Hot Topics January 2020

Fiona welcomed 79 members and 2 guests. Before reading out notices and voting on Resolutions Fiona introduced us to Nick Beecroft, volunteer with the London Air Ambulance, who gave a very interesting talk about this amazing service.

London Air Ambulance was formed in 1989 – over 30 years ago. They serve greater London within the M25 and are based at Royal London Hospital Whitechapel and their aim is to get to call outs within 11 minutes – the first hour is crucial and is called the “golden hour” when the casualty has the best chance of survival.

They go to anywhere they are needed and are available 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year. The helicopters and rapid response cars are equipped with almost everything you would find in a Resus unit in a hospital and have on board an advanced trauma care team that go out to extreme traumatic casualties where anything from amputation, anaesthesia, lung inflation, blood transfusion and REBOA (Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta) can be performed on the road side. Only 20% of callouts are taken to hospital by London Air Ambulance.

In 1993 the London Air Ambulance performed the world’s first open heart surgery at the roadside. In 1999 rapid response car and night time operations started. In 2005 London Air Ambulance had royal recognition for response to 7/7 bombings and in 2012 they were the first UK air ambulance to carry blood on board for transfusions. In 2016 they received a Pride of Britain award and in 2019 Duke of Cambridge became Patron of London’s Air Ambulance 30th Anniversary campaign.

It costs 10 million to provide this service and over £2,000 per mission. They treat up to 5 people a day and in 2018 helped 1656 casualties. Sadly the highest percentage of incidents are due to shootings or stabbings.

Resolutions: The results from Monday’s voting are:

1. A call to increase potential stem cell donor registration 25

2. Female crash dummies 4

3. End modern slavery 30

4. Time to talk about death and dying 5

5. Protect our precious helium 3

Bring and Buy and Jam Sales: The Bring & Buy sale on Monday raised £137.84 for our Charity and the jams raised £18.50 for our funds. Thank you for all the donations and to the ladies who manned the stall. 

Quiz Night: Fiona mentioned the forthcoming Quiz Night on Saturday, 21st March at 7.30 St. Mary’s Church Hall, Merton Park. This is always a good evening and a chance to socialise. So do come, either on your own or, if you can, make up a table of 8. Tickets are £15 which includes a Ploughman’s Supper.  There will be a cash bar and profits will go to our charity, Stem4. Please contact Gillian if you would like tickets.

Salvation Army:  Included in the thank you letter from Emma (Captain) for the gifts and vouchers we donated she mentions she is running the marathon. The money raised will support their emergency relief, counselling for women who have left abusive partners as well as their new ‘Living Room’ community space in Mitcham town centre. If interested you can sponsor her at

Social Events: There are still spaces available for:

Cinema Museum, Friday, 21st February, £7

Overlord Embroidery – The D-Day Story, Portsmouth, Tuesday 31st March £28

Quiz Evening, Saturday, 21st March – £15 – includes Ploughman’s Supper

As usual please let Gillian know as soon as possible if you would like a place 

Wimbledon Crafty Ladies: Please note that the Crafty Ladies meetings will be held on the Friday following the monthly WI meeting. So the next meeting will be held on Friday 24th January in the upper restaurant at Ely’s Department Store in Wimbledon from 2.30pm to approximately 5pm.  Members are welcome to come to every meeting or just to attend now and again.

Subscriptions:   Subscriptions for 2020 were due at Monday’s meeting for everyone and are £43 for full membership and £21.10 for dual member (to their second WI). If you were unable to attend Monday’s meeting and want to renew your membership please bring your subscription to February’s meeting or, alternatively, post it to Wendy. If you are not renewing for any reason, please let us know and we will not chase you for payment!