue to provide our life-saving, critical care without such incredible support from people in our local communities.”
In total, 225 people from across Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex took part in Run 31. These included:
Kent: Kim Gillespie from Dartford raised £806:
“When I had COVID in November 2021, I didn’t realise how much it had affected my mental health. Over Christmas, I decided to find myself a challenge to support a charity and to help my wellbeing. I found Run 31 on Facebook, I thought it was something I could achieve and it was for a great cause.
“I decided to run a mile a day for 31 days starting on 1st January. WOW what a challenge in the coldest and darkest month of the year. My early morning runs certainly proved to be a test on my mental health! With the support of my family, friends and work colleagues I managed to clock up a total of 50 miles by day 31.
“When I started my journey, I couldn’t imagine how I would feel when I finished on Monday 31st January, it was amazing! I couldn’t stop smiling all day, and the best feeling ever is that my mental health and stamina are back and I am truly back to me again. If I can do this (as a non-runner) anyone can!”
Surrey: Abigail Tucker from Guildford raised £270:
“Since becoming a student paramedic in 2019, while on placements I have worked closely alongside the air ambulance in treating patients and giving them the best quality care. The air ambulance provides vital resources for individuals in need and so inspired me to join to Run 31 to help raise as much money as possible for this organisation.
“For anyone considering supporting KSS in the future through Run 31 or a similar fundraiser, I would highly encourage them to get active and support KSS; raising awareness of this organisation and what they do is just as important as the fundraising.”
East Sussex: Andy Croft from Bexhill raised £420:
“I took part in Run 31 as a personal challenge post COVID and to help raise valuable funds for an amazing charity. A dear friend of mine sadly lost her son in a road traffic collision on his way back from work. KSS was called out and at least gave him a fighting chance. On a separate occasion, while I was in a cross country race on The Downs in Eastbourne one of the runners collapsed, with heart failure. We gave him CPR and the first aiders used the defibrillators until KSS arrived. The man survived thanks to KSS and the chain of response. You really never know when you or someone close to you will need help from KSS.”
West Sussex – Billingshurst Fire Station Team (Dan, Ben, Dave, Andy, Tim, Connor and Joe) raised £1,182:
Dan Game, firefighter said: “We participated in Run 31 last year and it was a good thing to do as a Fire Station. Last year we each did one mile a day and this year we wanted to make it a bit more difficult (and competitive!). Each team member completed 31 miles and some ran over 60 or 100 miles each. This was a fun way to start the year and kick-start our fitness – it’s was good for our health.
“As a Fire Station we regularly work alongside KSS and witness, first hand, how much of a great job they all do and what they can bring to the side of the road (particularly with Road Traffic Collisions which is where we see them). We all make a difference by working together.
KSS can be the difference between whether someone goes home that day or not – it’s a charity close to our hearts and we were keen to support them and raise awareness of what they do. Without people’s fundraising the service can’t continue.”
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