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Air Ambulance Receives Boost From Friary Guildford Band

Playing Christmas music in and around Guildford has enabled Friary Guildford Band to present a cheque for £1,275.65 to the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. Receiving the cheque on behalf of the Trust, volunteer David Gillham told Friary players: ‘It costs over £6.5m each year to keep the Air Ambulance flying - £2,500 per mission - and this area covers much of the M3 and M25 where the helicopter is often called to road traffic collisions. Because we rely almost entirely on public donations, every contribution is vital and we are extremely grateful for this support from the Band.’

‘The Band has always played Christmas music to raise funds for charity,’ explained Friary’s Secretary, Lauren Straker. ‘Seven years ago, we decided to collect for the Surrey Air Ambulance. Little did we know that, only four months later, one of our cornet players, Chris Powell, would need their services after the forks on his mountain bike snapped, leaving him unconscious, with a broken neck and other injuries.’

Chris Powell takes up the story: ‘Fortunately, I was airlifted by the Air Ambulance from Bisley to the Royal Surrey County Hospital.’ ‘When the doctor told me how bad my injury was, my natural reaction was to nod and he said, ‘No, don’t do that, you’ve broken your neck!’ ‘I feel incredibly lucky that their speedy intervention helped me to make a full recovery.’

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