Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex Chair wins prestigious national Trustee award

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is delighted to announce that Barney Burgess, our Chair of the Board of Trustees, has received the Trustee of the Year Award at the highly respected national Air Ambulances UK (AAUK) Awards of Excellence. The awards were held at Select Car Leasing Stadium, home of Reading FC, on 30 November 2023.
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Barney has been a valued member of the Team KSS since he became one of our patients in 2015 after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst out running.

Keen to support the charity that saved his life, Barney was appointed as a KSS Trustee in 2017, becoming Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2021.

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During his time with KSS, Barney has been closely involved in key developments such as the introduction of our Prevention and Education Programme, the establishment of our Patient and Family Aftercare Team and our KSS Young Ambassadors initiative.

Barney  TV presenter Hayley McQueen and Christopher Bush of Round Table GreatBarney  TV presenter Hayley McQueen and Christopher Bush of Round Table Great
Barney TV presenter Hayley McQueen and Christopher Bush of Round Table Great

David Welch, Chief Executive at KSS, said: “This award is thoroughly deserved. Barney is a valued member of Team KSS and I’m extremely grateful for the guidance and support he has given to my colleagues and I. During his time with KSS he has provided exceptional governance and leadership expertise, enabling KSS to go from strength to strength.

“His highly regarded business acumen and powerful empathy as a former patient means he has been a huge inspiration to me and countless other members of Team KSS. He has enabled us to continually improve on the delivery of our lifesaving service, and his passion and commitment to research and innovation has enabled us to firmly establish our world-leading reputation – all helping us to save even more lives.”

David added: “I’d also like to congratulate Captain Blaine Ashurst, who was shortlisted for the AAUK Lifetime Achievement Award. Blaine, who retired recently after 25 years of flying for KSS, has played a vital role in the development of KSS over many years, including our expansion to flying 365 days a year from five days week and the creation of our service in Surrey and Sussex which meant we were able to serve a larger population.”

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Barney Burgess said: “"I am delighted and flattered to have been selected as the Air Ambulances UK Trustee of the Year. KSS is an outstanding organisation and the credit for this award should really go to the whole Board of Trustees, the Executive Team, and every other member of Team KSS, who have all worked tirelessly in contributing to our purpose to save lives and ensure the best possible patient outcomes. Their innovation, dedication and collaboration is taking KSS from strength to strength, and I couldn't be more proud of that."

The AAUK Awards of Excellence 2023 celebrate and recognise the specialist life-saving skills and commitment of those working tirelessly within and in support of the air ambulance community. Winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at Select Car Leasing Stadium, home of Reading FC, on 30 November 2023. For a full list of winners visit the AAUK website.

Get into the Christmas spirit by joining KSS for our Carol Concerts at Rochester (8 December), Arundel (15 December) and Guildford (18 December) More information: aakss.org.uk/events. To support the charity’s Christmas appeal visit: aakss.org.uk/together.

Looking further ahead, step into the New Year with purpose and join Team KSS for Run 31 (aakss.org.uk/run31) this January and make every step count. By walking or running 31 miles, you'll be helping to save lives in your community.