An air ambulance charity has bought a second helicopter for its lifesaving work.

Air Ambulance Kent Sussex Surrey made the purchase  following a successful fundraising campaign.

It launched the Buy It For Life appeal in April in a bid to save money on leasing helicopters.

The appeal raised £1.77 million, with supporters donating £1 million in just six weeks.

David Welch, chief executive, said: “Taking ownership of our second helicopter is such an important milestone for our charity and for the millions of people living across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

“It means that we have now secured the future of this lifeline for our communities to ensure that we can get our lifesaving crews to where they’re urgently needed 24/7, 365 days a year.

“The cost saving will also enable us to improve and develop our lifesaving service, including being able to fly for longer and in more challenging weather conditions as well as grow our Patient and Family Aftercare Service and introduce more community-based prevention and education activities. 

“All of these incredible advances in the development of our lifesaving service have only been made possible by the remarkable generosity of so many thousands of people right across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and we are all so incredibly grateful to everyone for their support.

“It will mean we can be there to fight for the lives of even more people experiencing sudden critical injury or illness. It means, together, we will save more lives.”

By purchasing the helicopter, the charity will save £500,000.

KSS is offering the opportunity for people to get their or a loved one's name on the new helicopter for a £100 donation. 

The team, made up of dispatchers, medics, pilots, non-clinical staff and volunteers, covers Kent, Surrey and Sussex and goes to more than 3,300 incidents annually. 

It has been attending critical emergencies for 35 years, totalling 40,000 incidents since its formation in 1989.

Eighty eight per cent of the charity's income is funded by donations.