The Childrens Air Ambulance arrives at London Heliport
The Barclays London Heliport welcomed the launch of The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) when Sloane Helicopters flew in their special liveried and dedicated AgustaWestland AW109S helicopter carrying Alex Toft, director of operations and clinical services of The Air Ambulance Service and TCAA ambassador Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon.
Simon Hutchins, manager of the Reuben Brothers-owned Barclays London Heliport greeted the guests when the helicopter landed from Coventry Airport, the operations base of the TCAA.
The Reuben Foundation has pledged its support to The Children’s Air Ambulance, commenting: “We recognise the crucial service provided by The Children’s Air Ambulance across London and the UK and are pleased to give our support and welcome them to The Barclays London Heliport.”
TCAA will transfer critically ill children from general hospitals to Paediatric Intensive Care Units across England and Wales.
Commenting on the launch, Alex Toft said: “It was a hugely exciting day for us. After months of planning, we’re now entering a two month phase of training and fundraising – our crew will be visiting five children’s transfer groups across the UK for familiarisation purposes – before beginning to undertake missions in early 2013.”
Simon Le Bon commented: “The Children’s Air Ambulance is a fantastic new service that is desperately needed throughout the UK. Each year, thousands of seriously ill children need urgent care at specialist hospitals. This service relies completely on charitable donations from the general public. It is my intention to do all I can to raise the profile of TCAA and to help raise the money that is so crucial to keeping the service running.”
The service needs a further £545,000 to begin delivering a lifesaving service to critically ill babies and children in England and Wales, with a further £134,000 required per month to maintain the service.