Charity starts at home, a view held by my eldest son, who last year decided as part of his Community Challenge badge in his scout group decided to collect for a ‘home ‘ charity.
He chose the London’s Air Ambulance service or HEMS as it can be known.
London’s Air Ambulance is a registered charity which runs London’s only helicopter emergency medical service, providing life saving care to victims of serious injury throughout London – serving the 10 million people who live, work and commute within the M25.
Based at the Royal London Hospital and founded in 1989, the service is unique in that it operates 24/7, with the helicopter running in daylight hours and rapid response cars taking over at night. The Team, which at all times includes a senior trauma doctor and a specially trained paramedic, attends an average of seven missions every 24 hours.
London’s Air Ambulance has an international reputation for clinical excellence and delivers pioneering procedures which have been adopted across the world.
London’s Air Ambulance was the first air ambulance service in the UK:
- with a doctor and paramedic team;
- to deliver high standard pre-hospital anaesthesia;
- to have a clinical governance programme;
- to perform a thoracotomy (open heart surgery) at the roadside;
- to perform thoracostomy (to drain collapsed lungs);
- to use check lists to improve patient safety;
- with air & land based response; and to provide 24 hour cover.
He put a letter out to the whole of the scout group asking for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to bring in all their used postage stamps which he had a remarkable response to. In fact he collected over 19,000!! Yes we counted them all.
But today we had arranged for him to visit them at the Royal London Hospital at their new offices to deliver the stamps in person. We met a fantastic lady called Christine Margetts who did a brilliant job showing us all around. We met the paramedics and doctor on duty today, the firemen who also work there, we were told how a call is generated and processed and what information they receive and how they determine which hospital the patient will need to go to.
But to top it all we had the rare opportunity to go up to the helipad to get a picture taken with the actual Air Ambulance in the background. My son was able to go on board before very excitingly watching the helicopter and it’s crew take off on a real life call!
It was brilliant to see them in action, how quickly they reacted and how professional they all were. This truly is a worthwhile service that relies heavily on donation and every little helps.
I was very proud of my eldest doing what was necessary, helping a worthwhile charity close to home, and counting (with me) all 19,000 stamps!!
What charity is close to your heart?