Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has reported that 2022 has been the busiest year in its 33-year history.

Between 1st January 2022 and 31st December 2022, the charity’s crews of pilots, doctors and paramedics responded to 3,224 incidents, 64% by helicopter and 36% by Rapid Response Vehicle. 1,353 of the call outs were to incidents in Kent, 757 to Surrey and 947 to Sussex.

Road Traffic Collisions accounted for the highest number of missions, followed by medical emergencies and accidental injuries. The majority of patients were under 60 years of age.

Delivering world-leading pre-hospital emergency care 24/7 to the most critically ill patients across its region, it costs £15.2M each year for KSS to operate its life-saving service and with demand at an all-time high, the charity is urging people to support its January fundraiser, Run 31, and help raise vital funds

KSS Needs Your Support: Take Part in Run 31 in January 2023

Run 31 is a fitness challenge for people of all ages and abilities to run or walk a minimum of 31 miles by the end of January. Participants can do this fundraiser wherever and however they would like! Regular walkers or runners can set themselves an even harder challenge, doubling or tripling the 31-mile target and completing either 62 or 93 miles throughout the month of January.

KSS’s CEO, David Welch, who regularly takes part in KSS’s fitness fundraisers, is challenging himself to complete 105 miles across the month, the equivalent of four marathons.

David Welch comments, “KSS provides a vital life-saving service, bringing the emergency room to the scene of an incident and delivering the best possible outcomes to patients in need of critical care. Sadly, the demand for our service is at an all-time high and we need to keep fundraising in order to keep our service fully operational 24/7.”

“86% of our total income is donated and raised by our supporters and we are so incredibly grateful for the support we receive from our local communities – we would not be able to save the lives that we do without the generosity of our supporters and volunteers.

“We are now urging people to kick-start the New Year with a fitness fundraiser so that we can continue to save lives. On behalf of team KSS, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Gatwick Airport for sponsoring KSS’s Run 31 in January 2023.”

He continues:

“I am taking part in Run 31 myself, to start the year with a new challenge that’s great for my fitness and wellbeing whilst also raising much needed funds. I hope people across Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex will sign up for Run 31 and set themselves their own personal fitness challenges. We are so thankful for all amounts of sponsorship raised. All fundraisers who reach a fundraising target of £150 will be sent a medal from KSS to thank them for their achievements in raising vital funds for our life-saving charity.”

Graham Beswick, a former KSS patient, and his wife, Sarah, from Greenhithe in Kent have previously taken part in KSS’s Run 31 – and have signed up for the fundraiser.

Graham said, “Having done Run 31 for the past two years, we were pleased to see it running again this year (pun intended!!). It’s such a great way to start the year, doing something active (which means we can eat lots of Christmas food feeling less guilty) as well as raising money and awareness of the amazing Air Ambulance Charity KSS.  It’s a daunting prospect as we usually complete it in 5km runs and we are not regular runners but the feelings of achievement and pride soon outweigh the apprehension. Good luck to all of you, we’ve got this team Run 31!”

Sign Up for Run 31

Sign up for Run 31 via the KSS website, via KSS’s Run 31 Facebook Community or kick-start your Run 31 journey by creating JustGiving fundraiser here. All participants will be sent a free T-shirt.

.Here’s how your fundraising could help:

  • £300 could buy enough aircraft fuel for one helicopter mission
  • £95 could buy a box of five sets of tubing for our ventilator, helping patients to breathe when they have been anaesthetised
  • £43 could pay for a ‘nose balloon’, which is used to stop bleeding when a patient has fractured their face

For further information, please visit

About Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS)

Operating out of Redhill Aerodrome and headquartered in Rochester, KSS provides world-leading pre-hospital emergency care whenever and wherever required to save lives and ensure the best possible patient outcomes. When the call comes KSS can reach any part of Kent, Surrey and Sussex in under 30 minutes, bringing the emergency room to the scene to deliver life-saving care.

KSS was the first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the country to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In March 2020 KSS became the first HEMS to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in all five of its inspection key lines of enquiry: safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In September 2020 KSS won the Charity Times Charity of the Year Award (income more than £10M) and in September 2021 KSS won Kent Charity of the Year and CEO David Welch was selected as Charity Times’ Charity Leader of the Year Award 2021.

Each year, the charity must raise £15.2M to operate its life-saving service. 86% of its total income is raised through the generosity of KSS’s supporters. For further information: