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Real People Saving Real Lives for

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Celebrating the best of Devon Summer 2012

Patient Stories Wonderful, wonderful service Bee sting causes terror for a family Lewis falls nearly 50 feet

Coast & Country The natural wonders of the south Devon coast Read the story of Olivia and Alfie on page 6 Registered Charity No: 1077998 Company No: 3855746 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 1

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Celebrating 20 years of saving lives Saturday 1st September 2012

Real Saving R People eal Live s for

Darts Farm Topsham

Exeter EX3 0QH

Devon A

ir Ambu lance Trust

11.30am - 9.30pm



The Official Magazine

Welcome from the CEO

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Contributors: Our grateful thanks to the following photographers: North Devon Journal Richard Lappas Keith Stone Tony Cobley Monty Hall Sharon Hawkins

And for contributed articles: Neil Devons Monty Halls David Fitzgerald

Production Team: Consultant Editor: Producer: Editor: Designer:

Neil Devons Heléna Holt Debbie Gregory Lovegrove Design & Photography Printing & Distribution: Pollards

Hello and welcome to our special Summer 2012 celebratory edition of Helipad, marking 20 years of service since our first flight on 27th August 1992 We have come a very long way since then! From the launch of one helicopter, flying only when the Trust had sufficient funds, to two permanent, bespoke, helicopters operating an extended service flying up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week. We will be celebrating this wonderful landmark on Saturday 1st September and very much hope you will join us. See opposite page for more information. Devon’s Air Ambulances operate for the benefit of all the people of Devon, whether resident or holiday-maker, young or old. It is funded entirely by donations and it is only thanks to you,

We will be celebrating this wonderful landmark on Saturday 1st September our supporters, that we have reached this significant milestone. We are very proud of the charity’s achievements to date but will not rest on our laurels. We have a vision to extend the service even further and, with your continued support, we know that this is not just a pipedream. Thank you for all you do to help keep the service flying, we simply would not be here without you.

Editor’s news Thank you for all your feedback from our first edition of Helipad, the magazine The new style has been very well received and it is rewarding to know that our stories and articles are both informative and emotive. At Head Office, we only hear about our ex-patients if they or their families contact us directly and, in reality, we only know about a fraction of all those we have helped. Remarkably, TWO of our stories included here, not only happened on the same day, but the emergency calls came in simultaneously.

You can read about little Mabel on page 16 and how Lewis survived a fall from Hound Tor on page 23 – how lucky are we to have two Air Ambulances! You can also see how the Air Ambulance has helped two related families in Beesands. Our thanks also go to Monty Hall for his revelations on the wealth of natural wonder in and around Dartmouth and to Noel Harrison for his tales of a very colourful life! 01392 466666

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Contents 3

Welcome from the CEO & Editor’s news


Heléna Holt and Debbie Gregory welcome you to Helipad


Cover Story – Happy families

Three-year old Mabel needs a critical transfer from Torbay to Frenchay


Cousins, Alfie and Olivia, have both had urgent need of Devon’s Air Ambulance


Patient Story – Bee sting terror

National Air Ambulance Week How you can support your local air ambulance service


Jennie Bond – Quiz Queen Former Royal Correspondent is still happily raising funds for the Trust

Ian Downing’s last sip of drink causes terror for the family


Patient story – Poorly Mabel

Fundraising – Glyn and Paul take on London Marathon An emotional, chance reunion raises funds for DAAT


Jurassic Cycle Challenge – 6 guys, 210 miles, 1 Bike A challenge with a difference for the guys from The Star Inn at Liverton


Patient story – Beach wall fall Jen Germ ends up in hospital after an afternoon on Sidmouth beach


Coast & Country – The natural wonders of the south Devon coast Monty Hall shares why he has settled so happily in Devon

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Photographic Competition Success See just some of our winning entries and order a stunning calendar


History of Devon Air Ambulance Trust


A six-page special following 20 years of DAAT, including our founding story and the first patient we ever airlifted


A Wandering Minstrel Consultant Editor, Neil Devons, catches up with the multi-talented Noel Harrison

Patient story – Lucky Lewis! Lewis McNaughton fell nearly 50’ – and lived to tell the tale


Motorcycle Ride Out 2012 – A roaring success Teignmouth welcomes a record number of participants at this year’s event


Junior crew Our young supporters share their stories


Businesses on Board See how business support helps the Trust


Patient story – Not a bark, a growl or a whimper Nine German Shepherds behave impeccably as helicopter lands nearby


Devon People Community fundraising from around the county


Operational News Operations Manager, Nigel Hare, outlines just some of the aircrew training


Lottery Hamper Winner


Westward Ho! couple win luxury hamper


A Day in the Life Personal profile of community fundraising staff member – Laura Board

Lifelong ambition finally realised


Chay Farzaneh’s determination pays off in the end


Keeping in touch Star letters, facebook updates and tweets

Other ways you can help How you can donate to keep our air ambulances flying


Back chat BBC Radio Devon presenter, David FitzGerald shares his thoughts on the Olympic torch and a trapped cat!

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Cover Story

Olivia’s older sister, Ellie, with paramedic Nigel Lang, Alfie and Olivia and paramedic Paul Robinson

The most wonderful, wonderful service

Parents often comment on how quickly the health of their children can go up or down, playing happily one moment and very unwell just minutes later. One mum, Danielle Steer, tells the story of her daughter, Olivia. “My daughter was airlifted from the village green in Beesands, near our home in the South Hams on 23rd April. She had been fine in the morning but went downhill rapidly in the afternoon with a high temperature, a sore throat and stiff neck, blue hands and I couldn’t rouse her when I phoned 999. I thought a land crew would turn up – I certainly

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wasn’t expecting the air ambulance! The guys were amazing; they were wonderful to both my daughter and to me. I was so relieved that I was able to fly with her – I’d never been in a helicopter and wouldn’t say I love flying, but Olivia was far more important than my concerns about being in a helicopter. We were flown to Torbay Hospital and Olivia was kept under observation before being discharged the following day. She was suffering from a particularly nasty viral infection, later diagnosed as Herpes, and we did have to go back to hospital a couple of days later as she still couldn’t drink or eat due to ulcers all over her tongue, but I’m relieved to say that she is absolutely fine now.” Coincidentally, this was not the first time that Danielle and her family had been aware of the Air Ambulance service. Five years ago, when Olivia’s cousin was just eight months old, he was airlifted to Derriford Hospital suffering from meningitis. Little Alfie was really very ill but the speed of the Devon Air

Ambulance response made a huge difference in getting the youngster to hospital just 34 minutes after the first call and 12 minutes after landing near the family home, also at Beesands near Kingsbridge. Alfie’s grandmother, Gillian, wrote after the incident to say: “With sincere thanks for the wonderful efforts and care of the Devon Air Ambulance crew when taking our 8 month old grandson Alfie to Derriford Hospital the week before Christmas. Alfie was very ill with meningitis but, due to the quick response from the Air Ambulance, paramedics and staff at Derriford Hospital, we are pleased to say he is making a good recovery. Thank you again from a very grateful family.” Danielle reiterated the family’s gratitude, “We have long been supporters of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, especially since Alfie was airlifted. We never dreamed we would need them again but when our Olivia became ill, I can’t tell you how grateful we are. To think that her illness was caused by the same virus as a coldsore; her symptons appeared the same as meningitis and it certainly scared the living daylights out of me – thank you for the most wonderful, wonderful service.”

Alfie Steer, aged 7 months, just prior to the meningitis which has left him deaf

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Sat 6t h & Su n 7th Octobe r 2012 8 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

On behalf of:


Patient Story

Ian with his grandson, 3 year old Freddie. Both were airlifted just four months apart

Bee sting causes terror for all the family Ian Downing was enjoying tea with his grandchildren at his home in Bradworthy one evening last summer when events took a very nasty turn for the worst. At the end of the meal, Ian took a final sip from his can of drink when he realised that he had more than he bargained for. As Ian spat out the drink, a bee also flew out and Ian’s daughter, Hannah, saw that the barb of a sting was still in her father’s tongue. Ian became aware of an immediate searing pain that ran from his mouth, through his jaw, behind his ear and into his head. He subsequently described the pain as “suicidal” and his wife, Sue, rushed to get him some anti-hystamine tablets.

The pain intensified even further, however, and, as Ian tried to get up to take painkillers, he remembers everything turning a vivid orange in colour before he collapsed on the floor, his body suffering a severe allergic reaction. His next recollection is of his wife giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation but he remembers nothing further until the paramedics arrived. Hannah called 999 and a land crew were on the scene within minutes. The Devon Air Ambulance helicopter was also called and the aircrew landed in a local field, with the paramedics being rushed to the house by a passing quad biker! After treating Ian at his home, the land ambulance then took him to the helicopter and he was flown by Air Ambulance to North Devon District Hospital where he was kept in overnight for fear of a recurrence of the symptons. Speaking some months after the event, Ian said, “Had I been on my own when this happened, I just don’t know how things might have turned out; it could have been so much worse. It was terrifying for my family too. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that I will always pour my drink from a can to a glass from now on!”

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A chance reunion

Glyn Avery’s path to crossing the finishing line of the 2012 London Marathon encompassed more than running over 26 miles on a warm April day. It involved high emotion, a near family tragedy, personal fortitude and a remarkable coincidence. Glyn Avery and Paul Robinson were great mates at school in Newton Abbot. But their paths took different routes when they left school and they lost contact. Many years later, their unexpected reunion was, at first, tragic.

first things I asked Paul was “Is Lucy going to die?” Paul just looked at me but didn’t answer and I knew that things were very serious.” Lucy spent over a month in hospital and, in Glyn’s words, “came out a very different wife, without speech or mobility.” In the long run The two families kept in touch and, after Paul ran the London Marathon in 2009 with Glyn helping to raise sponsorship, they decided to both apply for places in 2012 and began an intense training programme. A fundraising event was set up outside Trago Mills at Newton Abbot, where Lucy had worked when she collapsed, with the men running 36 miles on treadmills. The day went really well, with a total of £849 raised. Alfie, Glyn’s Yorkshire Terrier, was a star attraction waving his paw when donations were made in the bucket! Finally, the Marathon arrived and, with excitement and adrenalin, they ran the first six miles together before becoming separated amongst the runners. Paul waited for Glyn at the end and there was much celebration as Glyn crossed the finishing line.

It was November 2007 when Glyn’s wife, Lucy, suffered a brain haemorrhage and Paul was one of the Devon Air Ambulance paramedics called to attend her. The Air Ambulance had just conveyed Lucy to Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital when Glyn rushed into A&E and saw Paul. He couldn’t believe that it was his old friend who had looked after his wife. Glyn said: “It was a horrible time. One of the

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“It was so hard,” Glyn explained. “I could see the finish line about 600 yards ahead but I just didn’t have anything left. Thankfully, the crowd were amazing; they were so supportive. One guy was just yelling at me to keep going and it was the encouragement I needed. I just couldn’t believe I’d done it.” Between them, Paul and Glyn raised in excess of £2,280 for DAAT. Lucy, who has been back in hospital on numerous occasions since her collapse, said, “These past few years have really been a roller coaster but Glyn has been an absolute star for me. I am so proud of Glyn for running the Marathon, he’d never done anything like it before, it was such an amazing achievement.”

Six guys, 210 miles, ONE bike Star guys cycle on a specially built bike for six – all the way to Sussex Following their fundraising tandem challenge of last year, Darryl Cullen from The Star Inn at Liverton and a bunch of his regular customers set themselves a new challenge for the spring of this year. Out went the tandems and in came a bespoke, handbuilt bike – for six! After causing much interest around the lanes of Devon, they set off, along with their support team, on Wednesday 18th April, for their 210-mile ride following the Jurassic Coast to Rusper in Sussex. They battled the elements, overcame punctures, broken wheels and injuries to arrive ahead of schedule at the end of their three day challenge and they have every right to feel proud of their achievement! On their return to The Star at Liverton, they rode onto the red carpet to be greeted by their supporters, all of whom were proud to see their champions return home. The team of six, Darryl Cullen, Ryan Vallance, Simon Marks, Mike Rockey, Phil Mason and James Codner could not have completed the trip without the incredible support of Trevor Cox and Andy and Peter Miller from Commenting on the challenge, Lisa Leaman, Darryl’s fiancée and licensee of The Star, said “They really are Star Boys. So many people said it couldn’t be done and that the bicycle for six wouldn’t work, but it did! We are so proud of them; they were totally committed to seeing the challenge through to raise as much as they could for two fantastic charities, DAAT and St Catherine’s Hospice in Sussex. Our fundraising is continuing and we are still accepting donations from people if they would like to show their support.” Caroline Creer, Fundraising Director for Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said “We are all so impressed with this achievement.

We see loads of different and innovative ways that people fundraise for the Trust, but we have never seen a bicycle made for six before! Our thanks go to all the cyclists and the support team for their hard work and complete dedication to ensure this challenge was such a success. Well done everyone!”

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Coast & Country

The river where oak trees grow After years of travelling, television presenter Monty Halls has now set up home in Dartmouth and started his own eco-tourism business. He explains his Mission Statement is “To educate, celebrate and explore - to introduce as many people as possible to the wonders of a wild ecosystem.” Strangely enough, one of the questions I am constantly asked is “Won’t you find it a bit dull down here after all your adventures?” As this question is generally bellowed over the noise of an outboard engine with the backdrop of the craggy cliffs and inlets of the South Devon coast rushing past, the answer seems a bit irrelevant. My response is generally an expansive wave to the scene around me - a heaving sea, geology that is a testimony to the violent birth of the region, and marine life that compares to anything in Europe. The town sits at the head of a valley filled by the

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Monty Hall meandering leviathan that is the River Dart, which initially followed a natural fault line in the rocks before - over millennia - carving it’s own identity on this ancient landscape. The sides of the valley are cloaked in ancient oak woodland, from which the river and the town get their name. I am assured “Dart” is a variant of a Brythonic Celtic word meaning “the river where oak trees grow” - which presumably was shortened by frustrated ancient hunter-gatherers who were directing friends to somewhere nice to go on holiday “You know, that place by the river where oak trees grow? Oak trees? The big trees with funny shaped leaves. Yeah, that’s right, the town is at the entrance of the river. We call it “Theplacewheretheoaktreesgrowmouth”, but our branding people are working on a new name.”

After many years on the road I’ve finally settled in Dartmouth. Why? Well, it’s jaw-droppingly beautiful and it’s the gateway to the wild waters of the south Devon coast.

So let’s take a quick look at this coastline, at the vista that opens up as the boat passes the castles that guard the mouth of the Dart. The engines open up from a frustrated muttering to a full throated bellow, the bow lifts, and as we accelerate away from the river the coast opens up on either side, meandering to the east and west full of promise, adventure, heritage and mystery. So let’s look at the rock first. I’m no geologist I hasten to add, but I’m assured that much of what we look at from Dartmouth is mudstone, and is a cool 417 million years old. It’s been shaped by geological uplift, twisted by unimaginable forces to create folds and features. It looks rheumatic and pained, convulsed into inlets, caves, bays and rugged coves. These in turn have been assaulted by wind and wave, eroded and beaten by countless storms. We tend to think of the coast here as idyllic and tranquil - it is anything but. It has been shaped entirely by violence and erosion, an ongoing battle against the elements around it. Twisting along the top of the cliffs is the coast path. Depending on who you ask this is either 620 or 640 miles long - let’s just say for the sake of argument it’s a pretty lengthy ramble. Such is the nature of the terrain over which it passes, endless drops into beach and bay followed by puffing climbs to green summits, that to walk the entire path is the equivalent of ascending Everest four times. The path itself was created so the King’s Men could keep an eye on the villages along the

coast, trying to control the smuggling and subterfuge that went hand in hand with living in any remote coastal settlement back in the mists of time. Travel slightly north east from the river mouth and you come across the Mew Stone, a volcanic pinnacle that looks like something from a Tolkein fantasy. This impression is heightened by the fact that sitting upon it are the reptilian shapes of cormorant and shag, looking like pterodactyls as they dry their wings in the sunshine. Peering down imperiously from their nest sites - the very best on the rock and the equivalent of “the big houses on the hill” in any town - are the greater black back gulls. They nest

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in the same spot every year, to raise chicks that hatch later than the herring gull chicks as that’s what their parents use to feed them. Well, what else would you expect from the largest gull on planet earth? Edge the boat cautiously into the lagoon in the midst of the rock, and you’ll almost certainly be face to face with several grey seals. They live here, a permanent colony of one of our most impressive marine hunters. They can dive for thirty minutes to depths of up to six hundred feet. Those big brown eyes and whiskers are designed for one thing - to catch and kill fish in the gloom of deep water. They look undeniably cute. In fact, reach out and pat one. Go on. Just don’t expect to play the piano for a while, or open a jam jar, or in fact to do anything that requires fingers. Nosing the boat north we’re suddenly looking at Berry Head, a limestone promontory honeycombed with caves and caverns. This is a nature reserve, a nesting colony for fulmars and guillemots that is of national signifcance.

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A week ago someone saw a thresher shark breach in the waters off this headland, one of nature’s most remarkable creatures, a bullet of a body fired through the surface of the sea by that great sickle of it’s tail. Of course we tend to get very excited indeed about this sort of thing, but the thresher is just one of over twenty species of shark in our coastal waters the largest of which is the same length and weight as a double decker bus. As we roared towards Berry Head ourselves a few weeks ago, we were joined by an entourage of bottle-nose dolphins, spinning and jumping in our wake, contemptuous of our puny attempts at speed through the water. And so as we turn for home, I reflect on that oft repeated question “Don’t you get bored here after all your adventures?”. The answer is all around us. The Devon coast is a barrier between two worlds, a crackling border that is home to thousands of animal species and patrolled by great ocean predators. There is - I’m very pleased to say - a lifetime of exploration here.

Patient Story

Critical transfer saves little Mabel When Tracy Hill went off to work on Saturday 5th May 2012, she had no idea how the rest of her day would pan out. She had left her partner, Harry Munoz, looking after their two daughters, Izabella and Mabel. Izabella, aged 7, was at a party and Harry took 3-year old Mabel shopping. While they were out, Mabel mentioned that her head was hurting and said she felt poorly. By the time they reached home, Harry realised that little Mabel was obviousy feeling very unwell and he saw that her eyes could not focus. Harry called 999 as Tracy arrived home. The land-crew paramedic immediately began assessing their daughter and, following a few short questions and requests of Mabel, recognised that Mabel was suffering from a cerebral bleed and she had, in fact, had a stroke. Torbay Hospital’s MRI scan revealed the seriousness of Mabel’s condition and a Devon Air Ambulance was immediately requested to transfer her from Torbay to Frenchay in Bristol. The journey time by aircraft between the two hospitals is just 40 minutes and Mabel was sedated and prepared for the helicopter flight. Due to her critical condition, Mabel was put into an induced coma and a doctor and anaesthetist travelled with Mabel, with pilot Damien Irving and Devon Air Ambulance paramedic Chris Saunders, rather than her parents. After seeing their daughter taken to the helicopter, Harry and Tracy prepared to drive to Frenchay with their hearts in their mouths, not knowing what they would find. On their arrival, Mabel had an ICP monitor fitted, to check the pressure in her

“Without the expert care and attention and the speed with which Mabel was treated and transferred from Torbay to Frenchay, the outcome could have been so different. ”

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brain. Tracy explained that it was the longest hour of their lives as they waited to learn the outcome and relief washed over them when they learned that there was no swelling. It was still a waiting game, however, and for the next 24 hours Tracy & Harry sat with their daughter in Intensive Care. By Sunday afternoon, as Mabel was coming round, her parents worried that the stroke may have left lasting damage. Their fears were allayed and their hearts lifted when, after eating for the first time since the incident, Mabel declared “that was yummy yummy yum pops!” There was, however, evidence of a stroke in their little girl’s face and one side was definitely ‘droopy’ but the physiotherapy team reassured them that this would recover. The next challenge was to see if Mabel could walk and Tracy recalls the joy of seeing Mabel take her first faltering steps was even more rewarding than when she had learned to walk as a toddler. Mabel continued to make a good recovery and finally left hospital the following Friday. Further tests have revealed that Mabel has a heart murmur and she continues to have high blood pressure, for which she will be on life-long medication. Doctors are also considering fitting a stent to reduce the chances of any further strokes.

Despite the need for further treatment, the family are all delighted to have Mabel home and, seemingly, none the worse for her ordeal. Tracy said, “There are just so many people to thank. Without the expert care and attention and the speed with which Mabel was treated and transferred from Torbay to Frenchay, the outcome could have been so different. We really are so grateful to everyone who helped.”

Real People Saving Real Lives for

One Mile

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Sea Swim

Broadsands, Paignton 16th September 2012

You can enter online at

or ring 01392 466666

Entry Fee*


*With minimum of £30 sponsorship Registered Charity No: 1077998 Company No: 3855746

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National Air Ambulance Week

National Air Ambulance Week We’re proud to be part of the Association of Air Ambulances, which is a trade body set up to represent and give a national voice, not just to us as an Air Ambulance charity but also to those involved such as helicopter operators and Ambulance Services.

We’re working with other Air Ambulance charities on a national initiative, but very much at a local level, with an important key message of encouraging the public to ‘support your local Air Ambulance’. So, between 24 and 30 September we will be celebrating National Air Ambulance Week and we’d love you to get involved

DAAT’s PR Manager, Sarah Burden, pictured with Sir David Jason and help us make a difference! National Air Ambulance Week is supported by Sir David Jason and popular radio station, Heart FM. Maybe you could organise your own event – maybe a mufti day, cake sale or féte, or do something more daring like a parachute jump or sponsored swim? Whatever you decide to do, rest assured that all monies raised will stay locally, helping to keep your local Air Ambulance flying. To register your event or find out more about how you can help, please contact us on 01392 466666 or email

In Profile

Jennie Bond Royal Correspondent, Quiz Queen and Supporter of Devon Air Ambulance Trust

This summer’s Jubilee Celebrations witnessed an unprecedented outburst of national affection for Her Majesty the Queen and we all dined handsomely on a surfeit of all things Royal. So it will come as no surprise that our attention was drawn to former Royal Correspondent and inveterate DAAT supporter Jennie Bond. Helipad editor, Debbie Gregory, caught up with her. Debbie: What was your original motivation to support DAAT? Jennie: Since moving to Devon I had seen the Air Ambulance flying and learned that it was funded

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entirely though donations and began to understand just how important it is in the county. We live at least an hour by road to the nearest hospital and I realised that speed is vital in the case of an accident or illness. Debbie: What prompted your appearance in the Jungle? Were you ever tempted to do quiz or reality shows while working as Royal Correspondent? Jennie: I had been asked to do several programmes previously, and had done Little Britain and Have I Got News For You....but when I left the BBC I was asked to do ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’. I wanted to jump at the chance, but my husband thought it was a dreadful idea! So I asked my daughter, Emma, who was 11 at the time, who said, “Mum! You eating slugs out in the jungle, that would be well cool!” So the decision was made, with a bribe to my husband that if I came out with any money, he could have a brand new tractor for cutting the lawn at our home!

Debbie: If you could choose one member of the Royal Family to partner you in a Quiz, who would you choose? Jennie: Without doubt, I’d choose Prince William – he’s young with an understanding and knowledge of the young scene. He’s intelligent, articulate and he’s very personable. Debbie: Are there any shows you wish you hadn’t taken part in? Jennie: The Chase was dreadful! I felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Sometimes my brain and my mouth just don’t work together. With Family Fortunes I was asked “What comes out of a tube” – my brain said Smarties, but my mouth said Peanuts! But I don’t mind people laughing at me, and the show made £10,000 for DAAT so it was fine. Debbie: Can you share with us any of your most memorable times as a Royal Correspondent?

Debbie: How long were you out there and how did you find the experience? Jennie: I was out in Australia for about three weeks and yes, I absolutely loved it! There I was, a middleaged woman with a great sense of adventure – what’s not to love! Boredom was the hardest thing to cope with; it was something that I’d never had to deal with before. But I had a great time doing verbal battle with Lord Brockett – we disagreed on several matters so there were some ‘very lively debates’ between us. I was delighted to get through to second place, beaten by Kerry Katona, with Pete André in third – and I won £260,000 for Devon Air Ambulance Trust in the process. Debbie: You’ve since taken part in lots of different shows, have you enjoyed any one show more than the others?

Jennie: The years were made up of a series of extraordinary events. There were some crazy times and we were all on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But, undoubtedly, 1992 stands out – the Queen’s annus horribilis , that was just one thing after another – and 2002, when the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, but the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret both died. Debbie: You have raised such significant funds for Devon Air Ambulance Trust, you must be very proud. Jennie: I am really hoping to reach the £300,000 this year and yes, it’s great that I have been able to help. It was particularly gratifying that the funds from “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here” were used to buy a specialist navigation system for the aircraft. Debbie: Living in the South Hams, you see the Air Ambulances flying. Do you know of anyone who has had need of an airlift?

Jennie: Most of the shows I’ve been in have been a joy to do. It was ‘I’m A Celebrity’ that changed the British public’s perception of me, along with that of TV executives; I’m really not as posh as people think! A couple of shows that really stand out, though, are Stars in Their Eyes, when I became Debbie Harry (Blondie), Born To Shine and Posh Swap, when I became a toothy, widowed Brummie.

Jennie: Just recently I was having coffee with a friend, when the helicopter came and landed in the field just nearby. It was actually airlifting a friend of hers, though we didn’t know it at the time. I have seen first-hand just how quickly the aircraft can get from A to B, across this vast and difficult county, and know that time saved, saves lives. Long may the service continue!

Debbie: Who chooses your partner in a Celebrity Quiz?

And with that, Jennie had to dash away to her next appointment – to appear on Countdown...

Jennie: Sometimes the television company has an idea of who they want you to partner, and sometimes you can choose. With ‘Pointless’, I chose my nephew and we raised £40,000 for DAAT.

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Patient Story

Excrutiating pain from broken ankle Jen and her mum were enjoying a lovely day on Sidmouth Beach last September, making the most of some late summer sunshine. Jen is an avid sea swimmer and, having spent the afternoon in and out of the water, she left her mum on the beach while she went to get changed. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned. Along the beach, Jen climbed up on to the sea wall and, on jumping to the pavement just 18 inches below, she heard an almighty crack and fell to the floor. Wearing only her swimming costume and a towel, Jen was unable to move and the pain from her foot was excruciating. Luckily, some kind passers-by saw that Jen was in serious need of help and they called 999. A land ambulance crew was first on the scene and, seeing that the bone of Jen’s ankle was about to tear through the skin, they recognised that Jen would need emergency surgery and called for back-up from the Air Ambulance. The helicopter landed and aircrew paramedics, Eddie Bunday and Adrian Parker were soon on the scene. Despite the agony she was in, Jen was also concerned that her mother was still on the beach, completely oblivious to the commotion a short distance away. Between the emergency services, however, her mum was put in the picture and Jen was airlifted to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Wonford, for the surgery that she needed.

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“It all happened so fast,” explained Jen. “One minute I was just hopping over the sea wall to go and get changed, the next I was lying on the floor unable to move. It was so unexpected and I kept worrying who would tell my mum where I had got to. I was so grateful to see the paramedics, and so grateful to be airlifted to RD&E so quickly. Adrian and Eddie were just brilliant, even playing ‘good cop, bad cop’ when they told me what was going to happen at each stage of the journey!” Jen spent a few days in hospital, with pins fitted to her heel and ankle. A few months down the line, however, Jen is now walking without crutches and can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. “I will never forget the kindness and professionalism shown by both the land crew and the air crew on the day of my accident. It was a real privilege to go along to the Airbase to meet the guys again and I was glad to be able thank them both personally. I plan to carry on swimming and this year, hopefully, will be joining in the Agatha Christie Sea Swim to raise funds for Devon Air Ambulance Trust.”


Capturing Devon

Winners announced in Capturing Devon photographic competition Back in April we launched our first ever Photographic Competition. “Capturing Devon – at work, at rest, at play” inviting both amateur and professional photographers of all ages to send in the pictures they felt best summed up the natural beauty of our county. We were amazed and delighted to receive over 340 photographs, a veritable feast of images that captured all four corners of the county and the towns, villages and moorland in between.

Genera l: At Pla y WINN ER by Ju liet Pre nti


With corn fields and poppy fields, rough seas and gentle waves, surfing and fishing, wooded glades and stunning lakes, animals and plant-life, panoramic vistas and intimate close ups; our panel of judges were spoiled for choice. The panel, Western Morning News and professional photographer Richard Austin, television celebrity Jennie Bond, Sam Scott, from sponsors ATASS and our own Operations Manager and keen photographer Nigel Hare, were challenged with selecting just 12 winners and two highly commended photographs for each category. This was no mean feat but, sticking to the brief of “at work, at rest, at play”, they made their final decisions. Just some of the winning pictures can be seen here and these, along with all the winners and highly commended images will make up a stunning calendar with a winning image per month. Our thanks go to everyone who sent in photographs and to our panel of judges and sponsors. Details of how to order your own copy can be found overleaf.


At Rest W

INNER b y Rhian

non Phil


Profess tt Hodge

by Ellio Work WINNER t A s: 13 er nd U

ional : A t Rest W

INNER b y Tony C


Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 21

Capturing Devon Calendar Devon Air Ambula

nce Trust

Devon Air Ambula

Our winning photographs are now available as a stunning calendar, capturing Devon at it’s very best. To order your copy, priced at just £5.00 with £1.50 postage & packing, please follow the instructions below or buy at any of our shops.

nce Trust

Capturing Devon

To order your copy:


Name: ___________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Postcode:_________________________________________ Under 13s - at play

Devon Air Ambulan

ce Trust

Telephone - Home: _________________________________

nce Trust




Email: ___________________________________ 13


I enclose a cheque payable to Devon Air Ambulance Trust I wish to pay by credit/debit card, details below


1 New Year’s Day


s Kendall

Devon Air Ambula

Mobile: __________________________________________


- WINNER by Thoma





















January Saturday










Please do not send cash (Please complete details below) Visa



Issue No (If applicable)

Card number: Start date:

Expiry date:

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Or online via our website at Please note: We do not pass your personal details on to any third party If you do not already receive our Helipad magazine regularly and would like to do so please tick ❏

Real People Saving Real Lives for

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Devon Air Ambulance Trust Celebrating 20 years of life saving service How we started –

the Ceri Thomas Appeal In 1986, 18 year old Ceri Thomas was involved in a fatal collision, whilst out on his push bike. A road ambulance took him to hospital, but sadly he died later of his injuries. Ceri’s mother Ann asked the doctors at hospital if there was anything that might have been done to save her son. She was told the quicker a patient receives emergency medical treatment, the better chance there is of survival. After launching the Ceri Thomas Appeal and six further years of raising funds, the Devon Air Ambulance Service went into operation on 27th August 1992. At 11am on Thursday 30th July 1992 the Air Ambulance landed at Exeter’s Cathedral Green for an official launch and blessing of the helicopter and crew by the Bishop of Exeter. Ann recalls ‘The emotion was over-whelming. I, along with many others along the way, had achieved what we had set out to do. Ceri’s life had not been in vain.’

Finally, after six years of raising awareness and funds, the first Devon Air Ambulance helicopter landed at Exeter’s Cathedral Green for an official launch and blessing by the Bishop of Exeter

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 23



Ceri Thomas Appeal launched After the death of her son, Ann Thomas sets about raising funds for an Air Ambulance in Devon



Sharron Davies launches a larger, stretched Bolkow at

Junior Crew Club started


Gypsy Hill Hotel in Exeter

DAAT launches with Bolkow helicopter

Seven days a week flying

Spice Girls split 1st Harry Potter book released

Princess Diana died

Channel Tunnel Opens

Fire at Windsor Castle










24 Helipad - Celebrating 20 years of life saving service

Candle in the wind broke all records, selling 33 million copies

First patient to be airlifted

Dolly the sheep was cloned


Doreen Baker

Prince Edward marries Sophie Rhys Jones





DAAT Celebrates 10th birthday with an Air Ambulance Challenge

DAAT takes

delivery of an EC135 aircraft

– to visit all emergency

– enables a parent to

helipads throughout the UK

travel with a child


Bishop of Exeter blessing the helicopter 10 years on


DAAT launches a 2nd helicopter in North Devon – flies 5 days per week on a 6 month trial basis. Proved justified/essential in just 2 weeks

2003 Celebrity support for DAAT grows as television gardener, Tommy Walsh, visits ex-patient Jenny Buckle



A cycling accident left 17 year old Tom Staniford with similar injuries to those suffered by Ceri Thomas. Tom was airlifted to RD&E and, amazingly, went on to make a full recovery

Hurricane Katrina hits southern states of America

Facebook is launched

Foot & Mouth disease causes havoc throughout Britain

Saddam Hussein captured

DAAT Lottery starts







Helipad - Celebrating 20 years of life saving service 25



Princess Anne opens Joint Ops Unit at Middlemoor

DAAT becomes 1st Air Ambulance Trust to own a specialist incubator for premature babies

2nd helicopter in North Devon extends flying time from 5 days to 7 days and moved to Eaglescott


CEO HelĂŠna Holt joins DAAT

upgraded North Devon aircraft to an EC135


First turf dug at Eaglescott for purpose-built new airbase

Michael Jackson died





26 Helipad - Celebrating 20 years of life saving service

DAAT purchased bespoke EC135 and also

Woolworths closed its doors

Twitter is launched


The country’s 1st HEMS Team established


Barack Obama elected President of United States





Steve Ford Airbase opens at Eaglescott, named after our much-loved pilot, who was tragically killed in October 2008


January sees conclusion of BBC Radio Devon Air Ambulance Appeal – with funds of over £725,000 being reached

Real People Saving Real Lives for


DAAT’s 20th Birthday


Devon Air Ambulance Trust

DAAT extends flying hours to 14 per day during summer months

London Olympics

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Prince William marries Kate Middleton

BBC Radio Devon launches an Air Ambulance Appeal




Helipad - Celebrating 20 years of life saving service 27

Patient Story

First ever airlift Doreen Baker was the first patient to be airlifted by the Devon Air Ambulance, on the first day of operations, when she broke her ankle whilst on holiday in Devon and out for the day at Becky Falls.

Doreen Baker 20 years on

It was the first time Doreen had ever flown and, despite the intense pain she was in, she remembers it was all quite exciting. “I am so grateful to everyone involved; ambulance crew, helicopter crew, doctors and nurses. Through all my pain, it was quite exciting. I had to stay in hospital for a week, but to be the first patient to be airlifted was an honour. Thank you everyone on the 27th August 1992.�

Courtesy of Express & Echo

28 Helipad - Celebrating 20 years of life saving service

Patient Story

Climbing on Hound Tor nearly ends in tragedy Since moving to Devon six years ago, Lewis McNaughton, now 19, has had a love of Dartmoor; climbing and walking the hills and tors. All that nearly changed, however, in early May 2012, when Lewis, who was on a short break with the Devon Christian Youth Camp, lost his footing and fell over 40’ from Hound Tor. He smashed his face on the rocks en route and was unconscious before he hit the ground. His fall was witnessed by members of a local professional climbing group, also climbing on Houndtor, who rushed to his aid and called 999. Lewis was lying in a crumpled heap in a crevasse at the foot of the Tor. As the details were heard by the helicopter emergency despatch team at 999 control, Devon’s Air Ambulance was deployed, along with the Dartmoor Search and Rescue team. Help arrived just minutes later, with paramedics Kate Adlam and Nigel Hare on board the helicopter and pilot, Rob Mackie, skilfully landing the aircraft on the saddle between the two granite stacks of Hound Tor.

With his face covered in blood and one of his legs in a very strange position, they were hugely concerned for his wellbeing. Paramedics Kate and Nigel assessed his condition and administered pain-relieving drugs, before placing Lewis carefully, with the help of the guys from the climbing club and from Dartmoor Search & Rescue at Ashburton, on to a spinal board and into the waiting helicopter. Lewis was flown to Derriford Hospital where he remained in a drug-induced coma for a further 36 hours. Amazingly, despite the fears of all concerned, the injuries he sustained turned out to be less serious than expected; a knee-cap split into two, that was safely pinned back together, a chipped radial plate in his left arm and a broken nose. Four weeks later, Lewis called the Trust to ask that his thanks be passed to the aircrew that saved him. Nigel Hare was delighted to learn that Lewis was making such a great recovery and explained, “When we arrived we could see that Lewis had landed in a crevasse and he was in a bad way. The guys from the climbing club explained that he had fallen at least 40’ - possibly closer to 50’ – one minute he had been climbing alongside them, the next he had fallen to the granite floor below. There was a real risk that he might have broken his pelvis or that he may have sustained a serious head injury. It’s incredible that he fell from such a great height and didn’t suffer life-changing injuries.” Lewis is now back at college, continuing his studies for an Outdoor Leisure Course. He said, “I will continue to walk and climb on Dartmoor, but never again will I attempt to climb anywhere without the appropriate ropes, helmets and safety gear. I know that I am lucky not to have died that day. You guys are an absolute Godsend, I just can’t thank everyone enough.”

Lewis’s friends gathered round, horrified at what had happened.

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 29

Motorcycle Ride Out

Motorcycle Ride Out a Roaring Success The sun shone brightly for this year’s annual Motorcycle Ride Out in aid of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, which attracted a record number of bikers from all over the county and beyond. On Sunday 8th July, nearly 750 riders set off to enjoy the 80mile meandering route from Knowstone near South Molton to The Den in Teignmouth. As more and more bikes arrived on The Den, riders, residents and holidaymakers enjoyed entertainment with toe tapping rock and soul music by popular Devon bands, Thick as Thieves and 11th Hour. Three trophies were awarded this year; Best Classic Bike went to Andrew Legg of Paignton on his 37- year old Honda 400; Best Custom Bike went to Mark Benden from Exeter on his 1100cc Harris Magnum and Best In Show went to Peter Morrish, from Rattery near South Brent, on his bright orange Triumph X75. Caroline Creer, Fundraising Director of Devon Air Ambulance Trust, was at the event and said, “This was our 7th Motorcycle Ride Out and this year has been an absolutely resounding success. Huge thanks go to our motorcycle ride out committee for organising the route and the marshalls and to Teignmouth Resort Team for their fantastic support and help today. The motorcycle

30 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

community really recognises the benefits of the Air Ambulance service in Devon and this is one event of the year where they can really show their support. A great big thank you also goes to all the organisers, sponsors including Hel Performance and Gregorys Distribution, local businesses including Beachcomber and Riviera Café Bar, donors of raffle prizes and, of course, to everyone who took part and came along on the day.”


What a lovely surprise! Following a campaign to encourage new members, our canvassers have been out and about in the county of Devon inviting residents to sign up to Devon Air Ambulance Trust’s own in-house Lottery. From March 1st to June 15th the numbers of all new members were entered into a separate and special draw for a hamper of delicious products. Having joined in April, Mr & Mrs Nigel Alford of Westward Ho! were thrilled to learn that they were the winners of the luxury wicker hamper and were delighted to see that it was filled with all sorts of goodies and tasty treats. Tracy Owen, DAAT’s Lottery Team Leader, went up to North Devon to meet the couple.

the years and our local pub, The Village Inn, has been supporting the Trust ever since a fellow customer was airlifted some years ago. But we wanted to show our support on a personal level so we joined the Lottery. We actually have five lucky numbers each week and pay by standing order, so maybe that helped our chances of winning this hamper!” For your chance to win one of our regular weekly cash prizes, there are various ways you can join. You can complete an on-line form via our website on lottery; by paying through one of our many local cash agents (call us for a list of locations, or check out the list on our website as above). For just £1.00 per week, all numbers are entered into a draw and there are 13 winners every week, with a first prize of £1,350, two second prizes of £135 and ten further prizes of £50.

“What a lovely surprise - we only joined in April!” said Nigel Alford. “Obviously, we’ve been aware of the Air Ambulance over

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 31

Lottery Devon Air Ambulance Trust Lottery Form Please complete this form, plus Section A or B to advise us how you wish to pay. Please return this form to: DAAT Lottery, FREEPOST SEA14647, Exeter EX4 8ZY NOT YOUR BANK I confirm all members are 16 years of age or over. Signed



First name(s)






Why not double your chances with two numbers? Tick here for a second number The second number will be in your name unless you wish to assign the number to someone else. If so, please enter their name below: Mr/Mrs/Miss/Other

First name(s)


SECTION A - PAYMENT BY CHEQUE I wish to join the DAAT Lottery and pay by cheque

One Number Half yearly £26

Yearly £52

If you pay by cheque you will receive a reminder Two Numbers Half yearly £52 by post prior to your subscription running out Please find attached my cheque payable to DAAT Lottery for £

Yearly £104


To the Bank

I wish to join the DAAT Lottery by standing order

Please ensure you quote the following number on all correspondence

To (your bank/building society) Address


Name(s) of Account Holder(s) Sort Code

Account Number

Signature(s) Date

Please debit my/our account until further notice - I wish to pay the sum of: (tick one box only)

I wish my standing order to start on:

One Number

Two Numbers


£4.34 per month




£13 every 3 months


£26 every 3 months

Half yearly

£26 every 6 months

Half yearly

£52 every 6 months


£52 every 12 months


£104 every 12 months


Please debit my account and pay to: DAAT Lottery, HSBC Bank Plc, St Thomas, Exeter Sort Code: 40 20 29 Account No. 11377566 We would like to use the winners names and location in promotional material. If you do not want your name to be used, please tick this box Responsible person, C Creer of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, 5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NS. The Devon Air Ambulance Trust is the official Lottery promoter and is licensed by the Gambling Commission, no: 000-0005032-N-308657-001


Straightforward Expertise Coleman Insurance Brokers are proud to support The Devon Air Ambulance Trust by way of our specialist Charity and Not for Proot Insurance services. With offices in Poole, Southampton and having recently acquired Foster Leighton based in Exeter we are well placed to provide a well informed and local approach to Businesses and Private Individuals based in Devon. Established in 1928 with roots going back to 1903, Coleman Insurance Brokers is one of the UK’s longest established, truly independent insurance brokers. We provide services to local, national and global clients in a wide range of sectors. We have remained ercely independent to ensure that we do not lose sight of our clients’ needs. Our clients range from sole traders to multi-nationals, with expertise specialising in various insurance sectors such as Business, Charity and Care, Property and Landlord Insurance, Marine and Private Client Insurance. The majority of our clients are based in the UK but our reach extends well beyond, providing services on a global basis. Our people are proud of the level of service they provide. Their commitment and technical expertise ensure that clients receive a high quality professional service. We believe that every client should feel like they are our only client. We are one of the largest insurance members within the Willis Commercial Network – a collaboration of insurance brokers established to strengthen buying power without compromising independence. We work closely with our Clients in order to determine their speciic insurance requirements which allows us to arrange insurances which are tailored to our Clients speciic demands and needs. Our work extends beyond arranging and servicing our Clients insurance requirements by way of offering additional services as is the case with our recently attending a Trustees Seminar held by the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. Coleman’s were delighted to be invited to give a presentation about Trustees Indemnity Insurance and to be on hand at the event to answer any questions or to provide further advice. Coleman have been supporting DAAT through way of advertising on a series of television screens throughout Exeter Airport to raise awareness of the fantastic and essential service that they provide and are also very proud to be supporting the days events and exhibiting at the Air Ambulance’s 20th Anniversary celebrations in September.

Pictured above: Top: Paul Dudley MD Coleman Insurance Brokers & Heléna Holt CEO of Devon Air Ambualnce Trust Bottom, left to right: Peter Moody Director of Coleman, Heléna Holt CEO of DAAT, Paul Dudley MD of Coleman, Jackie Dawkins Chair of Trustees of DAAT, John Harley Risk Consultant at Coleman.

We look forward to continuing to provide our services to The Devon Air Ambulance Trust and to working closely with Businesses and Private Clients based in Devon.

01202 647400 Coleman Insurance Brokers is a trading style of E Coleman & Co Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. v1 07/12

Coleman Insurance Brokers are proud to support Devon Air Ambulance Trust Enthusiasm may be essential to success but ultimate achievement demands nothing less than a totally professional approach. We at Coleman are committed to providing you with an enthusiastic and professional response to your corporate and individual insurance requirements. Our commitment is based on trust, integrity and mutual respect. Combined with our independent status and the importance we place on people, we believe we have a recipe for success. Insurance Brokers to Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Exeter OďŹƒce

01392 222600 Coleman Insurance Brokers is a trading style of E Coleman & Co Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. v1 07/12

Patient Story

Paramedic ambition finally fulfilled When Chay Farzaneh was a young boy he had just one ambition for when he was older and he would say “I just want to save lives”. Now, some eighteen years later, Chay is due to graduate as a fully qualified Paramedic and works, saving lives, for South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust. Chay was nine years old when he saw a television programme on the work of the Devon Air Ambulance. At his teacher’s request, the Trust’s Education Officer, Piers Le Cheminant, went along to his primary school with volunteer Jenny Buckle, and the class was invited to visit Exeter Airport to meet the aircrew and to see the helicopter. So started a fascination for Chay that has continued into adulthood. Piers and Jenny helped set up the Devon Air Ambulance Junior Crew Club (JCC) in 1996 and Chay was among the first JCC members, often sending in letters and illustrations for inclusion in the JCC newsletters. At ten years old Chay joined St John Ambulance as a junior cadet and took various courses with them throughout his school days. At 16, he went on to study a BTEC in Public and Emergency Services and at 18, joined the West Country

Ambulance Service as a Patient Transport Control Officer – planning journeys and transport for out-patients. In 2006 he became an Emergency Care Assistant with South West Ambulance Service Trust where he continued his training to support the paramedics. Still keen to fulfill his original ambition, Chay began a degree course in Paramedic Science with the Open University in 2008. Now, four long years later, whilst also working full time as a student paramedic, Chay can finally register with the Health Professionals Council as a qualified paramedic. “It’s been a dream for such a long time,” explained Chay, “I’ve always known that this is what I want to do. Often my path will cross with the aircrew paramedics if we are both called to the same incident. For now, I’m really happy working on the land ambulances but, who knows, maybe one day I might even become an aircrew paramedic!” Piers, now retired from Devon Air Ambulance Trust, spoke of Chay’s achievement, “Jenny and I are both delighted that Chay has finally realised his ambition. From his first visit to the Base - at Exeter Airport in those days - his enthusiasm was evident and we have watched his subsequent progress with great interest. Chay has worked really hard to qualify and we wish him every possible success in his future career.”

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 35

In Profile

Noel at 17, finishing 2nd in British Slalom Championships

A wandering minstrel, I

Helipad consultant editor, Neil Devons, met with Noel Harrison, the man who gave us the Oscar winning and timeless song “The Windmills of Your Mind” and the son of actor Sir Rex Harrison. The setting was a café in Ashburton where the multi-talented and much travelled performer now lives. Noel Harrison is not just a man for all seasons; he is a man of many places, having zigzagged across continents in a long, fascinating and varied career. Having undertaken some background research I already knew about his father being film actor Sir Rex Harrison and about the song from the soundtrack of the 1968 film “The Thomas Crown Affair”, so I was looking for something else, something I didn’t know or couldn’t find out without meeting him. Noel is quietly spoken, engaging, thoughtful and humorous, often in a

36 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

.........and nightclub performer, singing sensation, TV actor, film star, musical theatre lead, screenplay writer, homesteader and Olympic skier

mildly self-deprecating manner. He likes to tell his story although he can’t quite understand why anyone should ask him for it. As we speak he remembers titbits that have fallen from his memory and smiles affectionately as he recalls the details. “I like being interviewed,” he told me, “it’s like free psychiatry.” Born in London in 1934, Noel spent the war years living in Bude, North Cornwall, with his grandparents before moving to the Swiss Alps with his mother in 1948. His time in Klosters influenced him in two ways. It entrenched his love of skiing that would see him represent Great Britain in two Olympic Winter Games (although he did mention he could only just qualify for Klosters ‘B’ team!). It also allowed him to rub shoulders with many of Hollywood’s intellectual elite such as celebrated novelist and screenwriter Irwin Shaw, who, like many of his colleagues at the time were ‘blacklisted’ as suspected

communists and who took up self-imposed exile in Europe and, in particular, the Swiss Alps. We can trace Noel’s desire to be a successful writer back to this time.

The total cost of materials was under $10,000 and I did the work myself or with friends and neighbours. I certainly consider this my most notable achievement!”

All the while, Noel played his guitar and sang songs. He moved to London in 1954 after his National Service and started to play in clubs and restaurants. In 1958 he became one of the singers who sang the news in Calypso form on the BBC’s “Tonight” programme.

I then did two national tours in the US and Canada with the farces “No Sex Please, We’re British” and “Noises Off”. I loved driving myself through the West and Mid West, peoplewatching and seeing them go about their everyday business, but my second marriage fell apart during the theatre tour of “Noises Off”.

In 1966 he charted with a Charles Aznavour song, “A Young Girl” and landed a lead role in the hit TV show, “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. co-starring with Stefanie Powers. He was on an upward trajectory. “At this time,” he recalled, “I had everything you’d expect a TV star to have – the big house, swimming pool, best seats in top restaurants. I even had a Mini Cooper sent out from the UK and the Americans hadn’t seen anything quite like it or any vehicle that could corner at speed like it.” In 1968 he recorded Michel Legrand’s “Windmills of Your Mind”, for the sound track of the original “Thomas Crown Affair”. The hauntingly beautiful song won an Oscar that year which coincidentally followed the previous year’s Oscar winning song, “Talk to the Animals”, sung by his father, Rex, in his portrayal of Dr. Doolittle.” “It is a lovely song and I still like singing it,” said Noel. “Its longevity is down to it being cross-generational and it’s certainly my most notable achievement. However, it coincided with the beginning of a difficult period in my life. My marriage broke up and my wife returned to England with the children. The Hollywood lifestyle became unreal and my new partner and I went travelling to discover a new way of life.” And they found it in the form of a 320 acre farm in Nova Scotia where they set about achieving the ‘good life’. Noel married, had more children and learned a lot of new skills including house-building when his farmhouse burnt down. Noel explained, “I designed and built the house, mostly with hand tools. I paid for it by playing blue grass, folk and country music, and by my own TV show on CBC Halifax, “Take Time”.

“Adieu Jacques” is my one-man show about Jacques Brel which I toured with in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and London. “Adieu Jacques” got the best reviews I have ever had. I called it “Aging English actor sings songs in French by dead Belgian.” Noel then met Lori and they settled in Los Angeles and he spent the next 15 years playing gigs, doing TV shows and live theatre and writing screenplays interspersed with frequent trips to the UK to see his children. He enjoyed being out of the spotlight and eventually, in 2004, the desire to be near his children and grandchildren, who were living in Holne on the southern slopes of Dartmoor, prompted the move to Ashburton. From the ski slopes of the Alps to Los Angeles; from singing an Oscar winning song to making movies; from the Canadian outback to the open spaces of the Mid West and from the night clubs of New York to a South Devon market town, Noel Harrison always seems to fit his surroundings. He tells me he loves Devon, its landscapes and its people and, in wanting to give something back to the county where he now lives, he has become a Patron of the Devon based Villages in Action scheme which aims to bring top quality professional performances and workshops at affordable prices to communities and village halls everywhere. I now recall my meeting with Noel Harrison as one of talking to a man who is pretty much at ease with himself but one who will never stop questioning himself. He said: “I’ve been very lucky in life especially as I’ve stayed friends with all my wives and I get to see my children and grandchildren when I want to. My advice to others is to do your best in life and enjoy it while you’re doing it.” I’d suggest Noel Harrison has done just that.

Junior Crew

Ryan presents quiz winners with champagne Ryan was airlifted in April this year following a fall on Hound Tor, in which he broke both his wrists! After the plaster casts were removed, Ryan and his family held a Quiz Night for friends and family. The evening raised a total of £515 and the Rotary Club of Dartmoor Vale, where Ryan’s Grandad is a member, have kindly added £500, making a grand total of £1015.

Ryan presented a bottle of champagne to the winners: L-R, Dominic Gearon, Lyndsey Kane, Justin Obsorne, Ryan, Becci Osborne and Simon Kane

Junior Crew

Ambrose goes on a zipwire Staff, pupils and their families from Feniton CofE Primary School enjoyed watching DAAT’s intrepid little bear, Ambrose, on his firstever zip wire ride The event was organised by Headteacher of Feniton primary school, Colin Butler, and school children and their bears zipped down the 50’ wire or abseiled from the St Andrew’s Church tower.

Okehampton College Under the choreography of Stephanie Pickering, dancers from Okehampton College and the Street Dance Group performed at the College for two nights in early May. The youngsters, all from Okehampton and surrounding villages, from 6 to 14 years of age, raised nearly £350 for DAAT. Our local volunteer, Toni Kemeny, captured them in rehearsal.

St Michael’s School After a visit by our Education Officer, Chris Sherry, pupils at St Michael’s School in Kingsteignton nominated DAAT as their Charity of the Year. Following a hugely successful Enterprise Day, with students undertaking a variety of games and activities, Team Robinson, accompanied by teacher Rebecca Robinson, visited the Exeter Airbase to present a cheque for over £1,700.

Corporate Support

Businesses on Board We enjoy very positive working relationships with businesses, large and small, throughout the county. We are grateful to all the businesses throughout the county that support us in so many different ways. From donating funds or sponsorship of an event to the provision of goods or services, here are just a few...

In kind support

We are delighted that Vospers Mazda are, once again, supporting our Grand Summer Draw. In addition to the first prize of a Maxda2 TS, Vospers Mazda have donated a similar vehicle, branded with Devon Air Ambulance Trust signage, for the Trust to take along to fundraising events to promote the draw. The luxurious Bovey Castle (pictured) is the location for the winner of this year’s second prize, offering a beautiful lodge for six people for two nights with dinner on the first night. Exeter-based caterers, Taste, have helped with the provision of extremely tempting and tasty refreshments at a variety of our recent events.

40 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Charity of the Year Sainsburys of Dawlish recently held their staff vote for Charity of the Year and, following our presentation, we were delighted to learn that we had won. Plans are now underway for a variety of fundraising activities for staff and customers alike!

Co-op Foods at Okehampton have also made us their charity of the year. As part of their fundraising efforts, employee Chris Allen, ran a draw in-store for ‘a Sunday dinner’ or a basket of fruit plus other items and vouchers and raised over £200.

Treats for customers and staff Many businesses throughout the county have shown their support by holding a Sweet Treats box on their reception or in their staff room. Bags of quality sweets, tempting flapjacks and tasty snacks cost just £1, with a percentage going to DAAT, offering a must-have treat and providing valuable funds for the Trust. Donations from the first three months of our partnership total £4,735! If your business would like a box, please email: or telephone Sean Read on 07976 665724

David Gregory of Sweet Treats and Paul Comer of Komet Karpets, Kingsteignton

‘Fearless Giving’ Theme for Exeter Conference Demonstrating how businesses can work with community and charitable enterprises was explored at a one-day conference at St James Park entitled Think Partnership 2012: The Business Case for Fearless Giving. Avid Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) supporters, ATASS Respect, hosted the event to show how corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be employed to benefit both recipient and giver. Vanessa Cobb, Chief Executive of beyond-profit enterprise ATASS Respect comments: “The advantages of CSR are welldocumented yet there still exists a feeling that such activity is a luxury which businesses in a struggling economic climate can’t afford. Our speakers illustrated how businesses can adopt creative ways to support their communities and share the benefit.” DAAT’s Heléna Holt took to the stage to present on the importance of community relations to the charity and highlighted ATASS Respect’s unique 3-way collaboration with Exeter City FC in support of DAAT as an example of an innovation in partnership which generates mutual value and, in turn, leverages the total contribution. Other speakers and workshop hosts included Michelmores, Global Angels, Gregory Distribution, Paignton Zoo and Exeter City FC. To demonstrate CSR in practice, ATASS Respect matched revenue from ticket sales with a donation to DAAT raising over £2,000.

Patient Story

Not a bark, a growl or a whimper

Air Ambulance pilots often have to consider obstacles such as power lines, trees or livestock and negotiate tricky landing sites. They are often commended on their skills. Rarely, however, does a pilot have to consider a quantity of German Shepherd dogs but that was the case for Devon Air Ambulance pilot, Pete Martin, when he was on the look out for a lady who had hurt her leg in a fall on the golf course at Northam Burrows near Westward Ho! Francine Chadwick had been out walking on the beach with Nixa, her German Shepherd, when she slipped and fell, landing awkwardly. The heel of her left walking boot burst a vessel in her right calf and Francine felt an immediate pain run up through her leg. She limped and scrambled her way up to the golf course and administered arnica from her bag but, as she tried to walk again, her leg immediately swelled and the pain intensified. Nixa snuggled closer to her mistress as she waited for help and, before long, Francine was found by Lin Lines, founder of SW German Shepherd Rescue Centre, who happened to be out walking with 8 of her rescue dogs. As Lin realised that Francine needed help, she tethered Nixa and all the other dogs to nearby fence posts along the Burrows and called 999.

42 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

“It must have been quite a sight for the aircrew; they were all so good, too, and I think they were really impressed that so many dogs could be so well behaved.“ Lin and Francine could see and hear the land ambulance as it got closer, but, due to the exact location of where they were, the land crew were unable to reach them and it became apparent that the Air Ambulance was needed. As the red helicopter swung into view, both Francine and Lin were concerned how the dogs would react. To their amazement, however, despite the noise and the whirring of the rotorblades, there was not so much as a bark, a growl or even a wimper from any of the dogs. Pete landed the helicopter safely and paramedics Mark and Chris were able to attend to Francine. The incident was also attended by a cliff rescue team and the coastguards but the dogs behaved impeccably as they waited patiently. As Nixa joined the other German Shepherds on their walk, before being taken by Lin to friends to be looked after, Francine was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital for treatment. Speaking after she had returned home Francine said, “I couldn’t believe it when I knew that the Air Ambulance was on its way. Lin and I looked at each other and looked at the dogs and we both wondered just how they would cope. Although I was in extreme pain, I was also concerned that the dogs might be alarmed by a helicopter landing so close – but they were all so good, it was amazing! It was such a relief to know that Nixa was in such safe hands. We have both known Lin for many years, indeed Nixa was one of Lin’s rescue dogs before I had her, and I was just so grateful that Lin came by when she did. It must have been quite a sight for the aircrew; they were all so good, too, and I think they were really impressed that so many dogs could be so well behaved. For my part, once I realised that the dogs were going to be ok, I was just so thankful for the care and treatment I received.”


Red, white and blue was definitely the colour scheme of the day for Kingsteignton’s Firleigh Road street party, held in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee

Devon people We are always delighted to hear about the wide variety of fundraising activites that people get up to in the towns, villages, clubs and pubs around the county. Please send us photographs of your event to feature on these pages in our next edition

DAAT supporter, Caroline Rutley-Frayne was the recent winner of a brand new car from, who also donated £2,500 to Caroline’s favourite charity. Pictured is Caroline and her daughter, Lisa, being presented with the keys by Chris Webb from Motors and Nick Vosper from Vospers who supplied the car.

Pictured above is Margaret (Marge The Hat) Lowe and Chris Woolcott with DAAT’s Fran Carnell at Exeter City F.C. where they presented a cheque for £891

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A Simulated Game Shoot held in May by Tavistock Clay Pigeon club raised a magnificent £1,300. Pictured above are the Ladies Taking on the Pigeon

A highlight of the Open Gardens at Chillaton was undoubtedly the new duck-house, nick-named Duckingham Palace in honour of the Jubilee Celebrations

Despite having to cancel the planned Cream Tea because of the rain, fundraisers at Penstone have offered the Devon Air Ambulance cake to The New Inn at Coleford for auction

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire Freemasons presented volunteer, Gordon White, with a cheque for £1,000 from their WAKE fund

The Castle School of Dance in Torquay held a fundraising dance event and our volunteer Jean Kent collected a cheque for £600.00

Proud supporters and recruiters to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust 44 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


DAAT’s PR Manager, Sarah Burden (L) and Helipad Editor, Debbie Gregory, met television presenter and actress, Angela Griffin during the making of Emergency with Angela Griffin

Graham and Christine Wood organise monthly Bingo evenings at Heathcoat Community Centre. Funds raised to date total over £10,300!

Our thanks go to 9 yr old Harvey Sawyer for doing a sponsored cycle ride from Torrington to Fremington Quay. He and his mum, Gina, rode 13 miles and raised £300!

Paramedic Mark Langley was delighted to meet BBC Country File’s Adam Henson at this year’s Devon County Show

Barnstaple shop manager, Averil Kingdon, embraced the challenge of joining students at Petroc on their Concept II fundraising event

The beneficiaries from this year’s Grizzly Run are pictured above at the Grizzly Awards Presentation, attended by volunteer Simon Card

Exeter’s longest standing independent recruitment consultancy covering Devon, Cornwall and Somerset Cathedral Appointments 33-35 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1NX Tel: +44 (0)1392 413577 Mail: Web:

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 45

Helicopter Operations

Nigel Hare, Operations Manager

Aircrew Training All the Paramedic Aircrew working on the Air Ambulance have to maintain their HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) qualification annually.

includes fitness and physical assessments in running, carrying the aircraft medical equipment to an incident and carrying and lifting patients into the helicopter. Applicants also have to demonstrate the ability to swim fully clothed and tread water. Our thanks to Exmouth Beach Rescue Club who kindly provided the lifeguard cover to enable our recruitment to take place. More information on our new crew in the next Helipad.

On-going training

They undertake a ‘line check’ which, along with assessing their ability to perform their day-to-day aviation role, seeks to build upon their knowledge of the aircraft systems, what actions to take in an emergency and how to manage a fire either inside the aircraft or when on they are on the ground refuelling.

The picture above shows the Exeter aircrew undertaking their fire-fighting training which allows the crew to experience an aviation fuel fire in a safe and controlled environment. This enables the crew to experience first-hand the characteristics of this type of fire and how best to either control or put out the fire so that everyone on board can get out safely. The Pilots and Paramedics also undertake an annual Crew Resource Management course, the content of which is common to all professionals working in the aviation industry, involving team interaction and communication.

Recruitment We have recently recruited two new aircrew to join the team. The recruitment process

46 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Mark Hawley Paramedic

Staff Profile

A Day in the Life How long have you worked for DAAT? I joined the DAAT team in January 2009.

What were you doing before working here? Prior to joining DAAT I worked in the hospitality sector after graduating from Plymouth University with a Theatre & Performance degree.

What does your job involve? My role as a Community fundraiser is so varied. One day I can be advising one of our many supporters about fundraising events and box collections and the next I am representing the charity at a local agricultural show. This year I also organised our annual motorcycle ride with the help of some fantastic volunteers. What is your favourite thing about your role? My favourite thing has got to be meeting so many different people from all walks of life. I regularly get the opportunity to meet our supporters and ex-patients who are so grateful for what we do as an organisation. After hosting one our many airbase visits and hearing first-hand how we’ve helped to save someone’s life – I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding. What is your least favourite thing? Sometimes we can be restricted by available resources and, unfortunately, cannot always support our amazing community fundraisers as much as we’d like. Anyone at DAAT will tell you that saying no, never comes easy.

University in 2003, I loved the area so much that I’ve stayed here ever since. I’m now lucky enough to live next to Exeter’s beautiful quay side with my better half, Andy. What are your hobbies? From a very young age I have always had some involvement with the arts and perform regularly with a local dance company. I also love going to festivals, travelling and more recently I’ve taken up gardening and kayaking (although not very successfully!). Have you met anyone famous? Not really, the best I’ve got is the chef, Gordon Ramsay and footballer, David James – who were guests at my previous place of work. Do you have a favourite holiday destination – have you been, or is it a dream? I don’t think I could name just one. Although last year we travelled to Croatia by car and visited 9 different countries in 14 days. I needed another holiday when I returned, but it was such a great experience and definitely one of my favourites. Do you have a favourite book/music/film? Dirty Dancing – absolute classic  What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now? I have no idea, but hope that I am happy and successful at whatever it may be.

Where do you live? Since moving from Weston-Super-Mare to Exmouth for

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 47


Star tweet Our Star Tweet is just one of a significant number sent on the same day, when Stevie Woodley was taking part in the Ten Pub Walk from Okehampton.

Star status Ex-patient, Lewis McNaughton, used Facebook to thank the aircrew for rescuing him from Hound Tor, while he was still recovering from his injuries. You can read Lewis’ story on page 29 of this issue.

Our thanks to Stevie, who wins dinner for two, kindly donated by the beautiful Ilsington Country House Hotel at Ilsington, on the edge of Dartmoor.

Lewis wins three packs of luxury coffee, kindly donated by Owens Coffee of Modbury photo of Ilsington Country Hotel

Star letter

Mr & Mrs Edworthy win a wonderful selection of cakes, including cup cakes and lardy cake, kindly donated by Shaldon Bakery in Shaldon. Our star letter this issue comes from supporters in Crediton who, following a ruby wedding anniversary party, sent a cheque for a fabulous ÂŁ1,050! Congratulations to Philip and Bridget Edworthy celebrating 40 years together.

48 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Other ways you can help Text Donate If you have enjoyed reading this magazine, why not make a donation which will help towards offsetting the cost of production. Simply text “heli” to 70300 and you will make a donation of £3.00 direct to the Trust. You will be charged £3.00 plus one standard rate text. You will also be given the opportunity to make your money go even further if you are a tax payer, by gift aiding your donation.

QR codes If you have a smart phone, you can scan this code and it will take you directly to the on-line donation page @DevonAirAmb

We can help you We are proud to launch our own special ‘app’. Available to download now

We have been working with local company, Rokk Media, and we are proud to launch our own special ‘i-phone app’. One of the key features is a map with a GBOS (Great Britain Ordnance Survey) grid reference giving your exact location, in case you ever need to alert the emergency services. This is available even if there is limited or no mobile signal at the time. We would also like to thank St John Ambulance for allowing us to add a link, enabling users to access information from their own ‘app’, offering first aid advice. This facility is available, for all i-phone users, via the Apple App Store.

Contact Us: Write:

Devon Air Ambulance Trust 5 Sandpiper Court Harrington Lane Exeter EX4 8NS

Telephone: 01392 466666

Twitter: @devonairamb


Facebook: Devon Air Ambulance


Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 49

Back Chat

Back Chat I see the Olympic torch is still on its tour of Great Britain having arrived all the way from Olympia, lit by the rays of the sun in a Jamie Oliver salad bowl and then almost extinguished by tractor fumes outside Camborne. From the moment it was kindled by the ladies dressed in Travelodge shower curtains, backed up by half a dozen blokes in Mary Quant frocks, I felt the growing excitement in me, knowing that its arrival heralded the disappearance of cricket, football and Jeremy Kyle from our screens for several months. That alone justifies the expenditure!


I was last in Greece a couple of years ago and indeed did visit Olympia dressed in a bright orange top and stretch pants. We were on a cruise, well, I was on the cruise… suitcase was on a tour of Gatwick. The shipping company had loaned me their official day wear for such a drama. The top came with the company logo emblazoned on it and because of that, from a distance, I looked like one of the official tour guides of the ancient ruins. It took me three circuits of the site to shake off a group of Japanese tourists who were hanging off my every word. Weaving in and out of the fallen ancient Greek buildings were some thin but very well maintained cats and I must admit I did stop to make a fuss of these streamlined felines. I have always loved cats but the enemy, the good lady wife, has had her reservations about them. She has been forced to live with my little Pablo and Taggart, bravely facing

50 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

dead birds, live frogs, fur ball regurgitation and, best of all, a discarded bat circling the bedroom and landing on the duvet. However, she is always the first to step forward and help animals and Sunday last saw her in full swing. We were in a Greek restaurant in Plymouth late at night when a passer by popped her head in and announced that a small cat was sat in the window of the abandoned shop opposite. We all jumped up and sure thing, there was a very young cat peering out at us. Operation Trapped Pussy kicked into action, the key holder was called, the RSPCA were called, the agents for the building were called, even the police, fire, 771 Squadron RNAS Culdrose and Shelterbox were considered but then, the enemy had a good idea. ‘It looks hungry! Let’s get it some food before help arrives.’ The owners of the Greek restaurant were summoned and for several minutes they poked grilled lamb chops through the letter box. The cat, alarmed by the attention, bolted! Then another waiter arrived. ‘Would it like a bowl of chips?’ he said. ‘Or maybe a salad?’ I am guessing he was not a cat owner but thanked him for the tray of food. What about the cat I hear you cry. The last I saw of it, was vanishing through the open skylight from where it came and then skipping across the roof to freedom. I didn’t bother to wait for the emergency services. Breaking into a shop and treading into a pile of discarded lamb bones, cold chips and feta cheese, tends to annoy the police, let alone the owner of the shop.

Advertising in

The Official Magazine

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

To place an advertisement and to see your company name here, simply telephone 01392 466666 and speak to Heléna Holt, Caroline Creer or Debbie Gregory • the official magazine for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust • celebrating all that’s great about the beautiful county of Devon • reaching 40,000 Devon homes every issue an estimated readership of 150,000 per issue

• three editions per year • reaching a broad target market: home owners to hoteliers, retired professionals to young entrepreneurs, families and singles, students, clubs and pubs

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Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 51

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