The Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) has been named the Airbourne People’s Charity 2023 following a recent public vote.  The life-saving charity will receive a share of the donations collected during bucket collections at this year’s international airshow. 

The collections during the free four-day event – from Thursday 17 August to Sunday 20 August – are organised by Hailsham Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour, and they have chosen their own charities, Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance and the Salvation Army, to also benefit from money collected. 

The three charities, which will support the show with volunteer collectors, will share 30% of the total donations with the remaining 70% going towards a fund to keep the airshow flying high. 

Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure, Accessibility & Community Safety said, “I am delighted that the Air Ambulance, which does such vital work locally, has been chosen by the people of Eastbourne to be the Airbourne People’s Charity. 

“The council is looking forward to working with the Air Ambulance as well as Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance and the Salvation Army, at Airbourne later this year. 

“The public’s support of these three charities means they will receive essential donations to continue their valuable work, as well as supporting the future of Airbourne.” 


As an independent charity at the forefront of helicopter emergency medical services, Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) is reliant on the support of communities to ensure it can operate the life-saving service. 


Kelly Heaton-Ralph, KSS Executive Director of Fundraising & Philanthropy said “We are absolutely delighted to have been voted the Airbourne People’s Charity for 2023. A huge thank you to everyone who voted for Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) and for Eastbourne Borough Council for the fantastic opportunity to be part of such a prestigious event.  

KSS plays a vital role within the communities we serve, attending life-threatening emergencies that can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. We’re here for millions of people across Kent, Surrey and Sussex – saving lives when every second counts.  

It costs over £45k a day to run our life-saving service and, as an independent charity, most of that is funded by the public. Being voted Airbourne People’s Charity means a great deal to us at KSS and really will make a huge difference – helping us to raise vital funds and awareness. We cannot wait to see you all there!”   

Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance, selected by the Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour, is a charity working with the local community, aiming to improve the quality of lives of people living with dementia, as well as supporting their families, friends and carers. 


Jenny Eldridge, Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance Trustee said “We are delighted that the Rotary Club of Sovereign Harbour nominated us as their charity of the year and that we will be joining them with the collection buckets throughout Airbourne. It is a wonderful event and it’s always a pleasure to welcome so many visitors to our wonderful town.” 


The Eastbourne Citadel is part of the worldwide Salvation Army, a Christian church and charity selected by Hailsham Rotary Club. It has been actively involved in alleviating poverty, suffering and injustice for over 130 years.   


Captain Mark Kent from the Eastbourne Citadel Salvation Army added “The Salvation Army provides a safe place for people to socialise, meet others and receive various kinds of support.  We offer various services for rough sleepers, including the provision of food and a hot drink, as well as shower and laundry facilities.  There is computer access, advice and support given, and signposting to other agencies as needed.” 

With Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow returning this summer, visitors are being asked to help keep the event flying high by supporting the event ahead of the airshow extravaganza.  

People can donate towards Airbourne now at with 70% supporting the flying displays and 30% split between the three charities. 


For more information on Airbourne visit