PHOTO CAPTION (left to right):
Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Jon Barratt with the Head of Business at Barons Cambridge BMW and MINI Mike Toombs and Magpas Critical Care Paramedic Alex Pearce at the Magpas Operations Base - for the official launch of the Magpas rapid response BMWs
For the sixth year in a row, Barons Cambridge BMW are supporting Magpas Air Ambulance and the life-saving care the charity provides by road - as well as by air. It’s a perfectly matched partnership, with Baron’s reputation as class leaders in driving technology and Magpas, a charity renowned in the medical world for the pre-hospital emergency medical training they give to doctors and paramedics.
Earlier this week, Mike Toombs, Head of Business at Barons Cambridge BMW and MINI, arrived at the Magpas Operations Base to officially hand over two brand new BMW X3 rapid response vehicles, enabling the enhanced Magpas medical team to continue bringing hospital level care to patients in life threatening situations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in Cambridgeshire, the East of England and beyond. By fully sponsoring one of the vehicles, Barons feel passionately about investing in the health and wellbeing of their local community; knowing the care provided by Magpas doesn’t just save lives, it can also help people to recover and return to a good quality of life.
PHOTO CAPTION: Rebecca meets Magpas Dr Rupert Hurry for the first time since the balloon crash on 22nd May 2016
When 22 year old Rebecca Fry (who was living in Norwich at the time) took off in a hot air balloon on a beautiful summers morning in May last year, she felt exhilarated and ready to take in the stunning Northamptonshire scenery on high. The last thing Rebecca expected was the horrific, agonising and life-threatening incident that awaited her.
PHOTO CAPTION: Louise Cade and Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Andy Lindsay talk about road safety at The Duke of Bedford School assembly
It was around 3:30pm on 21st January 1994; Louise Cade and her sister Sally Cade and were coming home on the School bus, on what felt like just another normal school day. At the time, the family were living just outside Thorney near Peterborough. Six year old Sally and eight year old Louise got off the bus and waited for it to pull away.
Photo caption (from left to right):
Magpas Air Ambulance Chief Pilot Captain Richard Eastwood and Helicopter Crewmember Rob Davies - photo courtesy of Digital Photography by Rob Holding
What’s it like to fly a helicopter and how does anyone get into the job of being an air ambulance pilot anyway? Magpas Air Ambulance Chief Pilot Captain Richard Eastwood is used to being asked those sorts of questions, having flown helicopters for 19 years. He explains, “From a child, I thought the whole idea of flying was pretty extraordinary, so I joined the Navy, where I served for 14 years. I travelled the world and flew helicopters and conventional aeroplanes. I enjoyed helicopter flying more; you could take off from your back garden and within minutes you can be heading for your destination - and you don’t need a runway”.
There’s a strong parallel between the Navy and the air ambulance world when it comes to the need for urgent and rapid response. When asked why he opted to work for Magpas Air Ambulance seven years ago, Richard answers that it was about more than just a job, “I don’t clock in, do my hours and go home. I want to do something that’s of real value. It’s about feeling passionately about the lifesaving cause and knowing I can use my skills to help someone who’s in a traumatic circumstance”.
Safety is what matters most at all times as the Magpas Air Ambulance Chief Pilot. Captain Eastwood describes how his main priority is to balance the speed of response with the safety of the aircraft and the people on the ground, so that no one can be in danger. “Quick thinking is the key. I need to make sure there aren’t any potential risks. It’s about thinking on my toes. Yes, it can be a stressful environment at times, but that’s why you’ll find air ambulance pilots are often ex-military pilots, because they’re acclimatised to making safety and operational decisions in seconds”.
Richard highlights the weather as being amongst one of the biggest and most changeable challenges on a day-to-day basis, “That sums it up really; every day is a different day, which is one of the attractive elements of doing what I do. You never know where you’re going to land from one moment to the next, or who the welcoming committee might turn out to be when we land. Sometimes it’s a smiling face with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, other days it can be a vicious dog”.
How does he deal with being faced with some of the most traumatic incidents, he and the Magpas Air Ambulance enhanced medical team are called out to? His answer is simple, “I focus on the job. But the ones that get to me are the incidents involving drink drivers, or someone texting behind the wheel. It reminds me how fragile life can be”.
And the answer to the six million dollar question about what it’s like to fly the Magpas Air Ambulance? Captain Eastwood smiles and sums it up by saying, “It’s like being on a magic carpet you’re in control of! Think of anywhere you’d like to be, if you can get a helicopter there, you can go anywhere!”
In the early hours of Sunday 29th January, expectant mum Shona Fordham from Friday Bridge, went into labour and suffered serious complications. Shona says, “At first everything seemed fine, my waters broke and I started having contractions - then suddenly I just knew something was very wrong. I called out to my partner Jamie to dial 999 as soon as he could. I was hysterical, it was a total nightmare.”
“As a mum, there are no words for when one of your babies (however old they are) has been involved in a terrible accident. Nothing can prepare you for that phone call, I can’t really remember much of the journey to the hospital; I was hysterical, I could barely breathe and every minute felt like the longest hour”.
What would you do if you were going about your usual business, when suddenly you received a phone call saying your child or a loved one had been involved in a severe medical emergency and they were fighting for their life? Ten mothers from Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex have first-hand experience of the heart stopping moments described above. As a result, they are gathering at a crucial lifesaving location, to reach out to other families across the Eastern Region and beyond about what really matters. The reason? To highlight how precious life can be and to emphasise the ripple effect on the family unit, after nearly losing someone so close.
On 4th August this year, golfing enthusiast and mother from Ipswich Sally Crosbie, was told her son Ben had been involved in a freak accident. Ben had been loading a glass hearse onto a lorry (ready for a funeral the following day) when the winch failed and Ben found himself trapped between the hearse and the end of the lorry, suffering serious, crushing injuries and needed urgent care.
Mother of four, Helen Lees from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, will never forget the day her son Sam (who was living in Essex) was involved in a horrific motorbike accident - one that was so serious, his super bike was split in half. The accident happened in Red Lodge (in Suffolk) on 8th September 2012, leaving Sam suffering two strokes, a broken skull and multiple fractures to his body.
Laura Novak from Hartford in Cambridgeshire will always remember the time her son Finley stopped breathing and turned blue, when he was just 1 day old. Laura explains, “It will be forever engrained in my mind”.
Shara Watt from Hitchin heard the traumatic news that her son Christopher Inns had suffered potentially fatal injuries when he was involved in car and motorbike collision on 1st October 2012. The impact of the incident threw Chris up in the air, landing some distance down the road, where he sustained skull, neck and pelvic fractures along with severe leg, arm and hand injuries.
Norfolk based mum of two, Susan Yaxley from Holme Hale, was warned by police she should “prepare for the worst”, after her husband David suffered life-threatening injuries when an HGV collided with the tractor he was driving back on the 9th August 2010. The memory of this has stayed with their daughter Rebekah (who has since had two sons).
It was a cold frosty evening on 25th January 2005, when Mum Diane Allen from Chatteris, was alerted to the fact that her son Ollie had been involved in a motorbike accident and was fighting for his life. Ollie was 17 years old at the time.
Thankfully, all the mothers described above (and many others) met at the Magpas Air Ambulance Operations Base recently to highlight one common outcome; their loved ones were all given a second chance at living and having families of their own, largely thanks to the enhanced critical care they were given at the scene of their incidents by our medical teams. Mum Helen sums things up by saying, “Every time I think of Magpas Air Ambulance, it just brings me to tears - with the thought that without them my son Sam wouldn’t be here. I want to reach out to other mums and say get involved with this organisation. People always think a shocking incident like the one Sam had will never happen to you or anyone in your family. But if it does, you never know when you might need their help! That’s why it’s so important to support them this Christmas…you just don’t know”.
In the last two months, since we launched our extended Magpas 24/7 service, 126 patients in medical emergencies have needed us in the East of England and beyond. That’s 48 more patients who have been treated by our highly trained Magpas Doctor and Paramedic teams, by land and by air, compared to this time last year.
This is the difference your support has helped us to make.
Tell your friends and families about us and help to spread the lifesaving word, so that we can be there if you or loved one ever needs us. Thank you. #Magpas247
PHOTO CAPTION (left to right):
Breaking a record: Magpas Paramedic Dan Read, Recruitment Consultant Sam Price from THE ONE GROUP, Managing Director Tristan Drane of THE ONE GROUP and Magpas Doctor Sarah McNeilly mark this impressive fundraising achievement at the Magpas Operations Base
Cambridge, Peterborough and Northampton based recruitment specialists, THE ONE GROUP, visited the Magpas Operations Base recently with a great deal to be proud about! This company have broken their all-time annual fundraising target, by raising over £12,000 in a single event! This followed their eighth annual corporate Lifesavers Golf Day where, almost one hundred business representatives gathered at John O' Gaunt Golf Club, in Sandy. This brings THE ONE GROUP's grand fundraising total to over £50,000 - all for Air Ambulance Charity Magpas.
On 3rd July this year, 88 golfers from businesses across the region and beyond took to the fairways. THE ONE GROUP Managing Director Tristan Drane and his team always make sure the costs from the golf days are covered, so that all monies donated go directly to Magpas. Tristan and his colleague Sam Price came to present their cheque to the Magpas team today and said, "We are honoured to have supported Magpas over the last eight years, to watch the organisation grow, gain well deserved recognition - and know that even more people have been treated with crucial care in the Eastern Region".
Many companies involved supported the golf day by sponsoring holes and by also making generous donations to the event's silent auction. Recruitment Consultant Sam Price from THE ONE GROUP spent a huge amount of time organising the golf day and pointed out, "We are immensely grateful to all who paid to take part on the day. Everyone put their hands in their pockets to make the event happen and demonstrated huge generosity".
Head of Communications at Magpas, Antonia Brickell, summed things up by saying "THE ONE GROUP team have been and continue to be outstanding supporters and loyal fundraisers. To raise over £12,000 in one day alone is, I think you'll agree, very impressive work! We feel privileged to be their chosen charity and are extremely grateful for the £50,000 Tristan and his staff have raised for us over the years. The money donated will help Magpas continue to bring lifesaving care by land and by air 24/7, to patients in life threatening situations, in the East of England and beyond".
Notes on THE ONE GROUP:
• The ONE GROUP has six specialist divisions including Accountancy & Finance, Executive, HR, IT, Office and Technical
• THE ONE GROUP work in the commercial and public sectors
Bedford – The Interchange Park (Kempston)
Luton – The Mall
Cambridge – The Guildhall
Peterborough – Queensgate Shopping Centre
Chelmsford – Anglia Ruskin University
Southend – The Royals Shopping Centre
Stevenage – Stevenage Leisure Park
Downham Market – Town Square
Norwich – The Forum
Bury St Edmunds – Arc Shopping Centre
Ipswich – Ipswich Town Hall Forecourt
Looking forward to seeing you there!
PHOTO CAPTION: MD at AG Motors, Aaron Ginn, with the Magpas Helimedix team, the Magpas Air Ambulance and the new-look and totally revamped Magpas van!
Take one dilapidated old van, a dedicated Cambridgeshire mechanic, an 'A-Team' of talented vehicle technicians and the outcome can be inspirational!
In November 2013, the Managing Director of AG Motors in Papworth Everard, overheard that an events van was urgently needed for lifesaving charity Magpas Helimedix, so he offered to step in and help them out. MD Aaron was only 21 when he set up his business in 2009, "I originally opened the garage for retail and grew the business, now I support the Ambulance Service and deal with other fleet work. Because I work with the emergency services, I really respect the specialist work Magpas does. Knowing that my children or anyone in my life could need Magpas Helimedix at any time, I wanted to assist them in the best way I could".
Ever determined, Aaron Ginn then set to work finding a suitable four wheeled solution. Then in March last year, he found a 2002 transit van which also happened to be Magpas's official charity colour, orange! Aaron explains, "The van was pretty much scrap and ready to finish its life", but he still decided to buy it, before setting AG Motors the challenge of giving it some serious restoration. Approximately 60 hours' worth of elbow grease and over £10,000 have since been spent on the tired transit.
A year later, it looks almost as good as new! Aaron says, "Yes, we've revived it and it's finally roadworthy". He went on to say, "The biggest test, other than finding the time to work on the van, was the rust which was eating the metal away! I'm proud to say that all 10 members of the AG Motors team got stuck in and worked on the van at some point". Recently the new-look, orange mean machine was driven over to the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base, where Aaron handed over the keys to the Magpas Helimedix team on shift.
Asked how he felt about this pivotal moment, he replied, "I'm really happy with the outcome, after everyone's commitment, now's the time for the van to shine". Aaron ended by saying, "This is a real milestone for me; from leaving school, to running a business, to getting to the stage when I can do something like this - it's given me a real sense of achievement".
The Magpas van is now out on the roads across Cambridgeshire and beyond, so you can see the fruits of AG Motor's labour for yourself! Antonia Brickell, Head of Communications at Magpas, summed things up by saying, "The AG Motors team have been truly inspirational! Once Aaron assigned himself to the project of finding a van for us and giving it a new lease of life, there was no stopping him! We are immensely grateful to him for his dedication to the cause. You'll see the van out and about at big fundraising events, we'll also be using it at training courses as well as for moving medical equipment from the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base to the Magpas Fundraising HQ".
Magpas Helimedix Chief Pilot Richard Eastwood, Lucy Frazer, Heidi Allen and Magpas Helimedix Dr Tom Odbert, with Magpas Paramedic Ash Richardson in the helicopter, during a visit to the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base
Two local parliamentary candidates, Lucy Frazer and Heidi Allen, have been getting out and about across Cambridgeshire during their familiarisation with the local area. More recently, both women decided to drop in on their local lifesavers, Magpas Helimedix and East Anglian Air Ambulance, to find out what goes on behind the scenes at these crucial organisations.
Lucy Frazer is the prospective Conservative candidate to succeed Sir Jim Paice (who is retiring) in South East Cambridgeshire (including Haverhill and Newmarket). Heidi Allen is the prospective conservative candidate in the running for what was previously Andrew Lansley's seat in South Cambridgeshire. They were given a tour of the operations bases at Magpas Helimedix in the morning and then East Anglian Air Ambulance in the afternoon. During the visits, the political candidates were introduced to the specialist doctors and paramedics on shift. Heidi and Lucy were given a detailed insight into the enhanced level of care both organisations bring to seriously ill or injured patients, by air ambulance or rapid response car in Cambridgeshire and the East of England.
When asked to give their thoughts about the day, Lucy Frazer explained, "East Anglian Air Ambulance and Magpas Helimedix do such a tremendous job on behalf of our communities. Talking to the doctors and paramedics, it was clear that they were passionate about the work they are doing. I am delighted to support their service".
Heidi Allen added, "It's no wonder the public are so supportive of organisations like Magpas Helimedix and East Anglian Air Ambulance. To hear the crew talk about their experiences and the people they have saved is truly humbling". Heidi summed things up by saying, "All in a day's work for the team, but so much more than that to those who have needed their help. They are dedicated to offering the very best lifesaving skills in the region and that is something they should be very proud of".
Photo caption: Magpas Helimedix volunteer Paramedic Simon Standen receiving the fundraising cheque from last year's Bygones and Organs event.
The 23rd annual Little Downham's Bygones and Organs Extravaganza will take place on 28 March 2015 in aid of Magpas Lifesavers, the charity that provides emergency medical care to those with life threatening injuries.
The event, founded by Trevor and Linda Brown, will take place in Little Downham Village Hall on 28th March from 13:00 – 17:30. Every year this fantastic event attracts people from far and wide, coming together to show off their musical organs and to display treasured collectables.
Trevor Brown said, "There will be lots of organs present, plus bygones, models, vintage cars and tractors. We are hoping that this year will be our most successful yet and we have set ourselves a target of raising £2,000. As always we are very proud to be supporting Magpas. Their lifesavers do a wonderful job and deserve the support of everyone across the region, and we will keep organising this event for as long as we can."
Debbie Florence, Head of Fundraising, said, "Mr and Mrs Brown and all their fellow organisers are such dedicated Magpas supporters, they work so hard every year leading up to and on the day of the event. Bygones and Organs have raised an amazing amount for Magpas over the years and we can't thank everyone enough for their continued support and we wish them a successful day."
This year will see Bygones and Organs Extravaganza's biggest ever raffle, with prizes kindly being donated by both the people and businesses within the community. Entry fee is £2.50 for adults and £2.00 for children and senior citizens. Refreshments will be available.
Contact Trevor and Linda Brown: 01353 778830 for more information.
Last updated: October 24, 2017
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