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Festive cheer helps fund life-saving work

17th Dec 2019

The inaugural Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) carol concert at Rochester Cathedral has raised more than £10,000 to support the charity’s life-saving work.

Held on Monday, 16th December, the sell-out event featured a mix of readings and carols in a festive celebration of the charity’s 30 years on the frontline of medical care.

The service was overseen by the Reverend Canon Chris Dench, Vice Dean, the singing was led by Rochester Cathedral Choir with the Cathedral Director of Music, Francesca Massey, conducting and Cathedral Assistant Director of Music, Jeremy Lloyd playing the organ. A Year 9 student, Lauren Ellis from Rochester Grammar School, read her winning entry from a competition to write a festive poem incorporating the work of the air ambulance.

AAKSS Chair Helen Bowcock said: “It was a beautiful service in a wonderful building that dates back nearly 1,000 years and has been a site for Christmas celebrations for even longer.

“It was lovely to see so many people come together to celebrate both the festive season and the work of Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex. The money raised will help ensure we can continue providing our life-saving service as we enter our 30th year of serving the community.”

Among the more than 800 people at the service were the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Habib Tejan, the High Sheriff of Kent, Paul Barrett MBE,  and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Bhargawa Vasudaven DL.

The carol concert, which was sponsored by Countryside Properties, raised £10,100 in ticket sales and sponsorship. Further money came from a retiring collection and the sale of paper baubles with space to write personalised messages for hanging on the AAKSS Christmas trees at Rochester and Redhill.

The inaugural Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) carol concert at Rochester Cathedral
The inaugural Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) carol concert at Rochester Cathedral
The inaugural Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) carol concert at Rochester Cathedral
Carol Concert - AAKSS Paramedic Ben Macauley