Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon launches new Children’s Air Ambulance

Simon Le Bon officially launched the Childrens Air Ambulance on Wednesday 31st October.'Pictured with Simon is Andy Williamson ( Air Ambulance CEO )

Simon Le Bon officially launched the Childrens Air Ambulance on Wednesday 31st October.'Pictured with Simon is Andy Williamson ( Air Ambulance CEO )

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SIMON Le Bon, is lending his support to The Children’s Air Ambulance, as the lifesaving service is launched.

Based in the heart of England at Coventry Airport, The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) will transfer critically ill children from general hospitals to Paediatric Intensive Care Units across England and Wales, or help move specialist paediatric teams to enable children to receive the lifesaving, specialist treatment and care that they need as soon as possible, cutting transfer times.

Yesterday’s (Wednesday) launch started in London where the helicopter made its first public appearance, before flying to the charity headquarters in Princethorpe and one of the charity’s shops in Warwick.

Simon Le Bon said: “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. However, at the moment, they can face long road journeys, which could be detrimental to getting the lifesaving help they need.

“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.”

As well as reducing travel times, the air transfer service will also allow NHS specialist clinical teams to travel with the child - ensuring both a quick and safe journey.

Andy Williamson, Chief Executive of The Air Ambulance Service, said: “It’s 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.”

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. This money will be spent training staff and kitting out the helicopter to launch the country’s first dedicated Air Ambulance service for critically ill children and babies.

He said: “We have the helicopter, the pilots and the team and we’re ready to go – our focus now is to secure the funds we need to get off the ground.

“The organisation is funded solely through the generous donations received from the public and vital support from corporate sponsors - without any Government or National Lottery funding - so we’re urging the country to get behind the service to help us reach our £545,000 target.”

Operating under the umbrella service of The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS), The Children’s Air Ambulance will benefit from the extensive medical, aviation and core fundraising expertise gained through the running of TAAS’ existing helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS); the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

For more information please visit the website www.thechildrensairambulance.org.uk or contact The Air Ambulance Service on 08454 130 999.