20. Jul, 2016

The Henry Surtees Foundation

Last week I had the absolute honour of meeting a legend: John Surtees. He is considered a very special man. John Surtees OBE, Founder of the Henry Surtees Foundation, is truly unique in motorsport. Riding for the celebrated MV Agusta team, he won seven World Championships between 1956 and 1960. Then – with nothing left to prove – he made the transition from two wheels to four, winning the Formula One World Championship with Ferrari.

Me, I think he is special because he took the worst moment in his life and turned it into something positive. There is no doubt in my mind that John Surtees has saved lives through the Henry Surtees Foundation. Today happens to be the anniversary of Henry’s death but thanks to his Dad, it has become a celebration of life for many. Here is a glimpse of some of his amazing achievements:

 

  • The Henry Surtees Foundation  donated equipment to  the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS ) including thermostatically controlled boxes and blood warmers to enable them to deliver fresh blood supplies to the scene of life threatening accidents, and carry out roadside blood transfusions. GNAAS is the only air ambulance in the North of England to perform this life-saving procedure, which has been administered several times since its launch.

  • HSF are delighted to be able to assist with the funding of 6 specialised ‘brain chairs’ and accompanying equipment to The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust for use in Darent Valley Hospital. The highly specialised chairs will help with the rehabilitation of men, women and children that have suffered injuries to the brain such as stroke, accident or severe illness.

  • HSF has given a total of £131,000 to Headway in West Kent, which made the building of ‘Henry’s Studio’ possible. The Studio is a fantastic space used for activities, relaxation and training sessions, to help those who have survived a brain injury.

  • HSF support made possible the launch of a new blood transfusion service that will help to save lives and injury.

  • A unique partnership between HSF, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) is allowing the specialist doctor and paramedic team to carry out blood transfusions at the scene of medical emergencies. One of the first Air Ambulances to offer this service outside of London!

  • Two helicopters now have blood transfusion equipment, funded by HSF.

  • Two Honda CRV cars, also funded by HSF, are able to transport blood in special temperature-controlled containers to the Air Ambulance bases at Marden and Redhill on a daily basis and in all weathers.

  • HSF are delighted to be able to assist with the funding of 6 specialised ‘brain chairs’ and accompanying equipment to The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust for use in Darent Valley Hospital. The highly specialised chairs will help with the rehabilitation of men, women and children that have suffered injuries to the brain such as stroke, accident or severe illness.

 

About The Foundation

Inspired by Henry, his experience, and in celebration of his life; HSF aims to:

  • Assist people with brain or physical injuries caused by accident to return to community living by the provision of support for equipment and facilities;

  • Provide education and training associated with motorsport-related programmes in technology,  engineering, and road safety instruction for two and four wheels;

  • Act as a resource for young people up to the age of 18 by providing advice and assistance and organising programmes of physical, educational and other activities in order to:-

  • Advance young people in life by helping them to develop their skills, capacities and capabilities so that they can participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals;.

  • Advance their  education; and

  • Relieve unemployment.

Please visit his website at http://www.henrysurteesfoundation.com/ .

There are a number of ways you can support HSF – organising your own fundraising event, or getting sponsored to do almost anything, is a fantastic way to have fun and raise money; at work, at school or university, with your friends, or with your local sports club. Whether it be baking cakes, a cream cracker eating contest, a tug o’ war or a swimathon – we want to help you make your event a huge success.

It takes someone very special to achieve the impossible and John Surtees has certainly done that.