London Gatwick has today announced its local and national charity partners for the next two years.
Following a Gatwick staff vote, St Catherine's Hospice has been selected as the airport's local charity partner, while Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust has also been selected as a charity partner by the airport's senior management team.
St Catherine's Hospice is based in Crawley, West Sussex, and provides end-of-life care and support to terminally ill people and their families across Crawley, Horsham, East Surrey and Mid Sussex. Gatwick has already enjoyed a two year partnership with the hospice, which has helped raise more than £113,000 since it started. The charity is so close to the hearts of many Gatwick staff members that it was voted for again, for another two years.
As an independent charity, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust provides a 24 hours a day helicopter emergency medical service, responding to patients who have suffered trauma or serious medical emergencies across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The charity relies on fundraising and donations so its doctor and paramedic teams can deliver all the skills and equipment of an A&E department to critically ill and injured patients.
Together the two charities will join Gatwick's longstanding charity partnership with TravelCare, which has served alongside the airport's terminals since 1986. Based in the South Terminal, the charity operates seven days a week, all year round and helps around 2,500 passengers every year. Each day the Gatwick TravelCare team helps to resolve a wide range of welfare issues including missed flights, passport irregularities as well as providing emotional support.
Gatwick Airport's Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and Sustainability, Tim Norwood, said: "Our staff are passionate about supporting and fundraising for all of our charity partnerships and it is great they were able to have a say in selecting our local charity partner for the next two years. We look forward to supporting these incredible organisations which do vital work for those in need, across our local community."
St Catherine's Hospice Chief Executive Officer, Giles Tomsett, said: "We've really enjoyed working with everyone at Gatwick Airport for the past two years, we've loved your enthusiasm and incredible support so far. Bravo team! We're looking forward to seeing this partnership go from strength to strength, it's been a real team effort. We can't thank you enough for choosing to support your local hospice going forward."
Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust's Chief Executive, Adrian Bell, said:
"None of us know when we could need this vital service, so this partnership is a great opportunity to raise funds and share our message with many people. It's incredible to think of the difference this partnership will make to the community. We are very much looking forward to getting started."
Gatwick TravelCare Manager, Linda Comber, said: "On behalf of Gatwick TravelCare, I would like to sincerely thank Gatwick Airport for the continued support of the charity. Because of this kindness we can continue to provide assistance to vulnerable and distressed passengers, offering compassion and practical help.
"At Gatwick TravelCare we strive to help all those in need. Every day passengers turn to us for help and it is only through the kindness and generosity of supporters like Gatwick Airport that we can provide our services and have a positive impact on so many difficult situations. Thank you for helping us to do this."