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Runner announced for our silver bond place in this year's London Marathon

23rd Mar 2021

The London Marathon is Britain’s biggest annual one-day fundraising event, and over the past sixteen years more than 100 participants have chosen to support KSS, raising in excess of £50,000 for our charity. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has been part of this, to the runners and also to the many thousands of people who have generously supported KSS through sponsorship. Your support is helping us to save lives.

2021 marks a special year for the Virgin Money London Marathon and also for KSS. Following the success of last year’s virtual London Marathon – arranged when the traditional event had to be cancelled in response to Covid-19 – organisers have decided to bring it back this year, enabling even more people to take part. On Sunday 3rd October, 50,000 runners in the virtual event will join a record 50,000 participants running the traditional Marathon, from Blackheath to The Mall, making this the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world. 

And for KSS, this year is particularly special as we have a silver bond place. Determined from the outset that the London Marathon would be an important fundraiser for charities, each year organisers allocate places for charities. A silver bond place means that a charity is guaranteed a place once every five years, and we are delighted that Sam Smith will be our silver bond runner in this year’s traditional event.

Sam and his family have supported KSS over a number of years, having had direct experience of KSS’s life-saving service. In 2009, Sam’s father suffered serious burns from a bonfire. With no road access to the scene, KSS’s specialist pre-hospital emergency medicine doctor and critical care paramedic were dispatched by helicopter, so that Sam’s father could receive vital treatment quickly. The KSS team then transported Sam’s father by helicopter to the Burns Unit at Broomfield Hospital.

Following several weeks spent in hospital, thankfully Sam’s father made a good recovery, returning home and then returning to work. 

Sam, who with his family visited our former base in Marden in 2010, said: “My family and I have been and always will be forever grateful. Even those words are an understatement on how we all feel 12 years later. In 2010, my brother Tom organised a charity football match and created the 'Bluebook', in which we collectively raised £4,000 for KSS. It has been a dream of mine to one day raise even more through my own efforts. My aim is to raise enough to pay for my Dad's flight.”

“I love playing and watching sports (particularly football and tennis) so my best avenue to do this would be through some sort of physical challenge; I decided that it would be the London Marathon! For the last ten years I have applied through the ballot but have had no luck, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that this year KSS actually had a place! I'm honoured to have been chosen and will give it my all, throughout my fundraising and on the day.”

“I'm also very happy to say that my Dad will be there on the day cheering me on - if that's not enough motivation to do it for KSS I don't know what is!”

Everyone at Team KSS will be cheering you on too, Sam! 

And Sam won’t be the only person running for KSS in the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon. This year, our KSS London Marathon team also includes 12 runners who secured places through the ballot and seven runners who will be taking part in the virtual event, running the 26.2 miles on a course of their choice.

Helene Poursain, Director of Fundraising and Events at KSS says: “To each of you and to everyone so generously sponsoring you, we send our heartfelt thanks.”

“Every year, our charity must raise £15M to deliver our life-saving service. 88% of this is raised through public donations and fundraising events, like the London Marathon. We cannot do what we do without you, and with your support, together we can make sure we continue to be there 24/7 for the most critically ill and injured people across our region.”

If you have gained a place to take part in this year’s London Marathon and would like to support KSS, there’s still time! We also have three charity places available for the virtual event, registration to which is free, but you must pledge to raise at least £100. Please find further information here.

KSS is also delighted to have a number of charity places available for this year’s Brighton Marathon Weekend, taking place between 10th and 12th September. If you would like to take part, please contact our team via email community@aakss.org.uk or call us on 01634 471900. Find out more here.

We're delighted that Sam Smith will be our silver bond runner in this year’s traditional event
We're delighted that Sam Smith will be our silver bond runner in this year’s traditional event
Sam with his dad Stephen, who we helped in 2009
Sam with his dad Stephen, who we helped in 2009

Injury by burn can be life-changing and life-threatening. First aid on scene even before medical professionals arrive is vitally important and includes running the burned area of skin under cool water for 20 minutes.  However some patients require the advanced care that an air ambulance team can provide. We can administer high strength pain killers for patients with more serious burns and when necessary can support a patient’s breathing as this can at times be affected. Although most patients can be managed in their local hospital, some require transfer to a specialist burns unit which can be done by KSS from the scene.

Dr Duncan Bootland, KSS Medical Director

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