Tuesday 3rd September 2019
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) welcomed Jason Fox – former Royal Marine Commando and star of SAS: Who Dares Wins – to the Charity’s Airbase in Thruxton, Andover, on Monday 2nd September.
The visit coincided with the recent launch of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance online Wellbeing Programme, designed to give the paramedics, doctors, pilots and dispatch assistants who make up the Charity’s Critical Care Teams the tools to monitor and enhance their own mental health and wellbeing by completing an anonymous monthly survey. The programme was recently shortlisted in the ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ category at the annual Third Sector Awards 2019, celebrating the achievements and innovations of charities throughout the country.
Fox recently completed a 2,000-mile unsupported expedition across the wilderness of Alaska and the Yukon trails, championing and raising money for The Royal Marines Charity, The Special Boat Service Association and Rock2Recovery. Causes close to Fox’s heart, the charities provide mental health interventions and support for existing and ex-service personnel, with a significant focus towards supporting those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Having met members of the Charity’s Critical Care Team, Fox was guided through the Wellbeing Programme, learning of the impact it is having on the teams. Fox commented:
“Having seen first-hand the devastating impact that exposure to traumatic events can have upon an individual’s mental health, I was blown away by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Wellbeing Programme. Breaking the stigma associated with mental health, it offers an often-needed life-line to those whose job it is to care for others.”
The programme was developed by Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) doctor, Matt Kerton, who commented:
“There is nothing that can prepare us for what we come up against every day and we regularly attend life changing incidents that stay with us long after our shift finishes. Every incident is different, every patient is different, and a situation can change in a split second. In that moment we are wholly focused on keeping our patient alive.”
Alex Lochrane, Chief Executive Officer at HIOWAA, added:
“They put themselves out there every day and face situations that are unimaginable to us. I am really proud that we can now offer them a platform to see support and advice, should they need it, and I hope others will follow our example.”
For more information on Jason Fox’s expedition and fundraising, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/IntotheWild2019