Jack raises hundreds for chopper charity

A WEST Chiltington schoolboy who raised money for Sussex Air Ambulance was treated to a behind the scenes tour by the life-saving charity.

Jack Algar, 12, and his father Stuart, 41, of Copse View, cycled the whole of the South Downs Way to raise funds for the charity based at Dunsfold Aerodrome, near Cranleigh.

Their epic journey started on Friday August 11 at the King Alfred statue in Winchester, Hampshire, and finished 21 hours and 103 miles later in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

The Rydon Community College pupil raised £330 and was invited on a guided tour of the MD902 Explore aircraft, whilst learning about the work of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) from pilot Matt Tacon, Doctor John O’Neill and paramedic Adam Heywood.

A spokesman said: “The charity relies almost entirely on the generosity of the people, businesses and charitable organisations of Sussex so we are there when they need us.

“Each mission costs between £1,500 and £2,000 and the money kindly raised by Jack and his father will go towards the general running costs.”

Living on the South Downs, Jack has seen the helicopter quite often, as it is called out when access is an issue.

He was told by the crew that the helicopter flies an average of two to three missions a day and has attended more than 450 calls so far this year, with 40 per cent being road accidents, as well as accidents involving injured horse riders, mountain bike riders and gliders.

After presenting the cheque, he was given a die-cast model of the Sussex Air Ambulance as a thank you for his fundraising efforts.