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Wed, Dec 26, 2012

'New Wave' Musician Helps Found UK Children's Air Ambulance Service

Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon Raising Funds For Ongoing Operations

Simon Le Bon (pictured), lead singer of the New Wave group Duran Duran, has recently turned his attentions to a new venture. The father of three has helped to found a non-profit air ambulance service to transport critically ill children to medical facilities in England and Wales.

The pop star began working in October to help raise money to get the service, called The Children's Air Ambulance (TCAA), up and operating.

The Stratford Observer reports that after raising an initial £545,000 ($886,000 U.S.) before flying its first mission, the service would need to raise another $217,000 per month for ongoing operations.

Le Bon said in a news release announcing the service that it is "desperately needed throughout the UK - each year, thousands of seriously ill children need urgent care at specialist hospitals. However, at the moment, they can face long road journeys, which could be detrimental to getting the lifesaving help they need. "This service relies completely on charitable donations from the general public. It is my intention to do all I can to raise the profile of TCAA and to help raise the money that is so crucial to keeping the service running," he said.

The Air Ambulance Service Chief Executive Andy Williamson said "we have the helicopter, the pilots, and the team, and we're ready to go."

Williamson said that the organization is funded entirely by donations, with no government funding. Operating under the umbrella service of The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS), The Children's Air Ambulance will benefit from the extensive medical, aviation and core fundraising expertise gained through the running of TAAS' existing helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS); the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

(Photo provided by TAAS)

FMI: www.thechildrensairambulance.org.uk/

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