Tuesday, June 23, 2015
A leap of faith for London’s Air Ambulance
Earlier, Larry Lamb had taken the plunge and that obviously meant that the abseil would be a doddle. “No sweat, I’m Jackie Chan’s stunt double,” I joked with the ladies at registration.
I got to the Royal London after Friday Jumuah prayers with my mate Dulal who lives with Strauss Gurg Syndrome. No lunch today because of Ramadan so we hopped it to Shahjalal Masjid in Duckett Street. (Friday bucket collections since the 80’s and still operating from a ramshackle Portakabin).
We joked about what lay in wait for me and Dulz said he hoped I didn’t get stuck halfway down. After prayer I took our customary selfie and dropped him home. When I got to my car and emptied out the boot I realised that I had forgotten my jeans. A mini crisis was averted as I called on Dulz again. We rummaged through his immaculately lined wardrobe and found a pair of green trackie bottoms. “That’ll do me fine thank you,” I yelped with glee as I went into save the planet mode.
I arrived at the Royal London where I met Mina – Our Harry Gosling legend. Mina is a regular volunteer in the London Air Ambulance shop situated within the Royal London. I had been conscious of a sore wrist which insists on lingering (4 weeks now) but it was all fine. I was geared up quickly, escorted with the group to the top by lift and took the plunge. As I was about to descend I did slip when hopping off the edge to land on the glass and second scaffolding pole. It left me clumsily dangling off the edge and must have looked so dramatic to those watching below. The instructor abseil gentleman expert guy was terrific, steadied me and I was offski. It took a quick few minutes and I found myself thinking of what activity to do next and what we could eat to break our fast that evening. As part of my performance I kicked my legs in a cycle motion, did star shapes and swivelled round in a panoramic gesture to impress the watchers below.
I grew up in the shadow of the Royal London Hospital and the whirring helicopter has been and still is a vital everyday feature of my life and the lives of many Londoners. London’s Air Ambulance is a smashing charity. The helicopter is based on top of the Royal London Hospital and this building itself holds poignant memories for me. My brothers and sisters were born there, and also my nephews, nieces and my three sons."
London’s Air Ambulance delivers an advanced trauma team to critically injured people in London, serving the 10 million people who live, work and commute within the M25.
A second chopper is essential and the total cost of acquiring and sustaining a second helicopter, and extending daylight flying hours over five years is £6 million.
The charity hopes to be in a position to have a second helicopter operational by the end of this summer.
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Posted by Number 7 at 11:53