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01 July 2024

Independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame has named Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) as its Charity of the Year for 2024/25.

KSS is the local air ambulance charity for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. KSS’s helicopters are flying emergency rooms for millions of people who live in and travel across Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex 24/7, 365 days a year. When there’s a life-or-death call, they bring specialised doctors, paramedics and treatment to the scene, fast.

It is Shepherd Neame’s fifth Charity of the Year partnership following the relaunch of its Sheps Giving charitable arm in 2018. The Sheps Giving Committee, which oversees Shepherd Neame’s charity initiatives and donations, will be working closely with KSS to organise fundraising and promotional activities at the Faversham Brewery and across its 300-strong pub and hotel estate throughout the next 12 months. 

These will include a pledge to donate 50p from every Kids’ Meal Deal sold on its Menu for Minis to KSS. Working with the charity Pennies, the digital charity box, Shepherd Neame will also be inviting customers drinking and dining at selected pubs to make a 25 pence donation when they spend over £25 by card. Every penny given goes to charity: 90% to KSS and 10% to Pennies. 

Shepherd Neame has already got its fundraising for KSS off to a great start, as 22 team members, including Chief Executive Jonathan Neame, took part in the recent Lake District Ultra Challenge. Setting off from Kendal they ran, walked and jogged 100K, 50K or 25K, raising almost £8,000.

During the partnership KSS will also be helping to organise education and prevention-focused activities in Shepherd Neame pubs and hotels. This will include activities such as CPR awareness training around Restart a Heart Day in October this year, helping to create more lifesavers in communities across the region. There will also be fun-packed quiz and bingo nights.

Jonathan Neame said “When choosing our new Charity of the Year partner for 2024/25, we wanted to work with an organisation that really makes a difference to the communities we serve, and KSS does just that. 

“When I recently visited their Redhill site to meet Chief Executive David Welch and his team, I was incredibly impressed by their passion, skill and dedication. Every pound that Shepherd Neame donates to this fantastic charity will literally help their team to save more lives, so we will be doing everything we can to raise as much money for them as possible. We are really looking forward to working with KSS during the coming year.”

David Welch, Chief Executive of KSS, said: “We are delighted and extremely proud to be partnering with Shepherd Neame, a highly successful, locally based business that shares in our values and proudly supports the communities we both serve. We’re looking forward to working closely together to raise vital awareness and funds for our lifesaving work, as well as helping to equip and train Shepherd Neame employees and customers with skills such as CPR so that together we can save even more lives.

“It costs over £51K per day to operate our lifesaving service, and as a charity we can only keep flying and saving lives thanks to the generosity of people right across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We are incredibly grateful to Shepherd Neame for supporting KSS and we’re looking forward to working with everyone at the company and its customers over the coming year.”

Find out more about Sheps Giving at   

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