Lift-off for the helipad!
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us raise £2.3 million so far towards the target of £3.5 million to complete the helipad at King’s. Construction began on Friday 30 January 2015 and it is due to be fully operational by the end of this year.
The much-needed facility will cut the time it takes to transfer someone from the air ambulance (which currently has to land in nearby Ruskin Park) to the Emergency Department at King’s from 25 minutes to just five minutes. The Trauma Centre at King’s is one of the busiest in the country, and the new helipad will improve trauma care for the 5.5 million people living across south east London and Kent.
Thank you to everyone who donated and fundraised to help meet the cost of the helipad. From buying raffle tickets and making text donations, to running marathons and abseiling down the Golden Jubilee Wing at King’s – we’re so grateful for all your support. We’d also like to thank the County Air Ambulance Trust’s HELP (Helicopter Emergency Landing Pads) Appeal who made a generous donation towards the helipad.
‘We are extremely grateful to the County Air Ambulance Trust for supporting the project since day one,’ says Mr Tim Smart, Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital.
‘I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has helped raised money for the helipad, be it through private donations, running marathons, abseiling off buildings, or the various other weird and wonderful challenges people have taken part in to raise money for this important project. We couldn’t have done it without you.’
Above: Tim Smart and Rob Bentley with an architectural model of the helipad
'My second chance to live'
Suzanne had emergency surgery at King’s following a brutal, near-fatal attack. She was given a 50/50 chance of making it through – but fortunately the team at King’s saved her life and Suzanne has since fundraised for the helipad appeal to say thank you. She was part of the team that raised £60,000 by taking part in an abseil at King’s.
‘I cannot ever repay the doctors for my second chance to live, and fundraising is the very least I can do for them- the hospital, the nurses, my family and all those who were by my side on the way back to normality,’ she says.
‘Fundraising as much money as I can for King's Helipad Appeal is a little thank you from me. And once the helipad is built, I will be very proud to think that I played a small part in the construction project.’
Suzanne was treated by Mr Rob Bentley, Director of Trauma at King’s, who reconstructed her skull after her attack. He says that the construction of the helipad represents a major step-forward for trauma in London, adding:
‘King’s is already a Major Trauma Centre but with the addition of a helipad on the hospital site we will bring truly world-class trauma facilities to this part of London.’
The new helipad at King’s will take about a year to build, and rise 50 metres above the ground on top of the hospital’s Ruskin Wing. The pad will be made of around 75,000 kg of aluminium and 100 tonnes of steel. It will be constructed off-site, and lifted into place when it's ready using one of the UK’s largest cranes.
Below: construction begins on the roof of the Ruskin Wing