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Real People Saving Real Lives for

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Celebrating the best of Devon Winter 2012

Olympic Glory for Mary King

Patient Stories Every parent’s worst nightmare Thrown 10’ through the air Freak accident with an anchor

Coast & Country The work of Exmoor Search & Rescue Registered Charity No: 1077998 Company No: 3855746 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 1

Important dates 2013


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Junior Commando Challenge

March 1st Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Start of Capturing Devon Photographic Competition

Capturing Devon 2013

April 13th


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EVENT Commando Kids

Junior Commando Challenge

May 16th June 9th

Devon County Show Open to schools, cadets, scouts, friends...

12 - 15 year olds!


At Bicton College

Full details and entry form from

More info

Capturing Devon Photo Competition Deadline

July 14th

Devon Air Ambulance Trust’s

Motorcycle ide ut Brand new 80 mile route across Devon Motorcycle ide8thut July 2012 Devon Air Ambulance Trust’s

On behalf of



Brand new 80 mile route across Devon

Includes live music, trade stands, 8th July 2012 family entertainment,

Includes live music, trade stands, family entertainment, refreshments & more...

July 27th

Real People Saving Real Lives for

refreshments & more...

nter nline Mid Devon Show nter nline or call: 01392 466666 for an entry form July Totnes Show or call: 01392 466666 Real People Saving Real Lives for

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Sponsored by

Open to schools, cadets, scouts, friends...

12 - 15 year olds!

August 1st


August 7th

At Bicton College

August 8th

Okehampton Show

Full details and entry form from

August 15th

Chagford Show

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Sponsored by

Finish Venue:

Register from 9am – Start 11am The Log Cabin Diner, Knowstone, South Molton EX36 4RZ Finish Venue: The Den, Teignmouth TQ14 8BR Register from 9am – Start 11am The Log Cabin Diner, Knowstone, Entry Fee: South Molton EX36 4RZ (to include a souvenir t-shirt) The Den, Teignmouth TQ14 8BR

Entry Fee:

£5 per bike

Time: Start Venue:

£5 per bike Honiton Show

id you know ...

North Devon Show Last year we

(to include a souvenir t-shirt)

id you know ... Last year we airlifted 33 motorcyclists

More info

Time: Start Venue:

for an entry form

airlifted 33 motorcyclists

The Log Cabin Diner • Knowstone

The Log Cabin Diner • Knowstone

The Den • Teignmouth Registered Charity No: 1077998 Company No: 3855746

The Den • Teignmouth

Registered Charity No: 1077998 Company No: 3855746

August 27th

DAAT 21st Birthday

September 7th

DAAT’s 21st Birthday Party!

September 15th

One Mile

Sea Swim Broadsands, Paignton

September 23rd

National Air Ambulance Week

October 5th & 6th

EVENT Royal Marines Commando Challenge

On behalf of





October 9th



Goosey Fair, Tavistock get down and





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The Official Magazine

Welcome from the CEO

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Contributors: Our grateful thanks to the following photographers: Glen King PR Michelle Lovegrove Neil Devons Liz Knowler Trewin Design Partnership Jonathon Bosley Richard Lappas

And for contributed articles: Neil Devons David Fitzgerald Lionel Murphy

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

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

Welcome to our latest edition of Helipad, again full of interesting and informative articles and emotive patient stories. We have now proudly celebrated our first 20 years – a fantastic time was enjoyed at our Birthday Party; see the photos on pages 18 and 19. Amongst all the fantastic comments and praise we have received about the new style Helipad, we have also received questions about the cost of producing such a quality magazine. To reassure our supporters, we always knew that the production and mailing costs would be higher than for the A5 x 12-page newsletter produced previously, but the benefits are already far outweighing the costs as the response has been fantastic. In addition to the income generated by advertising and sponsorship, we have also seen a significant jump

Helipad allows us to engage with a completely new audience. in members joining our highly costeffective in-house Lottery; organising or participating in fundraising events or sending in donations. By enlisting the support of the businesses and community groups now displaying our magazine in their waiting rooms, Helipad allows us to engage with a completely new audience. Add to this the fact that we are now able to publicly thank all those who support us on a regular basis, such as all our lovely collection box and Sweet Treats holders and, hopefully you will agree, the new Helipad is well worth it.

Editor’s news Welcome again to more stories from the beautiful county of Devon and beyond.

horse-related incidents make up a high percentage of our work; read more from our Operations Manager, Nigel Hare, on page 46.

In this issue, you can read about the work undertaken by the Exmoor Search & Rescue team; one young man’s travels around the world on his Honda C90 and the fantastic achievement by Devon Olympian Mary King.

We are most grateful to all our supporters in the Equestrian world and we are delighted to be taking a stand at this year’s Christmas Equine Fayre at Westpoint on 8th & 9th December. Do come and say hallo if you’re at the Fayre, you’ll find us at Stand 210

Among our patient stories, following another busy summer of airlifts and missions, this magazine features some of the equestrian accidents that we have learned of. From the statistics compiled by our Operations team, we know that 01392 466666 x *135

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 3

Contents 3

Welcome from the CEO & Editor’s news Heléna Holt and Debbie Gregory welcome you to Helipad


Patient Story – Life threatening injuries


Your support raises £60,000


Patient Story – Every parent’s worst nightmare Little Fearne needs urgent airlift after being knocked down

Alex Farleigh suffers serious injuries as she is kicked in the stomach by her horse


Grand Summer Draw Winners

National Air Ambulance Week Businesses show support for Be A Hero


News from the High Street What’s new in the world of our charity shops


Cover story – Olympic Glory Mary King’s incredible Olympic success and her hopes and dreams for Rio 2016


Patient Story – Rider thrown as horse bolts Twiggy bolts and Addy breaks her back


Twenty years of Devon Air Ambulance Share the pictures from our 20th birthday celebrations

20 12 13

Lionel Murphy takes us through the work of Exmoor Search & Rescue

Emergency Services Day Our personnel work together with other emergency crews

Right Care, Right Time, Right Place South West Ambulance Service introduce the Right Care initiative

Coast & Country – Exmoor


The Coombes of Exmoor Neil Devons shares the facts on some of North Devon’s lesser-known villages


Patient Story – Kicked in the face Holly Wells loses her teeth as her horse kicks out

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Goods & services in kind


It’s not always just about the money!


Feature story – Travels around the world Join 24 year old Ed March and his Honda C90 on their adventures from Malaysia to North Devon

Patient Story – Two brothers, two airlifts We meet two brothers who have both been airlifted from their mid-Devon village


Businesses on Board See how business support helps the Trust


Junior crew Thomas Jenkins flies to Southampton for life saving heart operation at just two weeks old


Lottery Coming to a doorstep near you...


Patient Story – Cream teas and cob blocks Tom Diffey raises funds on Thursday, and needs airlifting on Sunday


Feature story – Community Football success story


Community fundraising from around the county


How Exeter City FC’s Football in the Community programme is going from strength to strength


Patient Story – Family’s horror as anchor is pulled Daniel Clokey, 8, is rushed to Torbay Hospital with a nasty head wound


Fundraising – Mary’s epic journey Not a pushbike or even motorbike for Mary Phillips, but a 1953 Field Marshall Series 3A tractor from John O’Groats to Lands End


Patient Story – Quad bike crash

Devon People Operational News Operations Manager, Nigel Hare, shares some useful advice about safety in the countryside


A Volunteer’s Lot Volunteer, Margaret Rodgers, writes a poem for DAAT


Thank You Winners of our star letters, facebook and tweets


Contact us


Back chat BBC Radio Devon presenter, David FitzGerald, shares his thoughts about going to the gym and ‘the lovely Tom Daley’

Laura’s dreams are crushed as her quad bike crashes

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Patient Story

Back in the saddle – Alex takes it slowly following her life-threatening accident

Thrown ten feet through the air In May this year, Alex Farleigh, her daughter Emily and friend Gail Critchelow were loading their horses into the lorry at the Dittiscombe Equestrian Centre in Slapton. They were all looking forward to watching Emily and her friend, Phoebe Eynon-Lewis, schooling the horses over the cross country course at Bicton Arena, when a kick from one of the horses left Alex fighting for her life. “It all happened so fast,” explained Alex. “One minute I was shutting the

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partition that separates the horses, the next I’d been kicked and thrown 10’ through the air and was lying on the ground. I thought at first I’d just been winded, but quickly realised that I simply couldn’t move. My stomach started swelling and the pain was excrutiating.” Emily and her brother, Matthew, rushed to their mum as Gail phoned for the ambulance. Phoebe’s mum Kate raised Alex’s legs and telephoned her husband, Dr Andrew Eynon-Lewis, who came immediately and recognised that Alex had internal bleeding and was in urgent need of treatment. All were relieved when Devon’s Air Ambulance landed in a neighbouring field just 25 yards away and paramedics Paul Robinson and Adrian Parker arrived on the scene. Alex had actually suffered a lacerated liver, which was bleeding into the abdomen, multiple broken ribs and a collapsed right lung,

causing her the added discomfort of breathing difficulties. Alex was monitored carefully in the helicopter during the flight to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she spent more than four weeks having blood transfusions, chest and stomach drains, a cannula and a multitude of drugs, including antibiotics when septicaemia set in. “My weight went up by two stone, then dropped by four as the fluid was building and draining. My whole system was shutting down and I felt so rough – even my tastebuds had gone and the drugs just made me feel so sick. Another side effect was hallucinations; I imagined that the nursing staff had scales on their skin and I saw monkeys climbing up the walls. It was horrible.”

Relaxing on holiday before the accident

Alex admits to feeling very fragile in the early days of her release from hospital, but her confidence has gradually returned and now, nearly four months on, she is back in the saddle. “Horses are in my blood,” she explained. “I was in a lot of discomfort and pain when I first came home and was very wary out in the yard, but I always wanted to get back to the horses. A huge thank you goes to Dr & Mrs Eynon-Lewis, Paul Robinson and Adrian Parker and the A&E team at Derriford Hospital. Without their amazing skills, I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. I still have a way to go but I’m just so relieved to see the light at the end of the tunnel now.”

Alex jumping before the accident

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National Air Ambulance Week

Be a hero Working with Air Ambulance charities around the UK, National Air Ambulance Week (24 – 30 September) invited communities to join in the Be A Hero initiative to support all ‘local’ Air Ambulance Trusts.

Del Boy & Rodney in Topsham

Throughout the county of Devon, heroes arrived at work in many businesses and, in schools, youngsters arrived for their lessons in a wide variety of costumes.

The Kingsbridge Clan

Trewin Design Partnership

Particular thanks to all our supporters in Kingsbridge for their enthusiasm and involvement. Almost every shop and business in the town dressed up and took part in the Be A Hero week! Marie and Nina from Mutley

Captain America flying in

Well done and thank you to all staff and volunteers at DAAT shops around the county for their enthusiasm to get involved with our Be A Hero day.

Heroes of Head Office Heroes of all kinds were also seen at the Trust’s Head Office... and Finance Manager, Steve Tupper, went one step further and had his chest waxed – all in the name of charity!

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News from the High Street

Martin Bell, centre, with Michelle Southcott and James Sydney at DAAT’s Cowick Street shop

Unusual finds... The things people donate often cause a giggle or two in our shops. A little missive from Michelle at Cowick Street ... “Hot on the heels of finding ‘nipple tassels’ amongst a bag of clothing, I have just discovered this little gem: ‘Ferret Fresh’ shampoo to keep your ferret fragrant .........”

Vintage and Variety launches in Topsham

One of DAAT’s two shops in the picturesque, riverside village of Topsham will now specialise in all things vintage and retro, with stock of all kinds from the 1890’s to the 1980’s! “There has long been a fascination for beautiful, old clothes and goods from years gone by,” explained manager Sarah Wolfenden. “Our stock will be sourced from suitable donations to any of our shops so please think of us when you have a sort out! We will still sell small items of quality furniture, electrical goods, records, CDs, DVDs and, of course, books of all ages but we’re very excited to now include a whole new range of vintage clothes, art deco crockery and other interesting nostalgic and retro pieces.”

Job Centre Partnership DAAT’s interim Retail Manager, Martin Bell, has been working closely with Job Centres around the county to offer a number of candidates the opportunity to work at DAAT shops to gain valuable work experience and learn all aspects of the retail industry. For James Sydney of Exeter, pictured with Michelle Southcott from Cowick Street and Martin Bell, it is his first work placement and he is enjoying getting to grips with all that goes on from stock taking, sorting and steam cleaning, to window dressing, shop displays, pricing and customer service. Martin commented, “It is really nice to see a number of jobseekers actively seeking some work experience and choosing to support us in to the bargain. We are working closely with the Job Centre in order to afford people the opportunity to work with us, gain some knowledge of the work place and enhance their CV and we have made a commitment to deliver some meaningful experience encompassing all elements of retail operations. In turn, we have received some much appreciated help in store, complementing our regular workforce of volunteers, and hopefully encouraging some volunteers of the future! The work experience placements that I have met in the region so far have been friendly and enthusiastic and an asset to each of the stores they have been placed with.”

Coming soon... DAAT is to open another shop - due to open early 2013 – coming to .... Sidmouth! Volunteers and quality donations will be required. Watch this space, more news next issue!

If anyone has an interest in vintage fashion or products and has some time to spare, why not call Sarah on 01392 879285 to find out about volunteering.

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Cover Story

Olympic Glory Mary King is a very unpresumptuous name but say it to anyone and they are very likely to bring horses, eventing and a much-loved champion rider to mind. A multi-medallist at every level of competition, at home and abroad, Mary King has represented Great Britain at six Olympic Games and has her sights on a seventh in Rio if, as she says, she remains fit and has a horse good enough to compete at the highest level. Preparing a horse over four years is a painstaking task and full of unknowns. Currently, Mary has

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two prospects aged six and seven years that should be in their prime in 2016. By then, Mary and her team will have groomed them to “jump bigger, go faster and do more intense dressage�, but have they got it in them to go to the very top, will they have the right attitude, will they lose heart, will they stay fit? Talking to Mary about Rio gave me an insight into just how complex and relentless it is to get the right horse for the

next competition into top physical and mental condition to compete with the very best. The logistics are intimidating, time consuming and costly and it’s no wonder that Mary has learned how to adopt a businesslike attitude to her sport with an accomplished team and a range of sponsors to support her. In the meantime, she has her own family to look after and a daily routine to administer at her yard in Salcombe Regis. Husband David farms near Exeter, 13 year-old Freddie is still at school and 16 year-old Emily is following in her mother’s footsteps, having just taken a silver medal at the Junior European Championships in Poland in September. I asked Mary what made her sport so special. She replied: “Working with horses and other people who love them is a great way of life. We share ideas and thoughts about a particular course or a particular jump. It’s not at all cut-throat competition but that could change, I suppose, if our currently modest prize money begins to approach that of other high profile sports.” What about the highs and lows of her illustrious career that might have ended all too soon after a severe injury? “It’s a dangerous sport and I fell from a horse while gently cantering around a field and broke my neck. Having a top horse put down because of a vernicular disease early in my career was also a heavy blow but there have been far more highs than lows.”

These have included her first Badminton win in 1992, her first Olympics in Barcelona in the same year, a silver medal in Athens (2004) and a bronze in Beijing (2008) but London 2012 eclipsed them all. “I think London was my best performance and the whole experience was quite extraordinary. It was wonderful when London was announced as the Olympic City but I didn’t get too excited as I thought competing in your own back yard wouldn’t compare with the experience of travelling to new and distant places. How wrong I was. The atmosphere was unmatchable and the support was unbelievable - I’ll never forget it.” Mary King is a not only a national treasure, she is Devon’s national treasure and has repaid the community where she lives not only with unparalleled sporting achievements but by being a Patron of Devon Air Ambulance Trust for more than a decade. The high rate of equestrian incidents attended by DAAT remains a very good reason for Mary’s continued and invaluable support and it came very close to home just four years ago when her daughter Emily was airlifted to hospital after she fell from a horse and broke her pelvis! Mary King is a focussed and determined person and if she has set out her stall to compete in a seventh Olympic Games, few who have met her would doubt that she’ll be there.

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Emergency Services Day

As part of our 20th anniversary we invited some of our corporate supporters to an open day hosted by the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Clyst St George, Exeter. The event, on Wednesday 12th September, provided our guests the opportunity to witness, up close, various aspects of the emergency services working together. The USAR team are involved in the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilisation of victims trapped due to structural collapses, accidents, landslides, explosions etc. Also joining us on the day was Mickey, a specially trained dog and part of the USAR team, used to locate live scent.

The day included the official opening of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service’s Special Operations Headquarters, home of USAR (Urban Search & Rescue), part of a national response team deployed to major emergencies. We would like to thank Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service for their hospitality.

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Right Care Initiative

The Right Care Team at a Right Care road show held at Derriford in Plymouth, where over 30 members of staff contributed by offering their ideas and engaging with the team.

Working together Working in partnership for 20 years, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and Devon Air Ambulance Trust have helped thousands of people who required urgent care, often in remote locations. SWASFT is proud to support Devon’s Air Ambulances and believes they are a vital tool in helping treat the hundreds of thousands of residents that live and work in the region as well as the millions of visitors attracted by the county’s unique charms and scenery.

Getting it right – first time and every time The Right Care initiative is an ambitious project being delivered across the Trust area – this means delivering the right care in the right place at the right time. Right Care involves looking at how patients can be provided with a more positive experience, in turn giving greater job satisfaction to our team. The concept of Right Care focuses on hospital admissions in terms of why people are admitted and

Mark Bradford, Right Care Clinical Lead, explaining the Right Care initiative to a colleague. whether or not it is necessary. This is particularly relevant when looking at cases where patients were admitted and discharged on the same day. Contrary to popular belief, many patients seen and treated by the ambulance service do not require emergency care and hospitalisation. For many, the right place to receive care is in the comfort of their own home, administered by ambulance clinicians, without the need to go into hospital. For others, health advice, information on other care providers or a referral to fellow healthcare professionals can be offered by the ambulance service and will ensure that a patient gets the right response in the shortest time. Of course, there will always be cases where a land or air ambulance needs to be dispatched and the person treated and taken to hospital immediately, for example, in the case of a heart attack, stroke or serious bleeding, but it all comes down to ensuring that the right care is delivered at the right time in the right place and the Trust takes its responsibilities very seriously.

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Our winning photographs are now available as a stunning calendar, capturing Devon at its very best. To order your copy, priced at just £5.00 with £1.50 postage & packing, please visit our website or buy at any of our shops. Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Valid until 31st March 2013 PT 11/12

Capturing Devon 2013

Grand Summer Draw Winners

£60,000 raised! Thanks to the very generous support of everyone in the county and beyond who bought a ticket for this year’s Grand Summer Draw, the income raised was £60,000! Thanks also to all our wonderful volunteers for selling these tickets - this is a phenomenal sum and we are most grateful to you all. As always, however, there can only be one winner of the first prize and, this year, it was Mr Webb from Blackawton, near Totnes. He collected the keys to his brand new, 5-door, Mazda 2TS from Peter Vosper of Vospers at DAAT’s Exeter Airbase. Also at the Airbase was Mrs Keller from Kingsbridge, the lucky winner of a 2-night stay for six in a luxurious lodge at Bovey Castle, with dinner on the first night, presented by Sally Everton of Bovey Castle. Third prize went to Mr Jackson of Tavistock, who won £100.

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Patient Story

Every parent’s worst nightmare

The words ‘every parent’s worst nightmare’ are often spoken at times of crisis and were very apt for Charlotte Watson and James Beatty when their young daughter, Fearne, aged just 20 months, was knocked down and suffered two fractures to her skull.

Charlotte Watson and Fearne meet paramedic Eddie Bunday at our 20th birthday party The accident happened in Langford Budville, Somerset, when Fearne was being cared for by her grandparents while her parents were at work. Her grandfather had seen Fearne playing out in the back garden when he went to move the car from the driveway. Unbeknownst to him, little Fearne was behind the car as it moved. Fearne was knocked to the ground, hitting her head and face. Her terrified grandparents called 999 and James and Charlotte rushed back from work. As her Grandad tried to comfort Fearne, Air Ambulance paramedics Helen Mackie and Eddie Bunday arrived at the scene. Fearne’s father, James, also arrived home and he was able to travel in the helicopter as Fearne was sedated and whisked away to Frenchay Hospital. Leaving Fearne’s shocked grandparents at home in the care of a doctor, Charlotte, meanwhile, was driven to Frenchay and described the journey as ‘the longest of her life’. “I didn’t even have telephone contact with anyone. I knew that James had

Fearne – fortunately now fully recovered gone in the Air Ambulance with Fearne but I couldn’t speak to him. I knew there had been an accident but I didn’t know what injuries had been sustained and I didn’t know if Fearne was going to live or die.” On Charlotte’s arrival at Frenchay, she learned that scans had revealed Fearne had fractures on her skull and grazes on her shoulder and face. Fearne stayed in hospital for a further 11 days while her condition was monitored and, fortunately, she has gone on to make a full recovery. Charlotte continued, “It was such a relief to learn that Fearne was going to be OK. We are so grateful that the Air Ambulance was able to get her to hospital so quickly. Between the paramedics and the hospital staff, we just know that she had the best possible care and we just can’t thank everyone enough. It took Grandad a little longer to recover but, fortunately, we’re all fine now.”

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Patient Story

Twiggy bolts and Addy falls

Adrienne with Twiggy, before the accident

“They were just tremendous,” were the words of Adrienne Chichester from Mary Tavy when asked about the Devon Air Ambulance paramedics who looked after her when she was thrown from her horse in a remote part of Dartmoor just before Christmas last year. “My friend and I were out riding at White Tor, near Peter Tavy,” explained Adrienne, known as Addy. “I have been riding for years and had owned Twiggy for two years. She was a little frisky that day so my friend went on while I sorted Twiggy out. A short while later Twiggy seemed much calmer so I went to re-mount. Unfortunately, Twiggy had other ideas and took off – at what seemed like 60 miles an hour! With one foot in the stirrup, I was partly attached to the horse and tried to run alongside but she stopped just as suddenly and I fell very abruptly. I landed awkwardly and was hurting quite badly. I could move my fingers and toes but I just knew I had to stay very still. Twiggy then bolted and ran off into the distance as I dialled 999 from my mobile. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, but I could see the spire of a church so gave that as a landmark. I wished I had been wearing hi-viz clothing but at least I had on my lime

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green wellies! I was so grateful when I heard the whirring of the helicopter as it got closer and knew that help would soon be on hand. Without them, I just don’t know where I’d be.” Exeter-based paramedics Paul Robinson and Eddie Bunday were out with pilot Mark Woolcock when the call came in and they were soon en route to help Addy out. It transpired that Addy was wise to have lain still as she had actually broken her back. The aircrew treated her at the scene and conveyed her to Derriford Hospital where she spent a further 6 days. “It was four weeks before I was back on my feet,” continued Adrienne, “and even longer before I could return to driving. But I am just so grateful and feel so incredibly lucky that the Devon Air Ambulance came to my rescue – or my recovery would certainly have taken a whole lot longer!” Post script: Twiggy was caught by Addy’s riding partner later the same morning and was returned safe and sound to Adrienne’s home - completely unaware of the impact of her behaviour!

legal expertise for everyone Everys Solicitors is a major law firm based in the South West. We have been providing quality legal expertise, delivered professionally yet personally to businesses, individuals and families across the region for generations.

Our Agricultural and Rural Affairs Team comprises specialist lawyers from a number of different disciplines, enabling us to meet the diverse needs of our rural clients living and working within the countryside. It is our job to understand the very latest changes in our field of expertise and to advise on how they affect our clients and their businesses. We act for many farming and other rural and equestrian businesses across the South West with clients ranging from small family businesses and the single horse owner to large companies and training/competition equestrian centres. We understand the importance of working with our clients’ accountants, land agents and other professional advisors to ensure their transactions proceed efficiently and smoothly.

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Birthday Party Celebrations

Something for everyone As regular supporters will be aware, Devon Air Ambulance Trust has now been operational for 20 years and we celebrated our anniversary on Saturday 1st September. The party, at Dart’s Farm in Topsham, was attended by around 5,000 visitors who enjoyed a great mix of locally produced food and drink and a variety of entertainment. Music was provided by the talents of Los No Bos, Adam Isaac, The Salamanca Band, Bob Robbey and The Band, The Jax, Roll with Dice and Sunday Skyclub. Children enjoyed the face painting, a bouncy castle and an assault course and the Zumba dancing attracted participants of all ages! A Bolkow helicopter flew in and stayed for the day as a static display (this was the first type of helicopter we flew) and our two current Air Ambulances were on-call all day, so the crowds watched with interest as they came and went from Dart’s Farm attending seven missions between morning and dusk. Our thanks go to main sponsors Coleman Insurance Brokers and the ATASS Group, as well as Event Cre8, VIP Marquees Ltd, Brooklands Events, Otter Brewery, Otter Valley Ice Cream, Radio Exe, Bond Air Services, Rhonda Newell and Darts Farm – for their help in ensuring the day was such a fantastic success, culminating in an amazing fireworks display, sponsored by Optix Solutions.

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Coast & Country

Lionel Murphy, team member and PR Officer for ESRT

More than the Moor “We don’t have any mountains on Exmoor” is a comment we often hear when out on street collections and it’s true – so why do we have a Mountain Rescue Team covering Devon and Somerset? Lionel Murphy introduces the work of the Exmoor Search & Rescue Team... Exmoor Search and Rescue Team (ESRT) was affiliated to Mountain Rescue (England and Wales) just over 20 years ago. The team stems from the Devon Rescue Volunteers which was formed by a group of people who enjoyed the outdoor environment and wanted to put back something by being ready to search for people who got into trouble, whatever the time, weather or terrain. Affiliation to the MR (E&W) allowed the team to become a recognised police resource

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that could be tasked for searches within our boundaries; looking for people who have gone missing, despondents or even hiding children – not forgetting the occasional walker who gets into difficulties and may not even be on the moors but could be in an urban environment. There are approximately 30 full team members and 6 or 7 trainees undergoing training and assessment. All members are volunteers and come from many backgrounds, including managers, serving and ex-police officers, carpenters, nurses, civil servants, teachers, business owners, retired professionals and many others; all united in their enjoyment of the outdoors and the countryside where they are lucky to live. All full members are willing, work commitments allowing, to attend callouts whatever the time, terrain or weather to help in locating the lost person. Training is an on-going commitment and takes place in various locations, at least three times a month, as we all need to be proficient in first aid, navigation, search techniques, and radio communication. Training is not only conducted on the moors, there is also an indoor training event every month when ESRT supporters join us. The last Sunday in a month will find the team on an all-day training exercise, designed by members of

Mobile control room

ESRT with their Queen’s Jubilee Medals

the team, to test our skills and to allow us to put our training into practice. We carry out joint exercises with the Fire & Rescue Service, Police, Coastguards, Chivenor Search & Rescue and other Voluntary Agencies and we have been assisted by cadets, Young Farmers clubs and ESRT supporters, who have volunteered to act as casualties. Other support is regularly received from organisations such as Devon 4x4 and local landowners. As our boundaries cover the coastline, ESRT also works on searches with H.M. Coastguard and RNLI.

ESRT undergoing water training excercise

Searches are undertaken in all weather conditions; the worse the weather the more you appreciate teamwork, companionship and mutual support. We all have confidence in the skills and abilities of the person next to us. It is always reassuring to know that if we are carrying out a search of a particularly dark and inhospitable area your colleague is exactly where they should be and ready to support you should you need it.

makes our fund-raising efforts all the more important. ESRT’s annual running costs of around £18,000 are funded entirely by donations and the team is very grateful for the organizations, individuals and volunteers who do so much to ensure ESRT reaches its annual financial targets.

With changing demands being placed on Search and Rescue Teams, more specialised skills are becoming necessary and so we have developed technical teams specialising in high crag rescue and water searches. The extra cost this incurs

If you are interested in finding out more about our team visit our website at

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Coast & Country

The Coombes of Exmoor Some facts about Exmoor* • • • • • • • •

208 scheduled monuments and 16 conservation areas the largest concentration of Red Deer in England the highest coastal cliffs in England - 800ft 1000 different flowering plants and grasses 750 miles of way marked “Rights Of Way” longest stretch of naturally wooded coastline in the British Isles start of the South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest national trail England’s tallest tree

Exmoor was designated a National Park in 1954; 71% in Somerset and 29% in Devon. The Devon part is to the south and west and includes Ilfracombe, Lynton and Lynmouth on the coast and sweeps down towards Barnstaple across to South Molton and takes in Bampton in the east of the county.

The Coombes The north west of Exmoor is characterized by a number of Devon locations with ’coombe’, meaning ‘a hollow in a hillside’ or ‘wooded valley’, in their name. Ilfracombe – settled since the iron age with hill forts and the landmark Hillsborough Hill (Hele’s barrow) dominating its pretty harbour, the town is best known as a Victorian-style seaside resort and for its controversially designed Landmark Theatre and even more controversial Damien Hirst statue, Verity. Combe Martin – is often known as the longest village in England (but it depends where you take the measurements from!). The narrow valley largely confines the village to a 2-mile long single street culminating in a pretty, sheltered cove. The Pack o’ Cards Inn is a notable curiosity. Constructed to resemble a deck of cards, it stands on a plot measuring 52ft x 52ft, has four floors (representing the suits in a pack), 13 doors on every floor and 13 fireplaces (number of cards in a suit) and, prior to window tax, the panes of glass in all the windows added up to the total of the numbered cards in a pack. Challacombe – a quiet village on the Devon end of the beautiful cross moor road which passes Simonsbath, Exford, Dulverton and Bampton. It has a wonderful 16th century pub with the unique name ‘the Black Venus’ and an historic hill fort at Shoulsbury Castle affording stunning countryside views towards the sea. Parracombe – There are a number of interesting features to the village, including a Norman motte and bailey castle, Holwell Castle, and the Saxon church, St Petrock’s. The Church of St. Petrock was declared redundant in 1969 and was the first to be vested by the Churches Conservation Trust. It is a true treasure. A Grade I listed building dating from the 13th century, it will transport you back centuries. The interior includes 18thC horse box pews, a Georgian pulpit and a screen with an 18thC wooden tympanum above it. *Source

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Patient Story

Kicked in the head by her horse

Holly Wells has loved horses for as long as she can remember. She has been riding since childhood and her job is to teach horse riding skills to youngsters at Millfield School. A freak accident in January 2012, however, left her off work for many weeks.

Holly had been out hunting on Alfie in Bewley Down near Axminster and they were on their way back to the riding school. As Alfie slipped on the wet road, Holly managed to dismount but, as she landed, Alfie panicked and kicked out, catching Holly in the face... Holly was catapulted into a ditch and lay unconscious with lacerations to her cheeks and lips, including the loss of some teeth. Another rider came to her aid and called the emergency services. When the Devon Air Ambulance crew arrived, as well as the amount of blood they could see and the obvious damage to her face, there was also concern that Holly may have suffered neck injuries and an urgent transfer to hospital was needed. The helicopter conveyed Holly to Musgrove Park Hospital where the wounds were cleaned and stitched. It was several weeks before Holly was able to return to work and she admits to being extremely careful for many months that followed. Inevitably, Holly’s speech was affected which, in turn, knocked her confidence, particularly where teaching and instructing the youngsters was concerned. “It was six months before I saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” she explained. “I am so grateful that my colleagues at Millfield School were so supportive.” Remedial work to her teeth is ongoing, with a bone graft to re-fit the top two teeth being scheduled for November.

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Holly on Ala before the accident

Meanwhile, as her confidence returned, Holly felt inspired to ‘give back’ something to Devon Air Ambulance and, on 30th September, she ran the Forest of Dean half-marathon and raised over £1,000! Holly’s Just Giving page said, “Thanks to the prompt attendance of the air ambulance I arrived at the hospital in good time as I had lost consciousness. It’s a service like this that is vital to country pursuits in remote areas.”

Back on Ala, after the accident

Proudly sporting her medal at the end of the Forest of Dean half marathon

In kind support

Goods and services in kind Caroline Creer, Fundraising Director of the Trust, explains how support can come in from around the county in a variety of ways. As stories throughout Helipad demonstrate, the people of Devon are creative and generous when it comes to organising events. Every penny that comes in is vital, however it is raised, but sometimes help also comes in the form of goods and services in kind.  We are really fortunate that many companies, small and large, support us this way.  From LeRoy Funeral Directors donating four gold VIP tickets for an Exeter Chiefs game for us to auction, or Miko supplying all the tea and coffee needed for various DAAT events, to Bluegrass supplying all the technology and liaising with BT and all the other agencies for our Eaglescott Airbase in North Devon

and Gregory Distribution letting us use their lorries as a stage. In the case of Bluegrass, their core business is technology and their assistance and generosity at Eaglescott saved the Trust both in terms of cost and time, as well as ensuring that we remained operational throughout the installation. Another supporter is Thirsty Work who provide water machines for our Head Office and supply us with water for our events.   And the Firewatch Group have serviced the Trust’s fire extinguishers, in Head Office and our shops, as well as donating tables and chairs for our 20th birthday party.  All of these kind offers have saved the Trust hundreds if not thousands of pounds. Two of the Trust’s long-term supporters are Vospers and Bovey Castle.  In conjunction with Mazda UK, Vospers have provided a car for our annual Grand Summer Draw at cost and Bovey Castle have given a stunning prize of a weekend break for 6.  Alex Bass, Vospers Manager, explains: “We are delighted to support DAAT and their use of the Mazda throughout the summer is a great promotion for the Grand Summer Draw and, of course, also a great promotion for the support Vospers offer – it’s a win-win for both of us.”

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Seven months, 27 countries, 20,000 kilometres... all on a Honda C90 Relaxing at Everest

Christmas in Thailand

When Ed March, 24, left his Hartland home in North Devon last November, he had a one-way ticket to Malaysia and a very rough plan to make his way back to Devon, in a journey that he thought would take about seven months.

Inspired by the television show Top Gear’s Vietnam Christmas Special, Ed had, in fairness, planned his transport back – a trusted Honda C90 motorbike already shipped ahead, that was waiting for him in customs in Malaysia. So, after a 14-hour flight and a very intrigued customs inspection, he and his bike set off on their epic journey.

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By his own admission, prior to his trip Ed had researched only his visas, vaccinations and shipping the bike to Malaysia. “I always believe that things will work themselves out. As long as you’re friendly, karma and a smile will get you through anything.

The reason I chose Devon Air Ambulance as my charity is because, quite simply, I am the kind of person that may need them to save my life at some point. My aim is that through my C90 trips I will eventually raise enough money to cover the cost of the Devon Air Ambulance extracting me from whatever petrol powered pickle I’ve found myself in!

Nepal’s treacherous mountain roads

I just ride towards a destination; I never know where I’m going to eat, sleep or stop for fuel.” It was a mantra that kept Ed going throughout the seven months, through countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietman and Laos, and on to Nepal, India, Dubai, Iran, Turkey, Hungary and many more besides. As he made his way back to the UK through neighbouring Europe, Ed rode through a total of nearly 30 countries and clocked up over 20,000 km under his tyres. He carried all his own luggage and made all his own repairs. Ed kept family and friends informed of his journey along the way by keeping a blog on his website,

Thailand’s coastlline, along with some incredibly creative videos. “I’m not a professional writer or rider by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve got a passion for doing as many exciting things as I can in my life, a passion for making people laugh, but mainly a passion to show the world that you don’t need a £15,000 BMW GS1200 to travel.” So, rather than spend £15,000 on a BMW motorbike for his travels, Ed spent just £150.00 on the Honda C90. “That way,” he said, “I could spend £15,000 doing every stupid thing I could think of.” The amazing stories Ed has,

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Fundraising Ed in Annapurna

Ed starts at Malaysia’s Petronas Towers

Tanker crash in India

Sand dunes in Dubai

including tales from the world’s ‘most dangerous roads’, bribing the Cambodian army and driving round the Nurburgring on his C90, will keep friends, family and colleagues entertained for years to come. His JustGiving site has enabled his supporters to raise over £1,500, for Ed’s chosen charity. He explains, “The reason I chose Devon Air Ambulance as my charity is because, quite simply, I am the kind of person that may need them to save my life at some point. My aim is that through my C90 trips I will eventually raise enough money to cover the cost of the Devon Air Ambulance extracting me from whatever petrol powered pickle I’ve found myself in!”

Grasslands in Iran

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Lottery News

Canvassers Paul and Lee Gibbs with Paramedics Adrian Parker and Paul Robinson

Coming to a doorstep near you

You will be given details about how the Lottery works, what prizes can be won and will be asked if you wish to become a member by joining through standing order or cheque payment. They will NEVER ask for cash, nor are they allowed to take cash donations.

Devon Air Ambulance Trust’s inhouse Lottery started in September 2001 and now has over 23,000 members playing. For every £1 paid, an average of 70p goes direct to the helicopters which last year raised over £1,000,000…..WOW! Our team of Canvassers will be out and about each week in residential areas throughout the County, promoting the Lottery. They wear Air Ambulance branded clothing and will always carry DAAT Lottery ID badges. They will introduce themselves and inform you about the Lottery and the Trust. They represent the Trust in a professional manner, giving clear and accurate information about our charity.

Our Head Office Lottery team is notified every Friday in which areas of Devon our Canvassers will be working the following week. If you have any doubts about someone knocking on your door, please don’t hesitate to call us, we will be only too happy to confirm where our Canvassers are working that day. However, if you would like time to consider joining the DAAT Lottery, the Canvasser will be more than happy to leave you the application form which you can then forward on to us direct. If you would like a chance to win a weekly jackpot of £1,350, or one of 12 further prizes, and to support the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, please complete and return the form overleaf, contact or telephone 01392 469886.

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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


Patient Story

Cob blocks and cream teas

Character Builders have run a trade stand at the Chagford Show for the last 3 years demonstrating traditional building methods and also giving out free cream teas to visitors in return for donations to Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

Tom Diffey

Simeon Diffey & Tom Laflin displaying traditional pointing skills

Tom Laflin carving a stone nameplate

Tom Diffey, of Character Builders South West Ltd, tells the following story: “At this year’s Chagford Show there was a steady stream of visitors to our stand. We were running demonstrations of stone masonry, cob block work, lead bossing and sign carving and had lots of interest. The take up on the cream teas was good and we raised £161 in donations for DAAT. We have supported the Air Ambulance every year on the basis that it is a local charity and we knew it was funded solely through donations. We luckily had no first hand experience of the service until a couple of days later!

track where the access was impossible for a land ambulance so the Air Ambulance was called. Their response was amazing. They arrived within minutes and took control of the situation straight away. I was unconscious and still have no recollection of what happened. I had been running well and was in third place, the finish line just around the corner - the next thing I remember was coming round on the stretcher as I was lifted over a fence to be put in the helicopter. The speed with which we reached the hospital in Exeter was phenomenal and by the time my family turned up I had had tests run on me and my condition had stabilised. Luckily I was let out of hospital later that night. I can only say a massive thank you to DAAT and can guarantee that the fundraising efforts by Character Builders will continue.”

“On the Sunday following the show I was taking part in a 10k fun run in Moretonhampstead when I collapsed with heat exhaustion. Unfortunately, where I fell was along a riverside

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Exeter City AFC

Football in the Community

Exeter City AFC’s community engagement initiative was formed over 20 years ago to forge closer links with the community and provide a role for ex-professional players.

Today, it’s a registered charity and the success of its Football in the Community (FITC) programme has been staggering, with 40,000+ individual contact sessions made last year for children, young people and adults of all abilities all over Devon.

achievements, give people options and provide opportunities for all people, whatever age, race, religion or belief. The strategy has four strands – education, social inclusion, health and sports participation.”

Projects include school holiday and after school clubs, player development centres for girls, tiny tots clubs, activity weeks in secondary schools, sponsored events, matchday experience packages and a cooperative small schools club. Jamie Vittles, the former Grecian defender and now Head of Community at the Division Two Club, explained the strategy that is delivering such notable success. “Our aim is to develop and educate people of all ages through the vehicle of football, recognize

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Jamie Vittles

Exeter City AFC The breadth of FITC’s work is impressive. It oversees 60 young people in full-time education studying to BTEC level in Sport; 35 are currently undertaking a Duke of Edinburgh Award Life Skills course; there are ‘Every Player Counts’ programmes involving all types of physical disability including those with learning difficulties or mental health issues; FITC has developed a BME (Black, Minority & Ethnic) competitive football team; it has entered into ‘behavioural contracts’ with young people with anti-social tendencies; plus an NVQ programme aimed at NEETS (not in education, employment or training) in street soccer and up to 6 hours of adult futsal each week. There is also ladies small sided football, veterans football, whole family skills sessions, healthy lifestyle workshops and a running club. But what drives Jamie Vittles? The role requires the skills of a manager, psychologist, youth worker and sports analyst while being responsible for budgets, planning and partnerships. Jamie said: “Being part of a professional football club and involving the community in physical activity is highly rewarding. We inspire people and we are breaking barriers and this gives me a massive boost. No two days are ever the same.” What does remain the same, however, is the respect and admiration we all have for this fantastic organization.

Our aim is to develop and educate people of all ages through the vehicle of football, recognize achievements, give people options and provide opportunities for all people, whatever age, race, religion or belief.

Stop Press – Exeter City Football in the Community Charity awarded £5,000 from Lloyds Bank Community Fund – for their work to inspire and support young people – very well deserved!

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Patient Story

Daniel on RIB “Tinker” before the accident

Freak accident with an anchor Daniel Clokey, aged 8, was enjoying a week’s holiday in Salcombe with family and friends when a freak accident nearly changed everything. After a lovely afternoon out on the water in their boat, Daniel’s dad, John, was kedging the anchor, not knowing that Daniel had climbed quietly into the boat behind him and, as the anchor swung back, it hit Daniel on his head. Mum, Vicky, was in a friend’s boat nearby and raced to assist on hearing the scream. As Daniel was brought back to the land and carried ashore by his dad, Vicky saw a huge, deep gash above his ear. First on the scene was Tim Hore, landlord of The Victoria Inn of Fore Street in Salcombe and also a First Responder. Tim drove Daniel and Vicky to where the Devon Air Ambulance had landed. Paramedics Nigel Hare

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Daniel with his parents and brother Thomas at the paralympics – fully recovered from his injuries

and Adrian Parker were then on hand to take over the care of young Daniel as the helicopter flew them to Torbay Hospital. While John and Daniel’s Grandad, Brian, drove to the hospital, Daniel’s wound was examined by the team at Accident & Emergency. Despite their worst fears, the 4-inch gash, while deep and gory, had not fractured the skull and was cleaned and superglued together. Daniel was allowed out later that evening and declared, “My head is sore, Mummy, but I’m very hungry!” Vicky explained the range of emotions she had felt during the day, “The trauma started in the boat and that was awful. I was relieved that Daniel didn’t lose consciousness but we knew he needed urgent treatment. It was great that Tim from The Victoria Inn is a First Responder and we were grateful for his help to reach the Air Ambulance. By the time the helicopter arrived, we knew that professionals were in control and felt much more reassured, and the speed that we got to hospital was amazing. We don’t even live in Devon, but we’re extremely grateful to the Devon Air Ambulance for helping us out that day. We were back at our holiday cottage later the same day and even managed to enjoy the rest of our week, with Daniel proudly showing off his wound and telling everyone about his helicopter ride.”


Mary’s biggest challenge to date Like many pensioners today, Mary Phillips has a traditional love of sewing, baking and flower arranging. However, Mary is certainly not your average 70-something. For the past six years, Mary has been the proud owner of a much-loved, bright orange, 1953 Field Marshall Series 3A tractor and, together, they are regular visitors at steam fairs and vintage tractor rallies around the area. This summer, Mary undertook her biggest challenge to date - the marathon of driving her tractor, nick-named Fran (after Fran Carnell in DAAT’s Community Fundraising team) from John O’Groats to Lands End. Setting off on a beautiful, clear, Scottish summer’s day, Mary left the most northerly point of the UK and headed south, followed by a support team which included Mary’s partner (and the previous owner of Fran, the tractor), Peter. Day after day, Mary climbed up to her seat on the tractor and gradually, at a steady pace of just 9 mph, the miles passed. Mary enjoyed watching the scenery change and, every day, she ran through a repertoire of songs as she sang while she drove. Mary, who spent much of each day covered in splatters of oil and was often soaked through to the skin by the inclement British weather, was offered accommodation from strangers she met along the way. “The generosity of passers by and wellwishers was an absolute joy,” explained Mary. “Although I think there were occasions where I quite scared the cattle and the sheep – often they would run away as I approached – and I’m not sure if it was from the noise of my tractor, or my singing!” On one occasion, Mary was aware that she was being followed by a police car. Slowing to a halt at the first available space, Mary was curious why they stopped her... “Have you lost a cow?” they asked! Mary’s journey lasted 17 days and, having only got lost once throughout the entire time, she had covered a total of 957 miles. On arrival, Mary thanked everyone who had supported

her in her adventure. She was delighted to receive a bouquet of flowers and some chocolates from two youngsters at Land’s End and declared that she would happily “do it all again!” Mary lives in the village of St Teath, near Bodmin, and funds raised by her epic journey will be split between Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to Mary and her support team – we wait with bated breath to learn about her next plans!

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Patient Story

Laura - aged 7

Dreams crushed in quad bike crash

Encouraged and influenced by her father, Laura Champion rode her first motorbike just one week after her 3rd birthday! Laura’s love of bikes followed her right through her childhood, starting with her automatic 50cc bike and progressing to a Kawasaki 65cc and then to a 250cc at just 12 years old. Watching their dad, Philip, competing in grass track races inspired Laura and her brother, Robert, to also compete from a very young age and they, too, took part in grass track and scramble races in the area around their home in North

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Somerset, with Laura winning a number of trophies and medals. Much to the family’s disappointment, however, two of their motorbikes were stolen at race meetings and, when a third bike was stolen from their garden shed, they decided enough was enough. It was not until Laura was 20 that she replaced her wheels, this time with a quad bike. Confident and excited and happy to be back in the saddle, Laura entered her first quad bike race in April this year, at a meeting in Woodleigh near Kingsbridge, with her brother competing in the same race. However, on the test lap, before the race even started, Laura’s dreams were crushed. On a steep hill down, not long after the start, Laura lost control and hit the post of a barbed wire fence, coming off the bike and the bike landing on top of her. Robert, riding just behind her, rushed to the scene with event paramedics. Feeling an immediate swelling in Laura’s neck, the paramedics called for back-up from Devon’s Air Ambulance. The helicopter landed in a nearby field and aircrew, Nigel Hare and Eddie Bunday with pilot Rob Mackie, attended. Fortunately, Laura was still conscious but, with a very real risk of a break to her neck or spinal column, she was flown to Derriford Hospital to undergo a number of tests and x-rays. Meanwhile, Philip and Robert dashed by car to Plymouth and mum, Sue, met them all at the hospital. By amazing good fortune, after a nail-biting wait, it transpired that nothing had actually been broken and, slightly drowsy with pain-killers, Laura was allowed home in the early hours of the following day. Whilst still suffering back pain and occasional numbness in her leg, Laura appreciates how lucky she was that day. She has since decided to give up the idea of racing quad bikes but, with her love of wheel-power still intact, she has now taken up trials riding, just for fun!

Patient Story

Two brothers, two airlifts Our attendance at events and shows around the county gives us a great opportunity to meet some of the people we have helped over the years. Joining hosts, Haines Watts, in their marquee at the Holsworthy & Stratton Show, we met not just one, but two expatients...

Roger Pomeroy

Dave Pomeroy from East Putford, near Holsworthy, was visiting friends in February 2008 when he was shown a brand new mini-motorbike. Before Dave had even got on the bike for a trial ride, he reached across to start it but the throttle stuck on and the bike took off. Dave chased alongside, trying to avoid an accident that would harm the shiny, new bike – but, unfortunately, he ran straight into a rail and post fence, where his neck took the brunt. Seeing a ‘gaping great hole’ in his neck and lots of blood, his friends called 999 and an Air Ambulance was despatched. The aircraft landed in a neighbouring field and the aircrew prepared Dave for his flight to North Devon District Hospital, where his wound was stitched and he was kept in overnight.

Dave and wife Helen, celebrate daughter Miranda’s marriage to Andy

A couple of years later, Dave’s brother, Roger, was working on a barn roof at his farm, also in East Putford, when a purlin broke beneath him and the roof collapsed. Whilst Roger has no memory of the fall, his son heard the crash and found his dad unconscious on the ground.

chest bone that took the longest time to heal and it was some months before Roger was back to full strength.

Roger’s family called 999 and he was also flown to North Devon District Hospital, suffering an open head wound, an injury to his elbow and a broken chest bone. Recounting the story, Roger remembers the aircrew being ‘so very efficient and organised’. He explained that his head wound was ‘superglued’ together and his arm recovered, but it was his

Chatting to DAAT colleagues at the Holsworthy Show, both brothers expressed their gratitude for the service that helped them and they are now planning a garden party to raise funds to help keep the Air Ambulances flying.

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Business Support

Businesses on board We are fortunate to work with many great businesses throughout the county, some large and some small. Their support is invaluable to us and comes in many different ways...

Alcoa Howmet recently donated $2,500 (yes, dollars!) from a company grant, Alcoans In Motion. In addition, they held a golf day for us and raised further funds. Their ongoing support extends further still, as they recycle toner cartridges for us and they actively encourage their staff members to join our in-house Lottery and currently have 65 colleagues who play each week.

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Thomas Westcott, Chartered Accountants, have long supported DAAT and, for 2012, we have been their Charity of the Year. At town and agricultural shows around the county, visitors were encouraged to donate in return for face painting. Setting the trend is Mark Ohlsen from Thomas Westcott’s Exeter office, pictured at the Honiton Show.

Dunn’s of Underdown Farm at Exbourne deliver fresh milk to over 3,000 Devon homes and have nominated DAAT as their charity of the year. We will benefit from every new customer they get this year as well as from donations and other fundraising initiatives they do. To have YOUR milk delivered to your doorstep, telephone 01837 851271.

Haines Watts, Chartered Accountants, invited DAAT to join them at their stand at the Holsworthy & Stratton Show in August. It was a great opportunity for DAAT colleagues to meet visitors to their stand – amongst them were Dave and Roger Pomeroy who have both been airlifted by our helicopters following two separate accidents. A raffle was also held, in support of DAAT, and the lucky winner was... Dave Pomeroy!

Penny Whitefield of Knowhow runs a business specialising in IT training and consultancy. She has, single handedly, trained and encouraged all DAAT staff through the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) exams with all Head Office staff now having completed at least the ECDL Essentials course. Thank you Penny!

A big thank you goes to all the businesses who exhibited and visitors who attended the Business Gives Back Expo, organised by thebestof Exeter, and held at Exeter Racecourse on 27th September. As well as the obvious networking opportunity, exhibitors and visitors attended seminars, advice centres and 1:1 clinics and DAAT was the nominated charity of the day.

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Junior Crew Thomas at just 2 weeks old – before his heart surgery

Baby needs heart surgery at just two weeks old Sometimes the Air Ambulance is called to urgently transfer a patient from one hospital to another, as Melissa Jenkins discovered when her son was just two weeks old. When little Thomas Jenkins was born, in February 2007, his parents, Melissa and Ian, had no reason to believe that anything was wrong and were delighted that 2-year old son, Harry, had a brand new baby brother. Just two weeks and four days later, however, Thomas developed a nasty cough and a trip to the local doctor led to an immediate referral to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital, where the family received some devastating news.

new baby boy and suddenly we were sitting at his bedside waiting for him to come round after major heart surgery. We are so grateful to everyone for saving his life, from the staff at Derriford, the aircrew from Devon Air Ambulance and, of course, the surgical team at Southampton Hospital – they are all amazing.”

Looking very smart with big brother, Harry

Thomas had been born with a severe heart problem, including arteries that were the wrong way round and a hole in the heart that had, surprisingly, gone undetected at Melissa’s 20week scan. Melissa and Ian took in the news that Thomas would need major surgery and, as plans were made for their tiny son to be transferred to Southampton Hospital, they had to leave him behind at Derriford. Arranging for their older son, Harry, to be cared for by grandparents, Melissa and Ian drove to Southampton Hospital and, on arrival, learned that Thomas was already there, having been transferred from Derriford by the Devon Air Ambulance. While his parents waited and worried, Thomas had the surgery he needed with the arteries and the hole in the heart duly repaired. Miraculously, just 6 days after surgery, Thomas was allowed to leave hospital. He is now a fully-fit, active, 5-year old, proudly showing off his scar to anyone who wants to see it. Mum, Melissa, said, “It was such a traumatic time. One day we were showing off our

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The Jenkins Family enjoying the day out at our birthday party

A well-travelled bear Douglas Bear is a lucky little bear who lives in our Cowick Street shop in Exeter. He couldn’t be sold as he didn’t have a safety label but the team couldn’t bear to see him simply thrown away. So they keep him as their mascot and he now has a very happy time..... travelling far and wide with customers on their holidays. So far this year, Douglas has visited France, Tenerife, Bournemouth, Legoland, a casino and he’s been on a cruise. He has even had his own graduation ceremony at Exeter University. Denise Sutton from Exeter with her grandson Aaron who lives in Plymouth. They took Douglas with them to Legoland!

Be A Hero – Junior style

Bishops Nymptom

East Anstey

Bishops Nympton Primary School and East Anstey Primary School were among several schools that joined in our National Air Ambulance Week, inviting youngsters to Be A Hero for a day.

Don’t Forget... Adventurous 12-15 year olds are invited to take part in the first ever Commando Kids, a Junior Commando Challenge! The event is on Saturday 13th April 2013 and is open to schools, cadets, scouts, clubs and friends your chance to race the course, get muddy and have fun, all in a good cause. For more details, click on

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42 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine Leeward House, Fitzroy Road, Exeter Business Park, Exeter, Devon EX1 3LJ Tel: 01392 214635 Fax: 01392 214690 Email:


Devon people

Following a successful Comedy & Race Night at Crediton United AFC, DAAT volunteer John Groves went along to Lords Meadow football ground to receive a cheque for £167.00 from Graham Avery, Acting Chairman

We are always delighted to hear about the wide variety of fundraising activites that take place in the towns, villages, clubs and pubs around the county. Please keep your photographs coming in, letting us know who appears in the picture and what your event was, and you may appear on these pages in our next issue.

Heléna Holt was delighted to collect a cheque following this year’s Kingsbridge Music Festival from Michael Hemborough, Festival Committee Member and well-known local businessman, Peter Betteridge.

Funds from this year’s Sidmouth Festival Run were split between the Air Ambulance and the FORCE Charity. Sponsors, Michelmores, presented a cheque to DAAT expatient, Gerald Woodley. Gerald was picked up by air ambulance about 2 years ago

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Our thanks go to all the ‘twinkle toes’ from Dolphin Tea Dancers who, over recent years, have raised over £6,000 for DAAT through their various fundraising activities – as Brucie says, “Keeeeep Dancing!”

Supporters Sue Hogg and Jill Martin-Pope ran the London 10K together in July and raised over £1,000 between them. They also ran with Carly, one of Jill’s two daughters, both of whom have been airlifted!

Thank you to Muriel and Robert Griffiths of the Radio Roosters Breakfast Club, who have been meeting in Plymouth on the first Sunday of each month for 20 years, and have collected nearly £1,500 for the Trust.

Youngsters of all ages had a great time at the recent fun Dressage to Music event at Bruckland Livery in Musbury. Pictured are Christopher Brown with his mum, Rebecca. The event raised over £500

Aircrew paramedic Haydn Glanville, along with fellow members of the Norton Motorcycle Club, recently undertook the route from Land’s End to John O’Groats, with the team clocking up 26,000 miles between them!

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


MG Owners Club Secretary, Roger Mayo and his wife, Pat, present a cheque to DAAT volunteers, Ian and Elaine Shere Massey. Pictured centre is Guy Wilkins, landlord of The Ley Arms in Kenn where the MG Owners regularly meet A musical extravaganza was enjoyed on 18th August with Music in the Air at Goodrington, organised by Rick Courtney, pictured (in the hat) along with members of Pendulum 5. One guest even came to the microphone to let the audience know that only two weeks earlier his father had been airlifted and the service had saved his life...

Pictured with DAAT volunteer Maralynn Butterworth (second left) are Martin Littlejohns, Chairman of South West Mule Group, Mary Heard, Secretary, and David Landick, Treasurer, presenting a cheque for £400 following a social evening

We are very grateful for regular support from The Grand Charity of Freemasons. Members of Devonshire Freemasons, Graham Snell, Nigel Davey and David Bennett, joined us at our 20th birthday party

Pictured centre is Sharron O’Neill, Event Co-ordinator for this year’s Ilfracombe Motorcycle Show on 15th September, with other members of North Devon Motorcycle Action Group.

The good townsfolk of Seaton in East Devon all work together for an amazing array of activities for Seaton Air Ambulance Week – all raising funds for DAAT

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Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 45

Helicopter Operations

Nigel Hare, Operations Manager

A pilot’s view when trying to locate a patient

Safety precautions when riding

iPhone owners, why not download the free Devon Air Ambulance App which can pinpoint your location in an emergency and provide an Ordnance Survey grid reference which you can pass on to the 999 operator. The Air Ambulance dispatcher in the ambulance control room will always seek to ring back the person who made the 999 call and advise them that the Air Ambulance is attending. If you have had to walk up a hill to be able to get a signal try and remain where you are so you can be phoned back. If your location is particularly difficult to find the aircrew also have the ability whilst in flight to ring you and narrow down your location, so keeping yourself contactable is very important.

Last year, Devon’s Air Ambulances were called to help 99 patients injured in equestrian related incidents, representing the sport and leisure activity we attend most frequently.

If possible lead all the horses away from where the patient is located. The pilot will want to land the helicopter as close to the patient as possible. If the horses are still near the patient they will have to land further away which will mean increased difficulty in transferring the patient to the helicopter. Finally, when you see the Air Ambulance approaching wave something bright, such as a High-Vis tabard or a shirt (or even a brightly coloured carrier bag!) as this will make you easier to spot from the air.

The delight of riding a horse in the glorious Devon countryside, far away from the busy roads, does mean that often it is only the Air Ambulance that can gain access right beside a patient. If you are out riding and someone in your group needs medical help there are a few simple actions you can take which will help ensure we can start treating the patient as quickly as possible.

If you are riding alone, always wear High-Vis clothing and always keep your mobile phone on you, not the horse!

Firstly, when making any 999 call, be as precise about your location as possible. We appreciate that at times this can be a challenge, especially when the weather is great and your ride has taken you further than intended into unfamiliar areas. However, any directions you can provide of the route you have taken, or landmarks that you have passed or can see are always very helpful. For

46 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Breakdown of Sport & Leisure related incidents in 2011

Equestrian 57% Rugby 9% Adventure 16%

Football 2% Golf 2%

Other 8% On/In water 6%

Staff Profile

A Day in the Life A Volunteer’s Lot... Coming to work is a joy each day when you’re working with friends at the DAA They said working Mondays is all I need do But I find myself working on Wednesdays too Just four hours a week, now it’s ten And there’s more time free if I can make it again! “You’re having a laugh“ I said in the store “I’m retired now and I’m just working more” “It’s only for this week, Gladys is ill” (I’ll bring in my duvet and sleep by the till!) I come into work; I enjoy every day Tidying the items that are out on display Filling the shelves and sorting the stock We never have time to look at the clock But we never miss making a nice cup of tea And when Phil is here he’ll make it maybe The chopper’s above, we can hear it close by The money we take will help him to fly Volunteering is team work and in the DAA We’re family and friends in our own little way by Margaret Rodgers, Volunteer in the Newton Abbot shop

A busy time was enjoyed by all at Newton Abbot shop’s Glitz and Glamour evening

Margaret Rodgers, from Kingskerswell, is one of 30 volunteers in our Newton Abbot shop and has volunteered for DAAT for nearly five years. “I joined in April 2008 because I wanted to do something for a well-deserving cause. After over four years as a volunteer, I still thoroughly enjoy every minute that I am at the shop. No two days are the same, with so much variety of clothing, soft furnishing and bric-a-brac.” As well as enjoying the fun of writing poems, Margaret is also a keen walker. Along with three friends, she walked 73 miles along Hadrian’s Wall to raise funds for DAAT and, subsequently, encouraged one of those friends to join her as a volunteer at DAAT! Margaret is also an active member of Kingskerswell WI and writes regularly for the Parish magazine. “It is a fantastic team I am working with and this is what makes the job such a pleasure. I mainly work two mornings a week but will do extra on certain occasions. I helped to prepare the Kingsbridge shop for opening and helped towards our Glitz & Glamour evening where we displayed and modelled our party and evening wear from 5.00–8.00pm, with many fellow volunteers at the shop ready to help the stream of customers coming through the doors.” If you are inspired to help at one of our shops, please call in and introduce yourself. Our staff will be delighted to meet you!

Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 47


Star email

Star tweet

Following Exmoor’s 9th Annual Bolving Competition, we received the following email from organiser, Richard Eales: Hi All,

Claire wins Dinner, Bed & Breakfast at the Ilsington Country House Hotel, kindly donated by Richard & Tim Hassle

I think Saturday night was a success and I hope we raised a good amount. Just a quick note to thank you all for your support in setting this up, you really are a pleasure to deal with and you make it easy! Please could you let me know how much we raised when everything is counted up?

Richard wins dinner for two with a bottle of house wine at Keystone at The Bulstone in Branscombe, East Devon, kindly donated by Judith and Kevin Monaghan.

Star status This issue’s Star Facebook winner is Charlotte Watson, for posting the following message and lovely photo after her partner, James, ran in this year’s Taunton 10K.

Editors Note: At the time of print, the monies from the evening and the auction are still being counted, but thank you to all who contributed auction items and to all who attended this popular annual event!

Charlotte and James win Dinner, Bed & Breakfast at The Quarryman’s Rest, Bampton, nr Tiverton, kindly donated by Paul and Donna Berry – you can read the story of Fearne’s accident on page 15.

48 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

How you can help us and we can help you! Gift Ideas As well as a great variety of unusual Christmas gifts for all the family, don’t forget that our charity shops also have a range of Christmas cards. There are winter scenes with the helicopter, humorous cards and a watercolour print of the air ambulance on Dartmoor. All packs contain 10 cards and are just £3.00 per pack. You will also find our stunning Capturing Devon calendars at just £5.00 each.

Calendars Following our successful, inaugural photographic competition earlier this year, our Capturing Devon calendar features the winning images. It follows the theme of At Work, At Rest, At Play and is a selection of stunning shots from around the county, capturing scenes in all seasons. Calendars are available at any of our shops, on-line at or telephone 01392 469886.

Santa’s Mistakes Just occasionally, and understandably given just how busy he is, Santa gets it wrong and a gift you receive may be too big, too small, or simply unsuitable. If that is the situation in your household this Christmas, please don’t forget us. Our shops will be only too happy to take such gifts off your hands and you can be assured that they will be recycled, perhaps offering the perfect gift to a new owner and raising much needed funds for Devon’s Air Ambulances in the process....

Don’t forget:

All Apple users can download our specially created ‘app’, via the Apple App Store, offering a grid reference to pinpoint your exact location in the case of an accident. We are also hoping to extend this service for nonApple users in 2013... watch this space!

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 Another busy couple of months and ones full of fitness. For those who know me I am about to make a statement that will shock. I have joined a gym! No, that is not a spell checker error; I have not joined a gin, although that might happen a little later... The BBC have asked me to film a documentary for the Inside Out series on BBC1 and thus sent me to The Nuffield gymnasium in Plymouth, the one cunningly placed near Pizza Hut so you can blend squat thrusts with melted cheese. It was a little daunting entering the world of the young and beautiful but I fitted in quite well I thought, wearing a bright red top helps, matching the colour of my face to the clothes lessens the shock to passers by, although I do look like a large sweaty post box. On the second day I got nodded at by some muscle bound hulk and then smiled at by some willowy damsel fresh from aerobics. Yes….., I was accepted, I thought. What they were actually trying to tell me was that I had my shorts on inside out. Apparently it is not cool to have ‘wash separately’ and ‘made in Korea’ flapping up and down as you pound away on the cross trainer. Neither is it cool to have your laces undone on the rolling road thingy. And never, and I mean never, bend down to do them up when the thing is turned on. Still, I met a charming young lady on the rowing machine behind me, after I cart-wheeled off the apparatus and landed in her lap! And so to the highlight of my year, the return of Tom Daley. I will keep this short….bronze medal winner, gold medal human being. You may have seen the coverage of his return along with the other Olympians, Para Olympians and Olympic Helpers on Spotlight. On a freezing cold afternoon, thousands of well wishers packed the pavements of Plymouth. In the mad crush to meet him there was one little four year old girl who had stood by the stage

50 Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Fitz since 5.00pm. At 7.15pm Tom walked straight past her and was being guided back onto the bus. Not surprisingly, she burst into tears. I could see the distress she was in so I decided to tap the young man on the shoulder and point her out. Tom is pushed and pulled in all directions by the media and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Tom turned, walked back and about four feet away she launched herself off the shoulders of her mother and he had to catch her. She clung onto his neck sobbing and our hero cuddled her until she stopped crying. I am off to get a hanky.

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Helipad - The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine 51

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