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93 %
raised of £1,100 target
by 28 supporters
Holly Keyser avatar
Holly Keyser

Holly's page

Fundraising for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

93 %
raised of £1,100 target
by 28 supporters
  • Event: Holly Keyser's fundraising

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

We provide a Helicopter Emergency Service to the people of Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Charity Registration No. 1106234




Hi, I’m Holly, a 29 year old female, police officer, vegetarian, really bad joker, non-marathon runner with abnormally long arms!


I was at work the other day (November 2010!) and after spending my day scraping dog dung off my shoe having searched yet another house that required me to wipe my feet as i left the house, I decided that enough was enough!


Now, I don't have a problem with people living in their animals excrement but it was at that particular moment that I felt like the time was right to do something more... something better and more challenging.


So, I told my sergeant “I think i’m going to go and have a little look at the world. Can you authorise a career break for a few  years!?”

The response i got was “What took you so long, you’re always b*ggering off around the world anyway!”


Career break.... Sorted! 


So... that night i thought to myself “I don’t just want to take off around the world, turn into a hippy with dreads and friendship bracelets. I want to come back having achieved something.

I am already quite happy with my ‘ inner self ’ and I know where I am so I don’t need to go off and ‘ find myself ’ either!


I love extreme sports, fundraising, running, exploring, learning and of course traveling.

So I thought, “i know... I’ll travel, achieve something and raise a little bit of dosh for a cause close to my heart!”


The Master plan...


26 countries

351 miles


Sounds easy right?...  Well chuck in a load of this...


Extreme altitudes

Extreme Heat

Extreme Cold

Significant landmarks 

Unusual parts of the world

Some dodgy places

Me on my own

A total lack of sense of direction

And obviously the fact that I have never done a Marathon before.


Start point = Stonehenge UK (Old UK landmark!)

End point = London Marathon (Lots of big and shiny new landmarks...if I survive!!!)


How it works...


First country I run one mile,

Second country I increase the distance to two miles,

Third country I increase the distance to three miles,

Forth country I increase the distance to four miles,

And so on until i reach the full twenty sixth country where I will run the full 26 miles in the London Marathon.


Again, Sounds easy, right?




I’m self funding my way around the world in order to achieve my goal and having to pretty much sell my soul on Ebay to do it! (combined with obtaining working visas in Oz and hopefully some other countries incase the funds run dry.)

I will have to plan each run according to the weather, terrain, altitude, temperature, and safety. 

For instance I can’t pick my twenty first country in a country like Bolivia as it’s in high altitude and running 21 miles would probably kill me!!! Although I will have to run a fair distance there regardless.


It will be a test of self belief, inner strength and body ability.  Limits of which I have never attempted to reach before.


I am trying to raise money for a local charity that most people would never have considered donating money towards as it is specific for one county in one country.

I’ll be on my own for most of the running unless I can raise awareness of my campaign and convince people to hop on board for the odd mile or two, but other than that, running across the great white salt flats is going to be pretty bleak and lonely to say the least.

I am planning on documenting it with a video camera and photography which is pretty tricky by your self! 





Several reasons really.


Firstly to raise money for Hampshire Air Ambulance and that’s all explained further down this report.


Secondly, to test my body to it’s limits. 

I am 30 next year and I feel like I haven’t seen what my body can really do yet. 

I want to know what it feels like to be exhausted to the point of tears, I want to feel how my body functions in extreme heat and extreme cold. I want to understand how I will cope in high altitudes. I want to feel like I have really achieved something that I can talk about later on in life.


Thirdly, I think the UK medical system is easily criticised and I intend on visiting places that don’t have the luxury of a decent ambulance, let alone an air ambulance.  It is important to make people aware of how lucky we really are.


Fourthly, I am sure there will be times throughout my travels when I may need medical assistance, so when / if that occurs I would like to get treated where the locals get treated. 

I heard an amazing story about a man in Mongolia that had a fly hatch an egg into his eye so he went to a local witch doctor who fixed it by placing a slab of meat on his eye to draw the maggot out... perfect sense that I think we sometimes lack in this country.


Fifthly (If that’s even a word!) To travel the word of course and to see as much as I can of the real world and not just the areas that a country wants me to see. 




Take one 29 year old girl (yes, i’m in my 20’s so i’m still a girl!)

Take 351 miles in every earthly condition going.

Add in NO marathon experience and a small charity that is insignificant to the population of most places...


And you get


How long will it take?


As long as it takes...! Maybe two years to get around 26 countries, travel a bit and work to try and keep funding it.


I will have left my job, taken all of my savings out, sold my lovely new car, sold my soul on Ebay, re-homed my cats (you have no idea how hard that is!) and I will be leaving my friends and family to go it alone for a long time.(even harder!)


I will document myself running past / through / in / around landmarks specific to each country where ever possible.


I will do a promotional awareness campaign with the aid of videos of my challenge, photos, blogs, Facebook, You Tube. 

I will include as many people in my challenge as possible like Army, Police etc to try and get more interest if I can.


The logistics will be complicated but I will run through as many borders as possible and I will be Couchsurfing (check it out online, it’s a great option) to save on money and to raise awareness where ever possible. 

Hopefully the couch host will assist me in the filming for each run. (otherwise I rely on my long arms, or general public and having to revert back to chasing criminals if they run off with my camera!!!)


If I can get people from other countries or other travellers to run with me on the odd run, then even better.




Raise money for the Hampshire and IOW Air ambulance

Run the London Marathon where I will be reunited with my friends and family at long last

Meet great people

Document an awesome film showing my stresses and strains of training for a marathon with the added extra of a round the world trip.

Run amongst some of the worlds most significant landmarks.

Prove to the UK that we are so lucky to have such a resource like an air ambulance and persuade them to keep donating towards it.


Finally, try not to die!!! 


What do I need from you...?


Support and encouragement throughout.


It will be fun, tough, hectic, probably dangerous in some places, but most of all interesting.

Why Hampshire Air Ambulance?

Having been a police officer for nine years now I have experienced many an occasion when Hampshire and Isle of White Air Ambulance have attended. 

It is always an impressive sight, however I never fully appreciated the necessity of this resource until one day at work.


I had just started my tour of duty when I was deployed to a road traffic incident whereby a car had collided with a motor cyclist.

Myself and my colleague arrived only moments after we were deployed to it.


There was total carnage on a busy and dangerous main road, and in amongst it all I could see the rider of the motor cycle strewn in the road with a male attempting to commence CPR. 

I immediately assisted and for approximately 27 minutes I conducted full chest compressions on the rider while my colleague breathed for the male.


The public were eagerly watching in hope and anticipation as we continued with our efforts to bring him back. 


“Where was the ambulance?” 


I was exhausted, my arms, chest and back were cramping and I could feel the riders ribs cracking with each compression due to the amount of time I was working on him, combined with his extensive internal injuries.


“Where the hell was the ambulance?” was all I kept thinking.


After what seemed like a lifetime, I felt the downward draft of the Air Ambulance as it was coming in to land.


The sense of relief that I felt upon seeing it was something that if i could give only one person then I would be happy. 

I can’t even begin to describe it.


The crew (volunteer crew I might add) were amazing as always and worked hard to try and save the rider, but despite all of our efforts we were unable to bring the rider back. 


It was a traumatic and exhausting experience for all of us involved, the member of public, the police and of cause the ambulance crew.


It was after that moment I learnt that Hampshire and Isle of  Wight Air Ambulance has no funding other than from the publics pockets. 

Those people who respond to the buckets being shaken outside of supermarkets. Those people who are prepared to ride a few miles on a bike to raise money and so on.

It was explained to me how often the Air Ambulance is used and the expectations of the crew (volunteer crew) and the skills that they can offer people in need.


So, at a time that the NHS were unable to supply the rider with an ambulance due to there being none available within a reasonable distance, the Air Ambulance were able to attend and assist me in trying to save the life of a 26 year old male.


How lucky are we to have that facility? 

How long would I have been waiting if they hadn’t been able to attend or if they didn’t exist? 

And how can they convince people to continue with their donations month upon month, year upon year when it costs in excess of £110,000 per month just to keep it airborne. 


There are thousands and thousands of charities for causes as important, and more so important than the Air Ambulance, so why would anyone from outside of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight dips their hands into their pockets to help? 


Maybe if I create a challenge to raise awareness worldwide, document it in a fun and interesting way and push the human body, my body to it’s limits in conditions and countries that will never have such a resource, people might be willing to respond and help.


We are so fortunate to have such a resource and I hope that the you, the reader, is never in a position where they will need it.... but what if you needed an ambulance and there wasn’t one available? 


You never think that it going to happen right?  


It does.


I can recall at least three occasions where I have been called to attend a medical emergency because ‘they had run out of ambulances’. It scares the hell out of me as a police officer so imagine the face of the guy having a heart attack when he sees me walking into his house to help him. It almost gave him another one!!!


So, in a nutshell(!), this is my plan, my reasons, why ,who’s, where’s, and when’s. 


Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.


If you want to be part of it just get in touch, I would love to have you onboard... 


Thanks to all of those who have and who continue to contribute to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.


Holly x




  • Decision time photo!