Three local charities have been shortlisted for The People’s Charity at Airbourne this summer, with the public being asked to vote for their favourite.

The Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex, Chalk Farm Hotel & Learning Disabilities Centre and You Raise Me Up are all in the running for The Airbourne People’s Charity, with voting now open.

The charity receiving the most votes will benefit from a share of the donations at Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow, which returns from 17 – 20 August.

Two other charities – chosen by the Rotary Clubs of Hailsham and Sovereign Harbour – will also share the money collected, with the remaining 70% going towards funding the flying displays at the free four-day show.

Airbourne has generated more than £100,000 in donations to local charities to date and organisers hope this year to raise even more.

An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “Thank you to all those who have nominated or applied so far, we have had an incredible response. 

We look forward to showcasing the brilliant work of our Airbourne 2023 charities and hope the public will dig deep and donate to support their good work, and to help keep the airshow flying too.


Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex

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.

It costs £16.6million a year or £45,000 per day to be there for those most in need of the intervention of expert medical crews, with 87% of the charity’s total income raised through the incredible generosity of supporters.

Over the past three decades KSS has been tasked to more than 40,000 incidents, saving lives and improving patient outcomes from the skies above Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

KSS brings the emergency room to wherever it is most needed, delivering lifesaving, critical care.  2022 was the busiest year in the charity’s history, with its highly skilled team of doctors and paramedics attending more than 3,200 missions, 57 of which were within Eastbourne.

It would be an honour to be chosen as The People’s Charity for Airbourne in 2023. We fight every day to save lives but can only do so thanks to the support of the public. The opportunity to be part of such a prestigious event really does mean a great deal to me and all at the charity.

David Wright, HEMS Paramedic with KSS

Chalk Farm Hotel & Learning Disabilities Centre

Chalk Farm Hotel & Learning Disabilities Centre in Willingdon trains and supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism in a realistic work environment. Students attend weekly between one and five days and learn everything there is to know about horticulture, hospitality, or both.

Based at the fully functioning Chalk Farm Hotel in Willingdon, the hospitality students train in housekeeping, serving, customer service, cleaning, kitchen work, wedding preparation and more.

The horticulture students work in the hotel gardens and student-made allotment maintaining the gardens, growing their own produce, learning about wildlife, looking after the wildlife pond, creating the brand-new secret garden and so much more.

The goal is that the students can go out and gain a career. However, students also improve on social skills, communication skills, independent living skills and confidence. There are no time or age limits on the programmes as Chalk Farm Hotel LDC believes that everyone should be able to work at their own pace.

Chalk Farm Hotel also hosts many events such as adults with learning disability party nights, which are open to all and not just Chalk Farm Hotel students, to community coffee mornings. The hotel also hosts garden parties, fayres, sponsored walks, weddings and more.

The charity is non-profit so relies on donations, student funding and events.

To be chosen as the People’s Charity for this year’s Airbourne would be a privilege. The support we would receive would really benefit the adults with learning disabilities and/ or autism that train with us. Seeing our students progress in their confidence, social skills and independent living skills as well as gaining the experience they need to go out and gain a career make us so proud. All donations would be appreciated and be spent on benefiting the students with their future training.

Tina Warner CEO of Chalk Farm Hotel LDC

You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up was established more than 10 years ago to support families that have suffered the death of an adult child between the age of 16 and 25 in the local area.

Through its support centre and community coffee shop in Polegate, the charity offers practical, emotional, and financial support to families, providing a 24-hour mental health crisis helpline, one-to-one specialist counselling and peer support groups – all provided by people with the shared lived experience of the loss of a young adult.

We provide compassion, support and simply to be able to say, ‘We totally understand’, rather than ‘We cannot imagine what you are going through’.

We aim to relieve isolation of grief and bereavement, to build resilience and confidence to enable the bereaved families to move on with their lives – to thrive and not just survive.

We have provided these services since 2011 and helped over 300 families who remain in our care for as long as they need.

Our whole-family approach supports surviving family members and friends to work through the unimaginable grief and pain of losing a child. We support the whole family – and increasingly friends.

Our support is not limited to the cause of death or time of loss. Our support groups are open to bereaved families regardless of the age of the child or length of loss.

Our community café and support centre in Polegate is open to everyone in the community as a safe place to relieve social isolation and loneliness while enjoying great coffee and amazing cake. 

A signposting service is available to everyone needing support giving free guidance, advice and help.

Leesa Pattison, You Raise Me Up’s CEO

How to Vote

Voting is now open online at, voting closes 30 April.

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

70% of all donations made between now and August will fund the flying displays at the show, while 30% is split between the chosen People’s Charity and the two Rotary charities, still to be announced. 

People can donate towards Airbourne now at