OUR SERVICE • OUR PATIENTS • OUR FUNDRAISERS • AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTY the oﬃcial magazine of
DEVON AIR AMBULANCE
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spring 2022 | WELCOME
WELCOME Heléna Holt Chief Executive Officer As we look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, I’ve spent some time reflecting on what we have achieved over that time. The transformation of the service we’ve provided over the last thirty years has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. When we flew our first mission on the 27th August 1992, the focus was speed – getting the patient to hospital and definitive care as quickly as possible. While speed is still important, our focus now is on taking that care straight to the patient. Our highly skilled and trained doctors and paramedics can deliver the most advanced medical techniques, treatments, medicine, anesthesia and even surgery on arrival, really improving our patients’ chances of a positive outcome.
our Masters in Pre-hospital Critical Care, gained clinical independence as a CQC registered ambulance service, extended our operations to 2am, facilitated the development of over 185 Community Landing Sites across the county and introduced two Critical Care Cars to complement our helicopters. The future is equally exciting, with our latest big project being the development of a new joint airbase and head office facility, which you can read more about on page 17. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved thanks to our amazing staff and volunteers who all contribute to our core purpose of preventing avoidable death, disability and suffering. I’m also extremely thankful to all our supporters who, of course, make this possible!
We have striven to improve the service we provide ever since with many notable achievements over that time. We created the country’s first dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service dispatch team based at the 999 call centre, were awarded our own Air Operator’s Certificate, launched
Ali Simpson Helipad Editor As usual, I could fill twice as many pages in Helipad magazine with updates from our lifesaving service, our amazing fundraisers and the interesting people, places and history of our great county. This issue, I take a look close to my home at the Torquay districts of Babbacombe and St Marychurch, two vibrant communities with an abundance of renowned visitor attractions and independent retailers. We have a slitherin’ encounter with British snakes and learn that Devon had a rich tin mining history well before Poldark came on the scene. And, why not try your hand at our prize crossword to win a family day out at Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens! We have an update from our ‘Green Team’ on the first steps we have taken to help with our commitment to environmental sustainability, go with our retail team on their digital journey and meet some of the fantastic fundraisers, young and old,
who continue to do weird and wonderful challenges to raise money for us. We also tell you all about our ‘Help with all your heart’ campaign and public defibrillator project and invite you to sign up to one of our free sessions for first-hand training with our Critical Care Paramedics on CPR and how to use a defibrillator with confidence. Heléna mentioned our 30th anniversary celebrations above and we have put a few more tantalising details on our plans in Stop Press on page 7. I am also delighted to announce that our summer issue of Helipad will be an ‘Anniversary Special’, not only giving us an opportunity to look back and celebrate our three amazing decades of life-saving service but also to look ahead to a very exciting future for the Charity. Enjoy!
GET IN TOUCH! Devon Air Ambulance Unit 5 Sandpiper Court Harrington Lane Exeter EX4 8NS 01392 466666 firstname.lastname@example.org www.daat.org Registered Charity No 1077998 Registered Company No 3855746
Fundraising & Events
Community Landing Sites Toby Russell
0203 283 4055
© All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form without prior permission of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Devon Air Ambulance Trust will not accept liability for loss or damage. Every eﬀort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content but the publishers cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations or for the consequences of any reliance on these details; neither can they vouch for the accuracy of claims made by any advertiser. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers.
helipad | www.daat.org
CONTENTS | spring 2022 OUR WORK The Oﬃcal Magazine of Devon Air Ambulance Celebrating the best in Devon 40,000 copies covering the whole county. 35,000+ delivered direct to our supporters Also available online at www.daat.org
Stop Press...Stop Press A round-up of news, events and people from Devon Air Ambulance.
Help with all your heart DAA attended 315 patients in 2021 who had suffered a cardiac arrest so, this year, join us by supporting our ‘Help with all your heart’ campaign, and boost your confidence by signing up for one of our free life-saving sessions.
Together, we did it! A massive thank you to everyone who contributed so generously to our Christmas Campaign to help raise the money we needed to buy a vital new Patient Monitor.
Carbon footprint to carbon plan Understanding our existing carbon footprint has helped us develop our carbon plan and measure our environmental sustainability successes. Find out how we took this vital first step with the latest from our ‘Green Team’.
New Airbase and HQ We are in the early stages of planning our new airbase and HQ facility. We explain some of the challenges that face us at our current Exeter airbase and why having this bespoke facility is vital to protect our service in the longer term.
Our digital journey The retail team was already working on making their processes more efficient by embracing digital ways of working, but the pandemic accelerated their plans. Read how the staff have not only embraced paperless processes, but also how retail is seeing the benefits of online shopping, product research and social media reach.
Business on board We really value the local businesses that continue to support Devon Air Ambulance …. and, if you and your friends, family or workmates want some fierce-but-friendly competition, why not sign up to enter a team at our popular Dragon Boat Festival in September sponsored by South West Water. Great for team building or just fun and fundraising!
Community fundraising Lottie and Steffan round-up some of the community fundraising events that have taken place around the county and say a big ‘thank you’ to the companies and individuals who have supported us.
Contributors David FitzGerald Richard Wilson Neil Devons
Publisher Heléna Holt email@example.com Editor Ali Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Gaynor Garton 020 3283 4055 Design & Print Management Silver Foxes Publishing 07455 206470 Distribution & Mailing Silver Foxes Publishing 07455 206470 ISSN (Print) 2055-2343 ISSN (Online) 2055-2351 Next issue Summer 2022
is published by DEVON AIR AMBULANCE TRUST
On The Cover Issue No.31 Spring 2022 Dartmoor Tin mine © David Goodman
spring 2022 | CONTENTS
30 Snakes alive!
Devon People and Junior Crew As restrictions are eased, our plucky fundraisers – young and old – are still finding fun, innovative and wacky ways to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance.
First of six for Torbay! We are pleased to announce the first Community Landing Site in Torquay has now become operational with five further sites across Torbay due to ‘go live’ shortly. CLS Development Officer, Toby Russell, explains the important role collaboration and strong local support played in bringing this network of sites together.
Reflection and direction Operations Director Nigel Hare explains the importance of reflecting on our experiences over previous years, which not only helps us set the direction of travel for our service but also our key priorities for the years ahead.
38 Community fundraising
PEOPLE, PLACES & LIFESTYLE 14
From poverty to power The story of how the Ernest Bevin, orphaned son of illiterate parents from Copplestone, became Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour government and left a legacy of national and global achievements.
Bulbs are springing up all over Looking ahead in his gardening year, RHS Horticulturist Richard Wilson tells us why planting bulbs for spring is one of his favourite jobs and also shares with us some real showstoppers that can be planted now for summer colour.
Prize Crossword Test your local and general knowledge with our popular prize crossword for a chance to win a great family day out at Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens.
Two vibrant communities, one shared history The stories of near neighbours Babbacombe and St Marychurch are entwined with colourful history, happy times and dark times, creativity and intrigue. Today, both communities offer renowned attractions, independence of spirit and traditional values against the backdrop of the blue ‘Riviera’ water.
Eat your heart out Poldark! The story of tin mining in Cornwall is well known but, back in the 12th century, Dartmoor’s tin production not only outstripping Poldark country, but the whole of Europe.
Snakes alive! Even if you think of yourself as an Ophidiophobic (someone with a loathing of snakes), take a while to read about our British species and why seeing one of these shy and elusive creatives in the wild is a real privilege.
Flying the flag for Devon We often think of flags as having been created in centuries gone by, but it might surprise many people to learn that the distinctive green flag of the county of Devon is only twenty years old and was chosen by a BBC Devon poll!
BackChat After reminiscing about his own personal experience in the Falklands conflict in Winter 2021 issue, Fitz takes a sober look back at the conflict on its 40th anniversary and we meet two local heroes who served to help our wounded service personnel.
GET INVOLVED 8
Volunteering After a gap of three years, we are excited to be coming back to many Devon shows and events this year… but we couldn’t do it without our loyal events volunteers. Find out why volunteering with DAA at a local show is so rewarding and think about giving it a go! Lottery Happy 21st birthday to us! Our lottery has raised an astonishing £25,000,000 for Devon Air Ambulance in that time and continues to go from strength to strength. Why not become a member now – in time for our bumper birthday draw in September!
Join Our Weekly See Page
helipad | www.daat.org
The latest news from Air Ambulance HQ
Bloomin’ Marvellous! A big thank you from the leadership team and staff to our supportive Board of Trustees who arranged for everyone at Devon Air Ambulance to receive a planter of spring bulbs to say ‘thank you’ for all their hard work during an exceptionally tough year. Thank you also to Jack’s Patch (Otter Nursery group) in Bishopsteignton who provided the bulbs, particularly General Manager Emma who co-ordinated and dispatched over 140 planters, even helping to load up the DAA van!
Have you been helped by Devon Air Ambulance? Are you a former patient of Devon Air Ambulance who has been airlifted or treated by our service? Are you a friend or relative of someone who has been assisted? You may have been in contact with our Patient Liaison Clinicians but, due to patient confidentiality, Devon Air Ambulance Trust does not know who we have helped.
Our Patient Stories are invaluable in helping us share the real-life accounts of those people we have treated. If you, or someone you know, has been assisted by our service and would like us to feature your patient story in Helipad magazine, we would love to hear from you.
We are delighted to announce that, after a gap of over three years, our Royal Marines Commando Challenge will return in 2023! We are busy finalising the details so keep your eyes peeled for the event date and more exciting Commando Challenge news at #RMCdoChallenge. We can’t wait to welcome you back to the mud to raise funds for The Royal Marines Charity and Devon Air Ambulance so to be the first to learn more about the event and get the latest news, visit our website at www.daat.org/commando-23-news to register your interest now!
If you are interested in us featuring your story in Helipad, please contact the Editor via email at email@example.com and we will work with you to bring your patient experience to life for our readers.
spring 2022 | NEWS
To celebrate thirty incredible years since we ﬂew our ﬁrst mission back in 1992, we will be holding a fantastic 30th Anniversary event on Plymouth Hoe on Sunday 28th August. Designed for all the family to enjoy and based on the theme of ‘Injury Prevention’, we will be joined by a number of our emergency services colleagues from the police, ﬁre service, ambulance and more, who will come along with their own vehicles and displays to help us celebrate this important milestone and importantly, show how all our amazing emergency services work together to support the people of Devon when they need us most. Why not save the date in your diaries now and be part of our celebration!
Plans for our 30th Anniversary celebrations are well underway
As well as our Anniversary event on the Hoe, we are putting the ﬁnal touches to two other events to be held during the summer months. Look out for more details in the coming weeks and months, on our website, through social media and in our ‘30th Anniversary’ Special Issue of Helipad, due out in July.
We love getting out and about across the county to meet with our amazing supporters and to tell as many people as possible about our life-saving work.
Unfortunately, this has not been possible for the last two years but we are absolutely delighted to announce that, in 2022, we will once again be attending a number of spring and summer county shows and fairs. Sun 29 May
Bideford Bike Show
Sat 18 & Sun 19 June
Axe Valley Show
Thurs 30 June - Sat 2 July
Devon County Show
Sat 23 July
Mid Devon Show
Mon 25 July
Wed 27 July
Sun 31 July
Wed 3 August
North Devon Show
Thurs 4 August
Wed 10 August
Thurs 11 August
Sat 13 & Sun 14 August
Megaride Festival Plymouth
Thurs 18 August
Thurs 25 August
Sat 3 September
Sun 4 September
Sun 11 September
Devon Air Ambulance Dragon Boat Festival (see page 40 for more details)
Tues 13 September
Why not come along to our stand to speak to our brilliant fundraisers, staff, volunteers and operational crew to find out more about our amazing life-saving work.
helipad | www.daat.org
Volunteering for an eventful year... Event volunteering for
Devon Air Ambulance A
fter two years, we are excited to be planning for a busy event season this spring and summer and are looking forward to being able to get back out in communities across Devon. We have a busy calendar visiting shows around the county (see Stop Press for details) as well as holding our own annual events like the Dragon Boat Race and celebrating our 30th Anniversary! It’s thanks to our event volunteers that we are able to attend so many events. Our event volunteers help in a range of ways including running our stands, selling Devon Air Ambulance
merchandise and logistical event support. Representing Devon Air Ambulance at events also gives a brilliant opportunity to talk to the public about our service, hear stories from the public about how we have helped them and gives our volunteers further insight into Devon Air Ambulance by spending time with crew and staff from across the organisation. Two of our experienced volunteers tell us why they enjoy representing us at events around the county.
Our annual Dragon Boat Race makes a comeback in 2022 - for more details and to find out how to take part this year, see page 37!
spring 2022 | VOLUNTEERING
Glynn Eley Glynn has been volunteering for Devon Air Ambulance since 2016 after seeing an advert to become a box collector in his local pub. Glynn and his wife Margaret have volunteered at a wide range of events including Devon County Show, Mid Devon Show and Uffculme Show. Glynn tells us his best memories of event volunteering. “One of our volunteering highlights is attending the Uffculme Exe Valley Rotary Fayre which has been held in the beautiful grounds of Lord Ivar Mountbatten’s residence and another was turning on a Christmas lights display in Tiverton with previous Radio One DJ Simon Bates! The fun of volunteering at events is that you never know where you might end up together with the chance to meet and talk to so many different people from different walks of life including patients that have been airlifted”
We are only able to attend and run so many events because of the support of our event volunteer team
Graham Gordon Graham has also been volunteering for Devon Air Ambulance since 2016, starting as a box collector before taking on more volunteer roles, delivering community talks and attending events. Graham has volunteered at many different events including the Totnes show and BMAD – Bikers Make a Difference festival. Grahams says “One of my highlights of event volunteering is dressing up as Ambrose the Bear and taking on his characteristics, I really enjoy seeing the public’s reaction to him, particularly the children. Event volunteering is really good fun; you meet lovely people and at every event learn a bit more about Devon Air Ambulance.” Event volunteering can be extremely rewarding with the opportunity to meet new people and have fun, while supporting our life saving work. If you would like to join our team then please contact our Interim Volunteer Manager Becky to ﬁnd out more on firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteering Proﬁle: Becky Trout - Interim Volunteer Manager While Cara Jones is on maternity leave, Becky is responsible for co-ordinating volunteering across Devon Air Ambulance, including the recruitment, induction, training and support of our volunteers working in our shops and across our community.
helipad | www.daat.org
Our New Campaign
Help with all your heart In 2021 DAA attended 315 patients who were suffering from cardiac arrest and this year we’re taking some big steps to help give those in the communities we serve the confidence to step in and help should the need arise.
f the patients we assisted in 2021, 270 were assisted by bystanders before we arrived on scene and 32 of them used a deﬁbrillator. Over the coming weeks, the installation of 19 defibrillators at our shops across Devon will be complete. They will be accessible for anyone to use. As part of our campaign ‘Help with all your heart’, we will be sharing news and information about cardiac arrest, including ways in which we can help to build public confidence in giving CPR and using defibrillators within our local communities.
To find out more about our focus on cardiac arrest, please visit our website: www.daat.org/cardiac
Our patients Alan’s story Alan and Sandra Crawley experienced the trauma of cardiac arrest ﬁrst hand when one day back in December 2014, Alan, then aged 78 became unwell very suddenly and suﬀered 12 cardiac arrests in just over one hour. Alan’s wife Sandra said of the incident “One look at him and he was grey and sweaty, clearly in a poor state... I rang for the ambulance, and when they arrived and said the air ambulance was coming you think oh wow. It was such a relief... without the air ambulance he wouldn’t have survived. Thankfully he did and he’s come through the other side extremely well.” You can watch Alan and his wife Sandra tell the story of their experience of cardiac arrest in their own words on our website: www.daat.org/cardiac
spring 2022 | CAMPAIGNS
Our survey said... Devon Air Ambulance delivers timecritical care thanks to your support. But you can help support our patients even before we arrive at a medical or trauma incident. To gain insight into the public’s understanding, uncertainty, or apprehension of using a defibrillator DAA recently released a survey to enable us to support local communities in accessing and using this life-saving piece of equipment.
You told us... With thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey, we learned that of the 197 respondents: ♥ 13 of you have used a defibrillator in a real medical incident. ♥ 40 of you said you wouldn’t be confident to use a defibrillator. ♥ 69 of you said you may be confident to use a defibrillator. ♥ 12 of you didn’t know if you would be confident to use a defibrillator. The most common responses for people not wanting to use a defibrillator were: ♥ Fear of doing more harm than good. ♥ Fear of doing something wrong. ♥ Lack of knowledge or training.
When asked what would make you feel more confident to use a defibrillator the most popular answer was training. With an incredible 78% of you wanting to find out more about how you can help and saying you were likely to go along to a local training session or demonstration in your area this great feedback has led to us planning this next exciting stage…
helipad | www.daat.org
Community Cardiac days Every day, defibrillators allow members of the public to become life savers when it is most unexpected. We want to help you to become more confident in using a defibrillator that is based in your local community by offering you the chance to boost your confidence with training delivered by our clinical team. A minimum of 3 separate sessions will take place on each day where our Critical Care Paramedics will be giving first hand training and advice to help people learn a little bit more about how they can help to save a life. Each session will include a demonstration of how to give CPR and how to use a defibrillator should the need arise, as well as a chance to have some valuable Q&A time with our crew. It is our intention that everyone we meet during our Community Cardiac days will feel that they have gained confidence to step in and help with a cardiac incident and that we will have helped to inform them of the things they were unsure about beforehand.
Book your place! We are pleased to be able to announce that our first three Community Cardiac days will be held in May at the following locations: ♥ 12 May - Bideford Pannier Market. Sessions at 09:30, 11:30 & 13:30 18 May - Seven Stars Hotel, Totnes. ♥ Sessions at 09:30, 11:30, 13:30 & 15:30 ♥ 31 May - Culm Valley Sports Centre Cullompton. Sessions at 10:00, 12:00 & 14:00 ♥ Okehampton* ♥ Ivybridge* *The dates, times and locations for these Cardiac days will be announced soon on our social media pages and our website where you will be able to book your free place: www.daat.org/cardiac
spring 2022 | CAMPAIGNS
Keeping you posted about fundraising...
Thank you for helping save lives at Christmas! Last Christmas, you granted our wish to fund a patient monitoring piece of equipment. We would like to join Lija, whose husband Sam we assisted in a road traﬃc collision and whose letter you read, in thanking you for meeting our total. We know it shocked many people that this vital piece of equipment costs roughly £25,000 and we know you were touched by Sam’s story and just how vital the support of Devon Air Ambulance was in helping him and his family deal with everything they went through. On behalf of all at Devon Air Ambulance, Sam and
his family we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to every person who got in touch to support our appeal. We are delighted to let you know that we raised just over £30,000 which means we can absolutely get the monitor that is so vital to the work that we do and put the rest of the funds raised towards a second device.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Did you know…
55% of our income in 2021 came from gifts in wills. Leaving a legacy helps our lifesaving service to be available for generations to come.
We would like to thank everyone who leaves us a gift in their will, large or small - every penny really does make a diﬀerence. We know your loved ones will always come ﬁrst but, when the time comes to write your will, we would be extremely grateful if you would consider a legacy gift to Devon Air Ambulance. To make a will, or amendments to an existing will, we recommend that you visit a solicitor. If you would like to leave a gift in your will to Devon Air Ambulance your solicitor will just need our details as below:
Devon Air Ambulance Trust, 5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NS Thank you for being one of our amazing supporters and helping to save lives.
helipad | DEVON PEOPLE
– from poverty to power Ernest Bevin was an orphaned son of illiterate parents when he came to live in Copplestone in mid-Devon. Despite attending Hayward’s School in Crediton, his formal education was limited and he soon left to become a farm labourer.
n moving to Bristol as a young man, he worked his way up from being a barrow boy, became a drayman then dockworker, as well as being a trade union activist and lay preacher, all of which helped hone his skills as an orator and debater with an unwavering moral compass. This remarkable man was instrumental in establishing the Transport & General Workers Union (now UNITE) becoming General Secretary in 1922 and was a major inﬂuence on the development of the Labour Party, disdaining communism on the one hand and intellectuals on the other. He saw the Party’s role as improving the lives of working people and he worked tirelessly towards that end. Bevin was staunchly anti-fascist and anti-appeasement and his advocacy of preparing for war in the 1930s came to the attention of Winston Churchill who made the big, blunt Westcountry man Minister of Labour in the wartime coalition government. Despite their different political ideologies, Churchill admired Bevin’s ability to influence, organise and get things done describing him as “the most distinguished man that the Labour party has thrown up in my time”. His appointment was a stroke of genius as he ensured that Britain had a genuine war economy with a continuous supply of labour and resources. This included using conscripted men as miners who forever more were known as the Bevin Boys. Bevin became Foreign Secretary in Clement Attlee’s post-war government (1945-51) and had a major and lasting impact on world relations including the implementation of the Marshall Plan (the European Recovery Programme) which helped to regenerate Europe after the war and cement the United States as a close ally. Bevin was also instrumental in establishing NATO, the creation of Israel and independence for India and Pakistan. He was steadfast in his defiance of Stalin at the outset of the ’Cold War’, a long period of tension between the West and the Communist Bloc. Despite his many lasting national and global achievements, it is somewhat sad that he isn’t as well-known as many of his
contemporaries, particularly Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the NHS. The similarity of their names went some way to obscuring the achievements of Bevin and the remarkable role he played in our history. Described by his biographer, Lord Adonis, as Labour’s Churchill, ‘Ernie’ never lost his Westcountry accent nor the dropping of aitches and probably used his tough upbringing to good effect in the cut and thrust world of politics where he was very canny at picking the fights he knew he would win. As his health began to fail he took the sinecure role of Lord Privy Seal – a minister without portfolio - wryly remarking: “I am neither a Lord, nor a Privy, nor a Seal”. Ernest Bevin died in 1951 aged 70, allegedly still holding the key to his red box. His ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey.
Some years ago the Devon History Society began commissioning “Blue Plaques” to honour notable Devonians. The ﬁrst of these commemorated the childhood home of Ernest Bevin (1881-1951) which can be seen in Copplestone.
spring 2022 | GREEN TEAM
l a i c e p S n e Gre
t sE l AT De Pt Ua
Back in our summer 2021 Issue, we gave our readers an update on DAA’s strategic commitment to championing environmental sustainability and stewardship. As well as signing up to the Devon Climate Declaration, our ‘Green Team’ was formed to bring together a range of staff with bags of expertise, experience and, most importantly, enthusiasm. Between them, they are shaping, driving and implementing a range of new, greener solutions to help Devon Air Ambulance become more environmentally friendly. Understanding our existing carbon footprint and developing a comprehensive Carbon Plan was the vital first step in helping DAA set its own ambitious green targets and measuring the beneficial impact of any new initiatives. Jonathan Osmond, Head of Facilities & Risk, explains the work that has been going on behind the scenes:
To be able to effectively measure the benefits any new ‘green’ changes make, an important first step was to find out how our current processes and systems measure up, so we were delighted to team up with independent consultancy Eunomia, who measured twelve months of activity across the organisation to find the amount of CO2 we produced. Measurements were taken from our flight operations, retail department, our vehicle fleet and even our staff commutes. They also looked at our procurement practices and the general and clinical waste we produced. That figure set a benchmark against which we will compare ourselves when we remeasure annually having implemented the identified mitigations. The main mitigations for this year are: •
Low carbon buildings: This is about insulation, moving towards 100% LED lighting, turning off equipment when not in use, etc.
Investigating Sustainable Aviation Fuel: A new technology that creates fuel that produces less CO2 from manufacturing.
Electrification of our fleet: We have a number of cars and vans used for operations and patient liaison. We will be replacing our current fleet with EVs as their leases expire.
Incentivising low carbon commuting: Examining how to encourage our staff to reduce their CO2 through facilitating flexible working options and considering other forms of transport where possible.
Sustainable procurement: A new policy is being developed that, whenever possible, requires staff to source goods and services that have a reduced impact on the environment. Sustainable waste management: We already have a zero-waste-to-landfill contractor where it is available, but improvements can be made around separating recyclables and considering repair, rather than replacing.
We aim to publish our emissions report on an annual basis so that we are totally transparent about the progress we are making. We look forward to sharing more of our ‘Green’ story with you in future issues of Helipad.
helipad | www.daat.org
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Webland Farm Holiday Park Lodges and Caravans
www.weblandfarm.co.uk Tel: 01364 73273
Webland Farm is a family owned and managed, quiet country park situated in the South Devon countryside, ideally located to enjoy the Dartmoor National Park or the beautiful South Devon coastline. Visit the delights of Totnes, Ashburton, Dartmouth and Salcombe, all of which are in close proximity. There are plenty of locations to explore and enjoy, before returning back to your holiday home, to relax and enjoy the simplicity of beautiful views and tranquillity. If this is the style of park you are looking for and would like to find our more, please contact Sharon. Tel 01364 73273 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.weblandfarm.co.uk
spring 2022 | NEW AIRBASE
Our current airbase in Exeter
Future-prooﬁng our service for the people of Devon We are in the very early stages of developing and planning a new airbase and headquarters to ensure our service is fit for the future.
our work and support the service. Crucially it will also be a space he demand for our critical care service has grown signiﬁcantly in the past few years, but our mission is always where our Patient Liaison Clinicians can offer continued support to patients. to deliver exemplary time-critical care to our patients. Our current Exeter Airport facility is located ‘airside’, so is To be prepared for the continued demand on our service, we rightly subject to rigorous security measures for access. This need an airbase that is resilient to future challenges, and even means most staff, visitors and contractors need to be escorted better set-up and equipped to respond so we can bring the to and from the airbase. We believe that it is important to have best possible care to our patients. an airbase that, as well as supporting The new airbase will be built to ensure our operational needs, is a visible part of efficient ‘workflow’ to further enhance our “ We’re delighted to be our Charity. Our new airbase will not only time-critical intervention. From swift access to the aircraft and our critical care cars, to moving ahead with the ﬁrst allow easier access for all our staff and be to support our communication and efficient restocking of medical supplies and steps in this long-planned- able fundraising activities, but our vision is that disposing of clinical waste, every aspect of for and essential stage in it will be an accessible space that gives the design of the build will be organised around how the operational crew prepares the development of our our supporters and the wider public more flexibility to come along to see our service for, sets off on and returns from a mission. service. The new Airbase in operation. Crucially, knowledge, experience and To kick-start our new build plans, we skill-sharing between agencies is also & HQ is the investment have been working with an external fundamental to the collective development that our patients, and the company that has carried out the initial of all emergency services. We don’t communities we serve, analysis of our site requirements, building currently have dedicated training facilities, on work we have done to get valuable so can’t adequately support this ambition. need and deserve. ” input on what we need in a new airbase Currently simulation and training exercises from every part of Devon Air Ambulance. must take place in the hangar, which means Charlotte Leventis We are in the process of identifying a that should our staff be deployed while DAA Head of Communications potential site and, of course, any plans training is taking place, they must secure for the new build will be informed by our commitment to any items in use as they could become a hazard as the aircraft environmental sustainability, something which is very important prepares to take off. This limits how we can use this space for our staff, our supporters, the wider public, and for the future. without compromising our response to patients. Right now, it is The need for a suitable operational airbase facility is of also less easy to make use of digital presentation equipment significant strategic importance both now and to futurethat cannot be left in-situ. Our ambition is for the new airbase proof our service, so we can continue to deliver our critical to provide a world-class training suite that is inclusive of the emergency care to the 1.2 million people of Devon, the visitors wider community, to allow participation in spaces designed for to our county and the wider region. developing advanced skills across services. Visit our website for further updates in the coming weeks and The airbase and headquarters will also provide space for months. members of the public to assemble if they wish to engage with
helipad | www.daat.org
g n i r p s or f s b l u B ! d on y e b d - an
Naturalised Cyclamen RHS / Nicola Stocken
There is something really special about getting to mid-December or so, and spotting the ﬁrst green shoots of early ﬂowering bulbs. Even though you know that spring is some distance away, it nonetheless sparks a warming of the heart and is a sign of things to come as we begin to emerge from winter. It’s a small window to the spring and the freshness of new life it brings to our gardens.
get first dibs on some of my favourite, choice spring flowering here are bulbous ﬂowers to grace your garden all year bulbs. round. Planted in early spring, summer ﬂowering bulbs So, “what is a bulb?” I hear you say. Technically, a bulb is a such as lilies will add a touch of grandeur to a border or layered structure filled with plant carbohydrates, a plant shoot potted up on a terrace, Lilium ‘Star Gazer’ (VIIa/c) is a lovely is at the core and there is a basal plate where the roots grow. all-rounder, pink with cooler edges. Our Allium amethystinum Finally fleshy scales or layers form an outer skin. You may ‘Red Mohican’ PBR ﬂowers in July, adds height and is hear of other underground plant deﬁnitely a conversation piece in structures being termed as bulbs, Rosemoor’s Hot Garden. “ As a rule of thumb, most these include: corms, which are Nerine bowdenii AGM planted spring ﬂowering bulbs should be similar in appearance but are solid in late summer at the base of a south facing wall will continue your planted in a sunny, well drained in the centre, Crocosmia grow from Tubers are swollen stems with colour through to September and area at a depth two to three times corms. growth nodes, you may have seen Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ (d) AGM also the height of the bulb ” bagged Dahlia tubers at the garden planted in the summer will provide centre. Finally, rhizomes are swollen you with bare flowers during October underground stems that store plant food, you often observe and through to November, living up to their common name of old stands of Iris where the rhizomes have been pushed to the ‘Naked Ladies’ as the foliage is generally produced after the surface. flowers. As a rule of thumb, most spring flowering bulbs should be For next spring, planning to plant bulbs begins in late summer planted in a sunny, well drained area at a depth two to three to early autumn and is one of my favourite late season jobs. I try times the height of the bulb, September to November is an ideal to get to the garden centre as soon as the spring bulbs are in to
spring 2022 | GARDENS time. There are a select few spring flowering bulbous plants that are best planted “in the green” the two most common are snowdrops and bluebells. These are dug up by nurseries while in active growth around about January or February and dispatched to their customers, to be carefully planted in bunches immediately on receipt. The main advantages are that they establish and flower much more effectively and are an easy way of bulking up existing stands as they are still visible. There are many ways in which bulbs can be planted, but where space and budget allow, you can’t beat large stands of many bulbs together or “drifts” of spring bulbs wending their way through an area. Carefully naturalised bulbs that look as nature intended in an area of grass, meadow or along a wooded path are a splendid way to create a display. Great candidates for this are our native bluebells, Hyacinthoides non-scripta or, growing both Cyclamen coum AGM and Cyclamen
Narcissus bulbocodium AGM RHS / Mike Sleigh
Allium amethystinum ‘Red Mohican’ PBR RHS / Mark Waugh
hederifolium, AGM together, you’re guaranteed glorious carpets of colour in spring and autumn. Crocus tommasinianus AGM or Early Crocus is fantastic at carpeting an area and is an early boost for foraging pollinators. Here is a small selection of my favourite spring flowering bulbs. For daffodils at Christmas, Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ AGM. Narcissus bulbocodium AGM or Hoop Petticoat Daffodil is a miniature beauty in moist ground. Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’ is a wonderful intense blue flower in mid spring, great for forming drifts through your herbaceous borders or shrubs. Muscari aucheri ‘Ocean Magic’ is a clump forming grape hyacinth, blue at the base, fading to a white tip, brilliant for under planting roses and shrubs. Finally, no list would be complete without Galanthus nivalis AGM, common snowdrop, looks great naturalised in a lawn and will have died back well in advance of your first cut of the season.
Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and crack on with your early spring jobs such as:
Nerine bowdenii AGM RHS / Neil Hepworth
Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’ RHS / Jason Ingram
• Keeping on top of weeding as our mild winter has seen weeds continue to grow. • Being aware that late frosts are still possible, flowers and buds are especially vulnerable, so protect them when necessary. • Topping up your soil, applying a general purpose, granular fertiliser and popping on a mulch of home-made compost. • Getting supports for your perennials in place while plants are compact. • Giving your lawns some TLC. Repair lawns by reseeding, or turfing bare patches. To make sure your lawn looks it’s best for summer, scarify, aerate, re-define the edges and apply a spring feed. • Feeding trees, shrubs and hedges with a slow-release fertiliser and applying a mulch. • Washing your patio, staining your decking and cleaning your garden furniture. • Lifting and dividing overgrown clumps of perennials. • Cutting back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems. • Setting up a compost area and installing a water butt.
Richard Wilson - RHS Rosemoor Horticulturist
I have been with the RHS as a member of the Formal Gardens team here at Rosemoor since May 2015 and am currently responsible for the maintenance of our colour themed gardens, the Hot and Cool gardens. In addition to this, areas of shrubbery along the stream side fall within my remit. I live near Barnstaple and enjoy helping with volunteer garden projects. I run competitively, row with Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club and enjoy long distance cycling. In my spare time, I tend to sleep!
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spring 2022 | LOTTERY 21
Our lottery has come of age and what an amazing twenty-one years we have had!
ue to the commitment, loyalty and continued support of our members, our in-house weekly lottery maintains its vital place as the second most important source of regular income into the Charity. In our first year of operation, our lottery raised £48,500 and has continued to go from strength-to-strength year-on-year. Now in our 21st year, the lottery has over 42,000 entries each week and has raised over £25,000,000 for a weekly entry of just £1. The lottery team has worked hard over the years to adapt the way in which the lottery is operated, such as establishing new ways for members to pay their membership and also generating new members via our online platform. Despite the challenges of the pandemic over the last two years, we are also extremely proud of the fact that we never missed a weekly Friday draw! The vital lottery income over the years has helped every aspect of our operations – from keeping our crew flying and supporting their continuous clinical training, to providing kit, equipment and medicines and supporting the introduction of our two Critical Care Cars, all to keep the people and visitors of Devon safe – a feat everyone is extremely proud of.
So, thank you everyone, we couldn’t have achieved this without you!
Look out for our
SPECIAL BIRTHDAY DRAW
on Friday 23rd September! First Prize
£2,100 £210 2nd & 3rd Prizes
For your chance to win one of our 13 weekly prizes... Sign up for only £1 per week at www.daat.org/play-our-lottery Scan this code: Alternatively: Call: 01392 469886 Email: email@example.com
Lottery Meet: Tracy Owen - Corporate Engagement and Lottery Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07494 292384 Tracy has been with DAA for over 16 years and is now our Corporate Engagement and Lottery Manager, so administers all aspects of our Corporate supporters, old and new, plus oversees the running of our own in-house Lottery.
Lottery Membership Application Lottery Membership Application
Thesum sum of of (tick only) The (tickone onebox box only) 1 Number 1 Chance
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DAATLottery Lottery Offi Office, SandpiperCourt, Court,Harrington HarringtonLane, Lane,Exeter ExeterEX4 EX48NS 4NS DAAT ce, 55 Sandpiper Tel: email email@example.com The01392 above469886 postaloraddress is all you need when contacting us by post. Staff I/D Number
2 Numbers 2 Chances £8.68 £8.68 Monthly Monthly
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Payments to be paid on either 6th, 13th, 20th or 27th of each month First payment due immediately and thereafter on 6th or 20th of each month.
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Lottery promoted by Devon Air Ambulance Trust. Devon Air Ambulance Trust is licensed by the Gambling Commission, Number 000-0005032-N-308657-001. Responsible person: C. Creer www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk Please gamble responsibly. For advice visit www.gambleaware.co.uk DAAT is a member of the Lotteries Council and is committed to promoting a responsible approach to gambling. Contact us at : T: 01392 469 886 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.daat.org
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All proceeds go to support the Devon Air Ambulance Trust Charity No 1077998. Your subscription is greatly appreciated as our Lottery raised over £2m which helps to keep both helicopters flying. We receive no funding from either the Government or the National Lottery. We rely on your support, to help us to continue our essential lifesaving service. Results are printed in the Plymouth & Devon Sunday Independent and published every Friday afternoon on our website at www.daat.org. Thank you for your support - you are truly making a difference.
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• All customer funds intended for the use in future gambling and or lottery subscriptions will be held in a separate bank account or accounts relating to the relevant affiliated charity lottery and will be completely separate from the Charity’s trading income. • We are required by our licence to inform customers about what happens to funds which we hold on account for you, and the extent to which funds are protected in the event of insolvency. www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/consumers/protection-of-customer-funds.aspx We hold customer funds separate from Charity’s funds. This means that steps have been taken to protect customer funds but that there is no absolute guarantee that all funds will be repaid. This meets the Gambling Commission’s requirements for the segregation of customer funds at the level: medium protection. • The licensee operates a strict no ‘cash policy’ to prevent the risk of crimes such as money laundering, to avoid the giving of illicit credit and to provide assurances that gambling activities are being conducted fairly. Banks and building societies may not accept Direct Debit Instructions for some types of account.
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DAA would like to keep you informed about our work, how your support has helped to keep our helicopters in the air and how you can be involved in the future. We take the protection of your personal information very seriously and don’t share your data with any third party. If you would like to receive our Helipad magazine or occasional information about our charity please tick the relevant boxes below: Please contact me by email Please contact me by post Please contact me by telephone Please contact me by SMS message
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Prize WIN A FAMILY Crossword
spring 2022 | CROSSWORD
Thank you to everyone who entered our Helipad Prize Crossword in the Winter 2021 issue – Mary King from Okehampton was the winner of a gift voucher from Masons Kings, a model tractor and a DAAT goodie bag! Congratulations Mary. As usual, we hope you all enjoy this new crossword which once again tests your local and general knowledge. We have teamed up with Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens to oﬀer our lucky winner a family ticket (two adults/two children) to visit this magical miniature world. Hidden away in four acres of award-winning gardens, the Model Village portrays English life over six decades, from stately homes and railway stations to iconic landmarks and monuments and captures the imagination of all ages! New for 2022, don’t miss their new nine-hole crazy golf course. If you would like to plan your own visit to Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens, visit www.model-village.co.uk for more information. Clues Across 1 First name of Devon’s most famous crime writer (6) 4 The action or process of letting liquid seep away (8) 10 Breed of Tibetan guard dog (4,3) 11 To have been given individual learning or instruction (7) 12 Spice that comes from outer shell of a nutmeg (4) 13 Village near Torquay noted for its quaint thatched houses and craft village (10) 15 Acts that deliberately cause pain or distress (9) 16 Colloquial name for a concave navel (5) 18 To have merit or be worthy of (5) 19 Cords or leather straps for securing sturdy footwear (4,5) 21 Inﬁnitely deep, like a pit (10) 23 ---- Leonowens, English governess in The King and I (4) 26 Marcus Vipsanius -------, Roman General and son-in-law of Emperor Augustus (7) 27 A woman to whom someone is engaged to be married (7) 28 To feel or express great loathing for (8) 29 City in Tunisia, about 140km south of the capital Tunis (6)
Clues Down 1 State in Northeastern India (5) 2 Battle in Northern France, 25th October 1415 (9) 3 A Bantu ethnic or social group native to the Great Lakes region of Africa (4) 5 Sits a test or exam again (7) 6 Diﬃcult or impossible to deﬁne or understand (10) 7 A powerful demon in Islamic mythology (5) 8 To put someone or something at risk (9) 9 Bella ______, Hungarian American actor best known for playing Count Dracula (6) 14 A large, heavy shoe or an awkward or clumsy person (10) 15 To think deeply about something (9) 17 Small low value objects, especially household ornaments (4,5) 19 A heavy material, like sand or iron, used to ensure the stability of a ship (7) 20 To turn to bone (6) 22 Torquay’s second railway station (5) 24 English singer songwriter, famous for her albums 18 and 21 (5) 25 Noss ____, Devon village 6 miles south east of Plymouth (4)
How to enter (and terms and conditions) Complete the crossword to reveal the letters in the blue shaded boxes – simply solve the anagram to identify a word relating to Devon Air Ambulance. Enter online at www.daat.org/crossword-competition-spring-2022 or by writing your name, contact details and the answer on a postcard, and posting to : The Editor, Helipad Crossword Competition Spring 2022, Devon Air Ambulance, 5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NS. The competition is free to enter, one entry per person. The closing date for entries to be received is midnight on Friday 27th May 2022 when the successful winning entry will be selected at random. Full Terms and Conditions can be found at www.daat.org/crossword-spring-2022-terms-and-conditions or by writing to The Editor at the above address.
Winter 2021 Solution - The answer to the anagram was - EMERGENCY ACROSS 1 The Box 4 Scrapped 10 Anchovy 11 Nostrum 12 Host 13 Casablanca 15 Axminster 16 Trout 18 Sinai 19 Chillaton 21 Evangelist 23 Kant 26 Duchamp 27 Oreston 28 Mail Shot 29 Dryden DOWN 1 Teach 2 Exciseman 3 Oboe 5 Centaur 6 Absolutely 7 Peron 8 Dumbarton 9 Tyrant 14 Angiograms 15 Amsterdam 17 Outlasted 19 Calypso 20 Instow 22 Ascii 24 Tenon 25 Beer
helipad | www.daat.org
Two vibrant communities, one shared history
Babbacombe & St Marychurch Although true, it doesn’t seem to do Babbacombe and St Marychurch justice to refer to them simply as districts of Torquay given they have the feeling of distinct and separate communities with a long and rich shared history.
ituated just north of Torquay’s main centre between Hope’s Nose and Shaldon, St Marychurch is believed to be one of the oldest settlements in Devon. In the Domesday Book of the late 11th century it was called Sce Maria, becoming Seintmariachurche in 1242. Reference to a ﬁshing community at Babicomb can be found as far back as 1500, and it is now famed for its iconic visitor attractions and the hotels, restaurants and bars that line Babbacombe Downs, taking advantage of the glorious and far-reaching views across the ‘riviera’ blue water to Lyme Bay and beyond. The area has been home to celebrities of their day, like engineering tour de force Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Irish
Fore Street St Marychurch Walking up the pedestrian precinct of Fore Street, you may feel transported back in time. Reassuringly nostalgic but never old-fashioned, Fore Street boasts a wealth of small independent shops from designer boutiques and high-end gifts to book shops, greengrocers, cafes and traditional butchers and bakers (although sadly not candle-stick makers!). As you wend your way up the street under a criss-cross of brightly coloured bunting or take a moment to rest on one of the many benches to people watch, you get a sense of what a proper town main street should be, largely devoid of the homogeneous businesses and shop fronts of most retail centres. And of course, if you walk almost to the top, you will find Devon Air Ambulance’s newest shop directly opposite St Mary’s Church. Why not pop in to say hello to Brian and the team and round off a great day’s shopping with a bit of retail therapy to support the Charity.
dramatist Sean O’Casey. It has a rich maritime and fishing heritage as well as being a centre for the creative and design industries, but has also seen some of the bleakest moments in our county’s history, none more so than the loss of twentyone children and three teachers during an air raid on their Sunday school in the parish church of St Marychurch on 30th May 1943. Despite such desperate and dark moments, both communities have developed into vibrant and interesting places to live and visit, packed with world-renowned tourist attractions, hospitality to suit every pocket and an impressive range of independent retailers.
spring 2022 | DEVON COMMUNITIES
Tessier Gardens On relocating from London in 1903, jeweller Herbert Tessier and his wife bought a property with three acres of adjacent land between Babbacombe and St Marychurch and set about creating a tranquil garden to help protect their privacy. In 1933, the gardens were donated to the Borough Council and remain to this day a garden solely dedicated for the use of adults – children, dogs, ball games and cycling are strictly prohibited!
Potty about pottery – and other crafts! Over a hundred years ago, a rich seam of red clay was found in Watcombe and it soon became clear that this particular clay was ideal for the manufacture of terra cotta, and far superior to most other sources available in the country. This helped shape the local area’s burgeoning pottery industry, with a number of local and artisan potteries springing up all around Babbacombe and St Marychurch. Watcombe Terra Cotta Company was the first to form in 1869, quickly moving from producing pieces for agricultural use to artistic terra cotta of all kinds, including the reproduction of sculptures from antiquity. Barton Pottery was established in 1922, Messrs Crute and Lemon opened the Daison Art Pottery in 1923 in Trumlands Road and Babbacombe Pottery set up in 1952 on Babbacombe Road, producing ‘gifts, handicrafts and studio pottery’. Each local pottery developed its own style - Barton was known for seagulls, Daison for butterflies and birds and Watcombe for its kingfisher design. As well as pottery, the area was also home to a number of other craft industries, such as Devon Wicker Works in Western Road, which made all sorts of cane items, from glass perfume bottle covers and novelty tourist items like miniature crab pots to the iconic Cone Cane Chair.
Babbacombe Cliﬀ Railway Built between 1924 and 1926, over the last nearly 100 years the iconic Babbacombe Cliff Railway has transported hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals from Babbacombe down to Oddicombe Beach and back again. While the more fleet of foot can take the adjacent steep path both ways, the railway provides a less exhausting mode of transport through some of the most breathtaking scenery on the English Riviera and down to the water’s edge. In 1890, MP, publisher and builder of the famous Lynton funicular railway, Sir George Newnes offered to build a cliff railway at Babbacombe but sadly died before he could realise his project. Thirty years later, engineer, patent agent and Liberal politician George Croydon Marks began talks with The Torquay Corporation and, in 1923, the Torquay Tramways Company announced that it would install a lift from Babbacombe Downs to Oddicombe Beach. Work commenced in December 1924 and was completed two years later at an estimated cost of nearly £16,000. On 1st April 1926, the Mayor of Torquay, Alderman John Taylor made the first trip on the railway. His ticket, numbered A000, was put into a silver frame for posterity. The railway proved to be very popular and it is estimated that nearly 200,000 made the trip in 1935 alone! The railway has closed several times during the last century, notably for ten years between 1941 and 1951. The last closure was in the mid-2000s, when a major overhaul saw the control gear and track replaced. The cars were also replaced and returned to their former glory with new paintwork in the original maroon and cream, complete with the Torbay Coat of Arms. For more information about operating times and fares, Visit www.babbacombecliﬀrailway.co.uk.
helipad | www.daat.org
Ghostly Going-ons! Like many places with a long and rich history, Babbacombe and St Marychurch have their fair share of ghoulish going-ons! An old man, dressed like a Puritan in a tall black hat has been seen by the slipway heading from the Torbay Park Estate. There was also a sighting of an old coastguard in the wood at the rear of Walls Hill Road in Babbacombe near the old observation hut. The story tells that a pet dog saw the apparition on a family walk and, when it jumped up to greet the old man, it fell straight through and hit its chin on a rock! Several people have also reported sightings of another old man and his dog on the look-out by Black Head, some saying he had the appearance of a smuggler or seafarer. The ghost of a girl, aged about seventeen, has been seen in a local house, appearing to search for her lost brother and the spirit of a woman in white, allegedly murdered by her husband, is said to haunt the woods around Barton Hall. In the 1950s, two separate people reported that their dogs cowered and seemed distressed by some invisible presence in Trumlands Road and refused to go any further in the same direction. Thankfully, no further sightings have been reported!
Babbacombe Model Village and Gardens On the 11th April 1963, the now internationally acclaimed Babbacombe Model Village was opened to the public. The second model village to be created by Tom Dobbins (the first was in Southport in 1957), Tom had approached Torquay Council to see if he could find a suitable site to bring his vision and passion to life. The only piece of land that was available at the time was a rather unprepossessing four acre sloping site on the far side of the old Hampton Estate, although it had the advantage of coming with its own spring. After many months of effort and utilising the magical setting and running water to great effect, Tom and his team of dedicated model builders, planners and gardeners opened for business.
Portraying English life and culture through the decades, the village also has the advantage of being set within beautiful, award-winning gardens. In the intervening 59 years since it opened, the village has evolved into one of the area’s foremost tourist attractions and one of Europe’s premier model villages, constantly adding new models every year. The model village boasts over 400 buildings – all in 1/12 scale - including stately homes, factories, shops, railways and sporting events as well as iconic landmarks and monuments …. and not forgetting the 13,000 miniature people who call the village home! Another point of interest – the model village is actually in neighbouring St Marychurch …. just!
, ily ge am lla t f Vi ea el gr d a Mo rize 3 in e 2 w b rp e to om t ou pag ce ac a n an bb go o ch Ba e a ord r a at v sw a t Fo ou h ros c y da
spring 2022 | DEVON COMMUNITIES
Babbacombe Theatre There was music being played on Babbacombe Downs back as far as the turn of the 20th century, with a simple wooden bandstand erected as the area welcomed increased tourism. As the popularity of the Downs increased, a more substantial purpose-built bandstand was built in 1928 on the site of the present theatre, using the natural slope of the land to enhance the acoustics and was further upgraded with a canvas awning in 1935. The current Art Deco box-style Concert Hall was eventually built on the same site and to the same height as the old bandstand so as not to obscure the view of Babbacombe Bay and Lyme Bay from existing houses. Opened in 1939, the new building was completed with sophisticated air conditioning and modern lighting. After the war, the theatre welcomed many up-and-coming British stars such as Norman Vaughn, Bruce Forsyth and Roy Hudd and continues to host well known comics, original music and tribute bands, new productions and pantomimes.
John Lee – the man they couldn’t hang!
the 4th February 1885, with the date of his execution ﬁxed for 19 Nestling under the cliﬀs at days hence at Exeter. Babbacombe, ‘The Glen’ was owned On that fateful day, the by an unmarried lady of independent executioner, James Berry led means, Miss Emma Keyse. Her Lee to the scaﬀolding but, when cook, Elizabeth Harris, conﬁded in he pulled the lever, the trapdoor her mistress that her brother, John failed to open and appeared ﬁrmly Lee, was soon to be released from jammed despite being stamped prison and, despite a long history on by him and his warders. After of criminality, she pleaded with her Lee was taken away, the trapdoor mistress to give her brother some appeared to be working so Lee meaningful employment with the was brought back to try again. hope of reforming him and putting However, the second attempt to him on a more respectable path. hang Lee was just as unsuccessful On the morning of Saturday 16th as the ﬁrst and he was removed November 1884, Elizabeth Harris once more. A saw was passed was awakened to ﬁnd the house on around the opening of the trapdoor ﬁre. After the ﬁre was extinguished to make sure that there were no “ James Berry led Lee to by the local coastguards, ﬁshermen obstructions and a sack of material the scaﬀolding but, when he and other helpers, the body of Miss weighing much the same as Lee pulled the lever, the trapdoor Keyse was found in the dining room. was used to test the mechanism – Her throat had been cut and her and worked perfectly. failed to open and appeared skull fractured. Next to her body Lee was brought back for a third ﬁrmly jammed despite being was a blood- covered hatchet and attempt but incredibly, once again, evidence that paraﬃn had been used the trapdoor failed to open. stamped on by him and his as an accelerant. The Chaplain of Exeter Prison warders... ” When John Lee was tracked down, then instructed the execution be he had a cut and bandaged arm and postponed and the Home Secretary couldn’t provide a convincing account of his whereabouts at the time, Sir William Harcourt, later commuted Lee’s at the time of the crime. Given he was also known to have sentence to penal servitude for life. He stressed the move recently argued with Miss Keyse when she cut his wages, he was in no way to exonerate Lee, merely the feeling that “It was identiﬁed as the likely culprit, arrested and charged with would shock the feeling of everyone if a man had twice to her murder. pay the pangs of imminent death”. With forensic analysis being non-existent, the evidence Lee was released from prison after twenty two years. He against Lee was largely circumstantial but his proliﬁc criminal later married a local mental health nurse and moved away to past certainly didn’t help his cause. However, despite any the North East of England … but he will forever be infamous doubts – much later after the event there were rumours that as the man who cheated the hangman’s noose three the true culprit may have been his sister’s unidentiﬁed lover times and, arguably, was at the centre of one of the most - Lee was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on incredible death row ‘escape stories’ of all time.
helipad | DEVON HISTORY
Eat your heart out
hink of tin mining in the West Country and no doubt Cornwall will spring to mind, with its industrial heritage of engine houses and mine shafts scattered across the landscape, the contribution made worldwide by the Camborne School of mines, the emigration of so many skilled miners in search of precious metals and gemstones and, of course, all things Poldark. The history books show that pre-1870 Cornwall was the world’s leading producer of tin. Well that may be so, particularly at the peak of the industrial revolution when copper mines also proliferated west of the Tamar, but there was a time in the second half of the 12th century when Dartmoor’s production of tin not only outstripped that of Cornwall but every country in Europe. In those days, most of the extraction was achieved by streaming. One method was to make indentations into high ground hillsides and remove the tin-bearing material with picks. The process would have been aided by strong streams of water to wash away unwanted residue. These streams were more often than not artificially diverted, causing regular disputes with other users of unenclosed land. To offset this unrest, the tinners had a King’s Charter guaranteeing their rights and establishing a strong sense of independence amongst these hardy miners. The first Charter of Liberties to the Tinners of Devon and Cornwall was drawn up in 1201, exempting them from ordinary laws and taxes as well as military service. In return theirs was a tough, often solitary life of back breaking work and constant danger.
These rights were enshrined in the Stannaries with Tavistock, Ashburton and Chagford being so designated from 1305 by Edward I (Plympton followed in 1328). Tin would be taken to these centres to be assessed for quality, weighed, stamped and a duty levied on it, payable to the Crown or Duchy of Cornwall. A Stannary Parliament made its own laws, could settle disputes and, where necessary, impose fines and custodial sentences. The intense period of tin mining on Dartmoor was relatively short-lived. This form of shallow open-cast operation went into decline and ceased to exist by the mid-17th century. Inventions such as Dartmouth born Thomas Newcomen’s reciprocating steam engine were used to pump water out of tin and coal mining shafts and made a significant contribution to the industrial revolution by enabling deep shaft mining and greater safety for undersea mining operations. As tin mining on Dartmoor declined, it subsequently boomed in Cornwall although there remain some traces of its existence on Dartmoor today. For a scholarly insight to this subject read ‘Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor’ by Helen Harris.
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Slitherin’ If you are afraid of snakes, look away now – or, better still, take a deep breath and read why British snakes are actually much misunderstood creatures and why they play such an important part in the balance of the natural world’s food chain.
Adder Vipera berus
Adder Vipera berus The UK’s only venomous snake, the adder is a shy reptile which can occasionally be spotted basking in the sunshine on heathland, moorland or in woodland from March through October, when they begin their annual hibernation. It is a relatively small snake, rather stocky in appearance and growing to 60-80cm (about two feet). With an average lifespan of 15 years, identifying an adder is straightforward. While they can be light or dark grey, and occasionally black, they all have a distinct zig-zag pattern down their back along with red eyes. Like all snakes, the adder is a stealthy predator, hunting lizards and small mammals such as mice and voles, as well as ground-nesting birds like skylark and meadow pipits. In spring, male adders fend off other males competing for the best females by performing a hypnotic ‘dance’ and, later, the females incubate the eggs within their bodies before ‘giving birth’ to up to twenty live young. While a bite from an adult can be painful and cause mild inflammation, it is generally of little danger to adults, although can be more of a concern to the very young or very old. If bitten, medical attention should always be sought, just to be on the safe side. Given how secretive and reclusive adders normally are, they only attack when surprised, such as when
they are accidently trodden on or picked up. While their venom is largely harmless to us humans, it is their main weapon of attack when used to immobilize their prey.
Grass Snake Natrix helvetica Our largest and longest-lived snake, measuring 90-150cm in length (three to five feet) and living up to 25 years, grass snakes are particularly fond of wetlands and grasslands but can also occasionally be spotted in large gardens, particularly those with a nearby pond. They can sometimes be seen during the summer months, basking in the sun near their favourite watering hole – or even swimming in it! Along with small mammals and birds, a grass snake’s diet also consists of fish and amphibians, of which they are particularly fond. Females can lay up to 40 eggs, usually in rotting vegetation – so garden compost heaps are ideal – and will incubate them until the young hatch in early autumn. Unlike the patterned adder, the grass snake is usually green in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale underbelly and dark side markings. When threatened by a predator, such as badgers, foxes and even hedgehogs, the grass snake can ‘play dead’, turning on its back and ‘deflating’ itself so that it looks much less appealing to eat or even play with, which could be a particular temptation for pet cats! If cornered, a grass snake may also hiss and can release a foul-smelling substance that makes it a very unappetising meal. It may also strike but this defensive aggression is all show – grass snakes don’t bite and are completely harmless to humans. Image © wikpedia.org/BennyTrapp
he fear of snakes is quite a common phobia – just ask Indiana Jones - but, unlike spiders (another creature that gives some of us nightmares) many people in the UK have never even seen a snake in the wild. So why do some people have such a totally irrational fear of this usually harmless creature. It seems we humans may have an innate, primeval aversion to snakes, with some scientiﬁc research suggesting adults and children can detect images of snakes among a variety of non-threatening objects more quickly than they can spot frogs, caterpillars or ﬂowers. Researchers suspect this ability to detect danger (perceived or otherwise) has been a crucial tool in helping humans survive in the wild. Some anthropologists have also hypothesised that early man developed better vision and larger brains based purely on their ability to detect snakes in their environment. The good news for those suﬀering from ‘ophidiophobia’ is that there are only three snakes native to Britain (and one imposter!) and it is highly unlikely that you will ever see one in Devon, even if you visit their preferred heathland habitats.
spring 2022 | WILDLIFE
Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca Our rarest snake, the elusive smooth snake is mostly confined to sandy heathland habitats in southern counties, although it has been re-introduced into some coastal locations in Devon as well. Similar in appearance to the adder, the smooth snake has a more slender body, usually measuring about 60cm (or two feet) and much less well-formed pattern on its back, which is usually grey or dark brown in colour. Unlike the other British snakes, the smooth snake is a constrictor (like a boa!), coiling around its prey of a small bird or mammal to subdue it before crushing it to death ready to eat. Like many snakes, while it can ‘strike’, its bite is not venomous and is only ever used as a deterrent.
Slow Worm Anguis fragilis Despite its appearance, the slow worm is neither a worm nor a snake but is, in fact, a legless lizard. Like most snakes, the slow worm favours heathland, tussocky grassland and woodland margins but you could also well see this interesting character sunning itself in your own garden or allotment (although the presence of a pet cat often deters them from setting up home in the suburbs). Slow worms particularly like hunting in and around mature compost heaps and, unlike their snake-y lookalikes, tend to choose much smaller prey such as slugs, snails and other invertebrates (making them a gardener’s friend). Normally, at only 30cm (12 inches) long, the average slow worm is much smaller than any snake and has smooth, golden-grey skin, with the males being slightly paler in colour. If you stare at a slow worm, you can usually identify it as a lizard quite easily when it blinks –snakes don’t have eyelids! From May onwards, if you see two slow worms entwined in a tight knot, it is usually a male and a female engaged in a long, sometimes aggressive, courtship. The male grabs the female by biting her head or neck and clings on in a ‘passionate’ embrace, sometimes lasting up to ten hours.
Image © wikpedia.org/SaltedM8
Given their elusive nature, it is a real privilege to see a snake or slow worm in the wild. If you do, please don’t interfere with it or try to pick it up and try to keep cats and dogs away from it.
Did you know? All British snakes, along with the slow worm, are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 and are priority species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
helipad | www.daat.org
Digital Diary Retail Operations Manager, Chrissie Peel, recalls the incredible transformative digital journey our retail shops and staff have been on over the last two years.
hen most of us think about traditional retail, we nearly always have an image of the shop on the High Street, one we can go along to and browse the items before making our purchases. Devon Air Ambulance’s 19 shops have always been the places to go for great bargains and good quality pre-loved items and, as importantly, have been welcoming places to visit at the very heart of our communities. As a Charity, we have never shied away from the use of digital and technology, and always had on our radar the thought we would move gradually to more online processes and selling opportunities. However, in April 2020 as the pandemic took hold, all our plans were suddenly up in the air and our senior retail team had to go into overdrive to put some
DEVON AIR AMBULANCE Online
of those longer-term Photographing stock plans into action in rapid for digital display time. As shop doors closed and most of our retail staff were furloughed, we quickly started to look at our existing processes and practices to see what we could now do ‘remotely’. Of course, our first thought was how we could sell online, so we galvanised our troops and were quickly able to open our shopdaat.org and Ebay offerings, both of which were up and running by the end of 2020. The whole process was scary and exciting in equal measure but, with the help of our creative and talented staff, we managed to design Researching stylish, sophisticated interesting online selling platforms in and unusual record time. items for We are thrilled that, sale even now our shops have reopened, our online shops are going from strength to strength. However, it wasn’t just our sales offering that went online. We had
Retail Meet: Chrissie Peel - Retail Operations Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your ongoing support of Devon Air Ambulance. Your contribution is making a real diﬀerence to our patients and their families.
spring 2022 | RETAIL
Using Microsoft teams for internal communications
Zoom to maintain regular contact. The use of iPads as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all processes which help our staff easily research and identify unusual or interesting donations to make sure we are realising as much money for the Charity as possible. With lots of support, training and encouragement, our retail staff have been getting
Processing Gift Aid online
long realised that many of our paper-based retail processes were quite inefficient and needed streamlining and moving to digital solutions has really helped. In a very short space of time our staff have embraced a new way of working with digital solutions - including the use of Teams and
Our new digital stock control system
more and more ‘tech savvy’ – perhaps in a way they never thought they would, including engaging with our supporters using social media platforms. We also now have a digital ‘whiteboard’ to manage the distribution of items to be delivered on the retail van – something that previously had to be written on a physical
whiteboard at Head Office! Not only that but we have also built an online app to enable shop staff to digitally record and manage cash donations. Gift Aid processes are all online now and this helps us to gather vital data to support our claim with HMRC and ensures we can protect our customers’ personal details to comply with strict data protection legislation. We have also taken the opportunity to bring our shop floors into the digital age with PR screens in each store, helping us give our customers up-to-date information about our operations and the great work of the Charity. The transition to digital in retail has not always been smooth, and has certainly thrown up some challenges, so I want to pay a huge amount of credit to our retail staff who, despite some of their own concerns and reservations, all embraced the changes we had to make in order to improve our retail operations.
Keeping up to date with social media messaging
Promoting our fantastic stock to our followers
We have also taken the opportunity to bring our shop into the digital age with PR screens in each store, helping us give our customers up-to-date information about our operations and the great work of the Charity.
While we have taken a giant leap over the last two years into this new digital world, it’s important to recognise that retail has always been, and remains, very much an ‘in person’ activity for Devon Air Ambulance and wouldn’t be the same without our amazing band of hard-working and dedicated volunteers. We still need retail volunteers to help with loads of ‘hands-on’ activities too, particularly being ambassadors by providing great customer service, getting our stock ready to go on to the shop ﬂoor and merchandising. So, if you would like to volunteer for us, in any capacity, we would love to hear from you. Contact our Interim Volunteer Manager, Becky Trout on email@example.com to ﬁnd out more.
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BUSINESS on Board We are extremely fortunate to be supported by many local businesses and corporates year on year and 2022 is no exception. Support comes in many forms, such as sponsorship, gifts in kind and pro-bono work. We also engage directly with our business and corporate’s staff, helping them organise their own fundraising activities and offering support when they take part in our DAA events, such as our Dragon Boat Festival.
Introduced by their workforce, South West Highways “Near Miss” campaign has raised over £3,800 since 2015. In January we received £330 from SWH and a further £272 from SWH BBIS who maintain the A30 Exeter to Honiton and A35 Honiton to Dorchester highways.
The Jockey Club kindly offered us a suite at Exeter Racecourse for two days, free of charge. This helped us immensely for some important internal group meetings. We are also working closely with them for Devon Air Ambulance Race Day on 21st November 2022 - a corporate package and sponsorship will be offered to our business supporters, so watch this space!
Marley Comms wanted to support us this year but with a twist. As part of DAA’s “Help with all your heart” campaign, they are sponsoring our advertising on Radio Exe which is helping to promote our Community Defibrillator events.
We would also like to welcome EY (Ernst & Young) as their team have chosen us as their Charity of the Year. Their Bristol office nomination and voting process was between three charities and we are delighted to say that we won! Plans are already in place for a group of over fifty employees to organise a Walking Challenge along the South West Coast Path on Friday 13th May. It may be unlucky for some but we wish them all the luck with this event!
spring 2022 | BUSINESS SUPPORTERS
Welcome also to Software Solved, an Exeter-based data and software specialist with hybrid teams working
across Devon. Each of their teams were asked to take part in a poll to decide which local charity they would like to support and DAA was the winner. Software Solved Chairman, Thomas Coles says: “We are honoured to be supporting Devon Air Ambulance in 2022 and to help raise all important funding for emergency medical services and promoting awareness of the Charity”.
Our super-fun, competitive Dragon Boat Festival is roaring back after a two-year break on Sunday 11 September 2022! From community groups to businesses and even teams of friends, this event is for everyone who welcomes some fierce-yet-friendly competition, isn’t afraid of getting splashed and would love a great day out at Exeter Quay - all while raising funds for our local life-saving charity. A big welcome to teams old and new!
How to sign up...
Visit www.daat.org/Event/dragon-boat-festival-2022 to secure your boat. Pay just £300 deposit for your boat on behalf of your team and then get your sponsorship started.
A huge for the incredible support we receive from South West Water, who are generously sponsoring this event.
Bev Rowney, Director of Corporate Aﬀairs for South West Water, says “Here at South West Water we would like to oﬀer a big congratulations to Devon Air Ambulance as the charity celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. As longterm supporters of the charity’s life-saving work, donating over £40,000 since our relationship began in 2011, we are delighted to be part of this year’s celebrations and to support the return of the spectacular Dragon Boat Festival to Exeter Quay in September. “Ensuring that people can enjoy the environment they live in is crucial for the local economy and for people’s well-being and physical health, which is why we are honoured to support the amazing work Devon Air Ambulance carries out. “Last summer it was our pleasure to donate reﬁllable water bottles to Air Ambulance crew so that they could stay hydrated while they worked and through our Neighbourhood Fund we were able to provide additional funding for the purchase of an innovative new environmentally friendly cleaning system. We even have colleagues who show their own support by taking part in the Devon Air Ambulance weekly lottery via their payroll, demonstrating how much our colleagues value the relationship. “We believe we have a unique role to play in supporting the lives of people and the places they love for generations to come. Devon Air Ambulance provides a vital and life-saving role in our region, and we’re proud to help them maintain the provision of their essential service”.
Corporate Engagement Meet: Tracy Owen - Corporate Engagement and Lottery Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07494 292384 Our Corporate and Business relationships are beneficial to everyone involved and are a fantastic way to achieve great things together. If you are interested in supporting us, then please get in touch with Tracy, our Corporate Engagement & Lottery Manager at email@example.com
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A sequence of events... Since she stepped down from her role as volunteer box collector, Hazel Nicholas has continued her dedicated support for Devon Air Ambulance by hosting a series of sequence dances, bringing together her community of dancers in aid of DAA. Sequence Dancing is a type of ballroom dancing in which the couples dance around the floor in a fixed sequence of steps. All participants perform the same steps and movements simultaneously, so the dancers follow each other around the dance floor and everyone starts and stops at the same time. It is hard to watch these old friends dancing and swirling around the room together without smiling. There is an opportunity to dance with your husband or wife, then swap to dance with friends and unfamiliar faces too. The smiles and the small exchanges that take place for a couple of minutes during each song are lovely to witness. By meeting each week throughout the second half of the year, having a cream tea event (see insert) and dancing the new year in together at a New Year’s Eve sequence dance party, Hazel and her dancers have raised a phenomenal £1,456. We are so grateful to every dancer that made this possible and
Exeter RAG to riches We are thrilled to announce that Exeter RAG (Raise and Give) - the largest student-led fundraising group at the University of Exeter – have chosen Devon Air Ambulance as one of their two charities of the year. Their monthly events include pub quizzes and Zumba. They also hold bigger events throughout the year such as Ragopoly, a UK based challenge where different teams compete to get to as many landmarks as possible. With RAG, there is something for everyone! Devon Air Ambulance are extremely excited to be working alongside RAG presidents Lucy and Evie, along with all of the members at Exeter RAG.
FUNDRAISING AROUND OUR COMMUNITIES
to Suppo d ou
we are so pleased to hear that this group plans to continue dancing their way through 2022 too! Rodda’s Creamery famously supports cream tea fundraisers. They generously donated jam and cream to Hazel and her dancers for their special afternoon. You can apply for cream tea support here: www.roddas.co.uk/our-story/good-deeds
Lots of fundraising at Hoburne Holiday Park For the last two years, Hoburne Devon Bay Holiday Park in Paignton have been supporting Devon Air Ambulance as the park’s nominated charity. Despite COVID measures and restrictions on fundraising events, the popular family holiday park has raised more than £14,000 for our charity. Fundraising at Hoburne Devon Bay has consisted of a 35-mile charity bike ride, a 13-mile walk, various charity events on the park plus Hoburne’s £1 booking donation scheme. Commenting on the donation, Hoburne Devon Bay’s General Manager, Gary Cook, said: “We are hugely grateful for the wonderful work that Devon Air Ambulance undertakes in supporting the local area and not just the local community
spring 2022 | COMMUNITY FUNDRAISING
True friends of Devon Air Ambulance We are delighted to welcome on board the Bovey Tracey Friends of Devon Air Ambulance. This fabulous group of friends has been fundraising for various charities for a number of years, predominantly Macmillan Cancer Support and in 2021 unanimously voted to support the life-saving work of DAA. The group have a wealth of expertise in fundraising and over the years have held many successful events from coffee mornings, auctions and raﬄes to name a few, all alongside their regular weekly bingo. These activities have raised in excess of £340,000 for charity and we are really excited to have them join the DAA family. Kelly Hayman Bruce who leads this merry band of fundraisers said: “We love what we do, we have a great laugh and we have made so many friends over the years. When we were considering putting our support behind Devon Air Ambulance, the support we got from the group members and the local community was astounding. We are so excited to be supporting such a highly regarded, much loved, local charity
but visiting holidaymakers too. Following the demand for a UK staycation over the last two years, Devon has become a popular visitor destination, and Devon Air Ambulance has been under immense pressure, with 2021 being its busiest year ever. We know this donation will be greatly appreciated and will keep the Trust in service.” Tracy Owen, Corporate Engagement Manager at Devon Air Ambulance added: “We are so lucky to have the support of the team at Hoburne Devon Bay and, throughout 2020 and 2021, they have
and cannot wait to help raise much needed funds for this life saving cause.” This year they have already planned an auction to go ahead on the Saturday 9th July at Highweek Primary School. This event has always attracted great attention and enjoys the support of a well-known local auctioneer. The group host their weekly bingo at Highweek Primary School in Newton Abbot and welcome new players along to join in the fun. If you would like more information about the group and would like to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
continued to fundraise in many ways. Last September, an intrepid team of their dedicated staff set off on a 35-mile bike ride across Devon which culminated in their arrival at Devon Air Ambulance HQ in Exeter! The weather was awful with torrential rain teeming down, but still there were smiles all round as we celebrated them completing another fantastic fundraising challenge! Our huge thanks to the staff and guests of Hoburne for all they have achieved, it is only due to the kind generosity of our supporters, that we can continue to maintain our life-saving service across the county and beyond.”
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Torrington Cavaliers – Going up in flames for charity Torrington Cavaliers have shown huge generosity in supporting Devon Air Ambulance. With their spectacular bonfire event being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID, 2021 was an ideal opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary bonfire in style! Their Big Burn event eventually took place at the end of last year, with the group deciding to support Devon Air Ambulance, North Devon Hospice, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Torrington Commons Conservators and many other local charities and good causes. Devon Air Ambulance is extremely grateful to the Cavaliers for choosing us as one of their charities and to receive a donation of £10,000 was incredible! Former Devon Air Ambulance patient, turned volunteer, Alan Crawley and his wife and fellow volunteer Sandra Crawley attended the event, having been involved with Torrington Cavaliers for several years. We were grateful that Alan and Sandra were also able to attend the cheque presentation with Cavaliers Chairman, Mark Keeley and Secretary, Nick Hallam at Torrington Town Hall.
Lucy McIlroy – from patient to fundraiser In October 2019, Bideford-based Lucy McIlroy’s life changed forever. Lucy was driving along the North Devon link road, on her way home from work, when she was hit by a car driving on the wrong side of the road. Devon Air Ambulance’s Eaglescott helicopter was tasked to the scene, piloted by Captain Tilda Woodard and with paramedics Darren Hall and Alex Sanders-Page onboard. Having suffered significant breaks to her pelvis, hip, femur, knee and ankle, the team decided to fly Lucy to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth with a flight time of just over ten minutes - a journey which would have taken over an hour and a half by road. At Derriford, Lucy was told that her injuries were so severe, she would never walk again. After spending nearly five months in various hospitals across Devon, Lucy returned home and, against the odds, was eventually able to walk with the assistance of a walking frame. In 2020, Lucy pledged to walk 144 steps to mark the 144 days she spent in hospital. Lucy also achieved her mission of a more gruelling feat, climbing to the top of Glastonbury Tor in Somerset. Lucy has since raised over £2,000 for Devon Air Ambulance and is a fantastic supporter of our Charity. We are extremely grateful for every penny that Lucy has raised, and we are in awe of what she has achieved since her serious accident.
Thinking of fundraising? If you would like to get involved in fundraising in your community, or if you are already planning a fundraising event for Devon Air Ambulance, speak to our Community Engagement Oﬃcers Lottie Clark and Steﬀan Anderson-Thomas who will be delighted to support you in your fundraising endeavours. Steffan:
Lottie: email@example.com 07399 115358 firstname.lastname@example.org 07399 115351
spring 2022 | DEVON HERITAGE
FLYING THE FLAG FOR DEVON! We usually think of flags as having long and proud histories – the Scottish Saltire can trace its roots as far back as 1542, our own Union flag was adopted in 1801 and even the St Piran flag of our close neighbour Cornwall was first written about as early as 1838.
o, it may come as a surprise to many Devonians and visitors, particularly those new to the county, that our own county ﬂag is actually very much a newcomer in the world of ﬂags – only celebrating its 19th anniversary this year! In 2002, as part of a BBC Radio Devon interview, the issue of a Devon flag (or lack of one!) was raised by the country’s contingent of scouts who were celebrating the 20th World Scout Jamboree. BBC Radio Devon took up the search for a Devon flag and, when it became clear one didn’t actually exist, decided to run their own competition. Members of the public were asked to send in their designs and, in 2003, after two polls run by the BBC Radio Devon website, the winning design – by student Ryan Sealey - was chosen, taking 49% of the votes cast. Our Devon flag, dedicated to St Petroc, is made up of three colours; green, black and white. It is fitting that green is the predominant colour as it is traditionally associated with the county, being the colour of our Rugby Union team, Exeter University and Plymouth Argyle Football club. Teign Valley Museum also have in their collection a green flag with white circles flown by Lord Exmouth at the bombardment of Algiers in 1816.
“ The green is said to represent the lush and rolling Devon hills, the black hints at the windswept moorland and the white represents both the salt spray around the county’s two coast lines and the important china clay industry. ”
The green is said to represent the lush and rolling Devon hills, the black hints at the windswept moorland and the white represents both the salt spray around the county’s two coast lines and the important china clay industry. After it’s launch in 2003, the Devon flag gained ‘official’ recognition when, in October 2006, Devon County Council raised it outside County Hall. In the same year, a Devon Regatta Ensign was designed by Kevin Pyne, adding the Union flag into the canton (top left quadrant) of the newly designed county flag. This flag is described as being available for use at regattas, high days and holidays, weddings and even burials at sea. At Devon Air Ambulance, we are very proud to have the Devon county flag on the nose of our helicopters! One more interesting fact. Although the regulations have now been relaxed, in April 2004 a resident of Ottery St Mary was threatened with legal action for flying the Devon flag on a flagpole in his own garden, as planning permission was required to fly any non-national flag. However, the Minister for Housing at the time, Keith Hill, took a more sensible and pragmatic approach and decided that local authorities could officially ‘turn a blind eye’ to the practice of citizens flying the county flag from their own flagpoles!
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Stafford Moor Fisheries deserve huge thanks for their ongoing support over the years. Their regular donations, made from tea and coffee sales, as well as donations from fishermen, have amounted to a grand total of £6,500.25! Their most recent donation of £1,315 was met with gratitude and appreciation. Pictured is one of their newest lodges on-site. Sophie recently hosted her cleverly-coined event ‘Chopper Hair Off’, which saw her cut off her long locks and kindly donate £215.43 to Devon Air Ambulance. She also kindly donated her hair to The Hair Clinic London, which uses donations to make wigs for people suffering from hair loss. Thank you, Sophie!
Big thanks to Jake and all the weightlifters at McCaulay’s Gym, Plymouth, who have raised a phenomenal £1,260 for Devon Air Ambulance by taking part in a 24 hour Deadlift Challenge. Competitors had to lift a barbell racked with their own bodyweight, once every single minute for 24 hours – that’s 1,440 deadlifts! Pictured is Jake, Manager at McCaulay’s, during his challenge.
Huge thanks go to Patty’s Piece of Cake, who recently hosted a cake sale for us and donated their proceeds to Devon Air Ambulance. Clare (from Patty’s) supports many charities with her delicious treats, and we were very grateful to receive £380.10 from Clare in February. She even managed to make edible cake decorations with our logo!
Real people saving real lives – we love to showcase our fantastic fundraisers, young and old, to say ‘thank you’ for all the awesome things they do to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance
Devon People & Junior Crew
to Suppo d ou
spring 2022 | DEVON PEOPLE & JUNIOR CREW 43
Faith has been a volunteer for Devon Air Ambulance for many years and enjoys making things to sell to raise money for DAA. The most recent event being a Christmas Fayre held in December 2021 at Millbrook Retirement village in Exeter, where she managed to raise £400 by selling her Christmas cards and knitted items. Faith has also raised a further £200 from selling greeting cards since October 2021 – this adds to a grand total to date of £2,000 since January 2020. Thank you, Faith!
The Barn at South Milton, Kingsbridge, kindly hosted a Christmas fayre with lots of local businesses showcasing their products. ‘Banned from the Moor’ folk band generously played throughout the whole evening and kept the Christmas spirit well and truly alive! They didn’t charge a penny to be there so that more money could be donated to Devon Air Ambulance. Shoppers lingered for longer due to their lovely singing and music! A mammoth £693.01 was raised. Mrs Sue Fewing held a Coffee Morning at Chulmleigh Town Hall on Saturday 25th February 2022. Over £660 was raised for Devon Air Ambulance, this was an excellent result for Chulmleigh as they only had one week’s notice to organise the event. A very big thank you to the Little Red Devils Ladies Skittles team, who will always help Sue when asked and to the amazing people of Chulmleigh.
Bole Aller House in Cullompton have recently hosted a DAA talk which was attended by about 12 residents and staff. They have raised around an impressive £250 for DAA, so far by having a bake off, raffle and treasure hunt. Pictured here is our Volunteer Simon Card with some residents and staff from Bole Aller House, in front of pictures of the Helicopter which have been coloured in by residents.
Pictured are Alfie and his sister Daisy, who recently took on a sponsored 5-mile walk, from Torquay to Paignton, and raised an incredible £490 for DAA. Alfie wanted to raise money for us after, in November 2018, he witnessed his little sister (who was two at the time) be kicked by a horse whilst she was in her pram. Daisy suffered injuries to her head, lung, and spleen, as well as a bleed on the brain and a fractured eye socket. DAA arrived promptly and treated Daisy as they flew her to Bristol. After 3 days in a coma and a further 10 days in hospital, Daisy was discharged and is now fully healed, 4 years on! Daisy still has a big love for ponies and is pictured with her own, Mai. Huge thank you goes to Alfie for wanting to support us by taking on this challenge! And to Daisy, for joining him on every step.
helipad | www.daat.org Steve Tingey, the owner of the Cannon Inn based in Newton Poppleford, has raised an impressive £547.35 by encouraging customers to place 5p coins in a large champagne bottle, Steve then decided to raise even further funds for DAA by running a competition to guess the amount in the jar. Thank You Steve and everyone at the Cannon Inn. Pictured here is the large champagne bottle.
Okehampton Bowls Club runs a pub league through the summer and all monies raised go towards local charities. It was decided that, as donations had not been made since the start of the pandemic, they would present three charities with a donation of £500 each, Devon Air Ambulance was one of the chosen three, so thank you to all at Okehampton Bowls Club! Pilton Infants’ School was very proud to raise £150 for Devon Air Ambulance from their Christmas Jumper Day in December. The School Council decided that they would like to share the money between two local charities close to their hearts. Pictured are some of the School Council with Acting Headteacher, John Mortimer.
Huge thanks go to Lorraine Shaw for organising a winter Warmth and Wellness Fayre on 4th December in the village of Bridgerule, where an amazing amount of £714.00 was raised in total. Even better, this was then matched by an anonymous villager. The event brought together therapists, healers, creatives & artists, local honey, reiki, tarot, a local author, healthy living products, advice on how to save on energy bills and much more. Thank you to all stall holders, businesses and members of the public who donated their time and prizes for the raffle.
Since 2005 Cindy Ball has organised day trips, holidays, cream teas and Christmas lunches, often including a prize raffle to raise even more money. The most recent event was a Christmas lunch held in 2021. To date, Cindy has raised an incredible £17,566.00 for DAA. Cindy’s next venture is a day trip from Torbay to RHS Rosemoor on the 22nd June 2022. Thank You Cindy!
spring 2022 | DEVON PEOPLE & JUNIOR CREW 45 Gill and Mike Cunniam of Holne Books recently gave a donation of £600 to Devon Air Ambulance. This money was raised by selling secondhand books. This is just one of the many donations they have made. All the money from the sale of books in the shop goes to local charities, projects, or causes. Holne Books also contributed towards the set-up of their local Devon Air Ambulance landing site. They are open most days and have around 5,000 – 6,000 books.
Arthur and Sue Priggen have decided to decorate the outside of their house in the run up to Christmas to ensure a smile is put onto people’s faces whilst raising money for DAA, Arthur and Sue have managed to raise £158.96 in 2021, which was greatly appreciated – Thank you!
Sarah Vantreen, has been exceptionally busy making masks since the start of the pandemic, selling them in her local community and then donating the proceeds to DAA. The latest batch, which Sarah hopes will be the last, raised £175 adding to a grand total of £1,403.80.
Before Christmas, The Old Malt Scoop Inn in Lapford ran a curry and quiz evening. Although not specifically held for DAA, we are delighted that the three winning teams spontaneously - and generously - decided to donate their combined winnings of £95 to us! Thank you to all those who took part. Pictured here are the landlord and landlady, Jonathan and Catriona.
Bill Beech has raised money for DAA over the last couple of years by creating a festive display outside his house for all to enjoy. Bill explains how he does the display every year to raise money for charity whilst giving children and adults something special leading up to Christmas, and the look on children’s faces is awesome especially when they wave to ‘Santa’ in the window. The display uses a sound to light system, meaning the lights all over the garden and in the trees dance to Christmas music. Bill’s displays in 2020 and 2021 have raised an incredible £1,055.80 for DAA – Thank you Bill!
If you are planning a fundraising activity of any kind, please do give us a call. We can oﬀer support materials such as posters, collection boxes and even running vests and we can promote your event on our website and social media.
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AIR B M A
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A ﬁrst for Torquay... In March this year the first night landing site in Torquay became operational thanks to a partnership project with Torbay Council which will establish six new sites across Torbay this spring. Once the project is completed there will be a strategic network of nine community landing sites in total located in Brixham, Galmpton, Paignton and Torquay.
he newly operational night landing site on the football pitch at Steps Cross Park in Watcombe, Torquay, will be complemented by sites at Cricketﬁeld Road, Quinta Playing Fields and Torquay Recreation Ground as well as sites at White Rock Playing Field (Paignton) and Galmpton. The project has relied on the strong support of a range of organisations. Torbay Council have provided strategic support, landowner backing and direct funding towards the new lighting solutions and access improvements at these sites. At the community level a host of local organisations including The Spires College, Barton Cricket Club, Torquay Academy, Galmpton Football Club, Paignton Villa Football Club, Torquay Athletic Rugby Club and Torquay Cricket Club have all provided their facilities to ensure Devon Air Ambulance can operate into Torbay by helicopter during the ‘hours of darkness’. When commenting on the first night landing site becoming operational in Torquay Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Torbay Council, said; “The first priority for any council is keeping its communities safe. Devon Air Ambulance is a vital emergency resource, and we are proud to support their work by making sites available for them. I’d also like to thank the sports clubs and schools for supporting this initiative.” The project has involved installing new remotely controlled lighting at each site, typically consisting of a single column
At the Cricketﬁeld Road site we were also able to improve access for land ambulances making patient transfers easier, cleaner and quicker
New lighting in place at Steps Cross Park, Torquay
and two-LED lights, a lighting solution which has been used at numerous other night landing sites in Devon. Added to the new lighting, we have worked with local partners to improve access, so that in an emergency we give our medical teams and land
spring 2022 | OPERATIONS ambulance crews the best chance of moving themselves and their patients around as easily and safely as possible. A good example of how we can improve access was shown at Cricketfield Road. It had a rutted muddy car park bordering the cricket pitch outfield, where we would be landing at night. Working with the leaseholders Barton Cricket Club and Torquay Academy we have been able to improve the car park surface, not only helping land ambulance crews enter, turn and park at the site, but also making the unloading and transfer of a patient much easier, cleaner, and quicker. Nigel Hare, DAA Operations Director said “The launch of the first night landing site in Torquay is clearly great news for local people as our teams can now operate by air into the heart of the community, where they can deliver an increasing range of life saving treatments at the scene of an incident that traditionally were only available in a hospital. “We look forward to seeing the fully operational network of sites over the coming weeks which will help our teams operate more quickly by air into communities throughout Torbay when it is dark, bringing their enhanced skills and interventions to
benefit local patients during those crucial early stages of their injury or medical emergency. Where patients have complex or specialist care needs, these sites will also enable us to fly them direct to the hospital that can offer the patient the best chance of a successful outcome, just as we do during daylight”. Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer added “By the time these six new sites are operational and added to the three we already use at Paignton Rugby Club, Foxhole Community Centre (in Paignton) and Brixham Rugby Club, there will be a combined network of nine sites in Torbay, giving us a series of strategic points where we can land at night to reach patients. “The night landing site project in Torbay, like so many that we’ve been involved in throughout Devon, is a great example of how local partnerships come together to deliver for local people. We are really grateful for the support and help of Torbay Council, and the range of local sports clubs and schools who have together enabled these sites to become established in their area.”
Steps Cross Park Quinta Playing Fields
Two of Torquay’s new community landing sites are now operational
The lighting solution at Quinta Playing Fields, Babbacombe
Each of these projects is a great example of how councils, businesses, voluntary groups, farmers/landowners and local funders have come together and formed successful partnerships for the benefit of their communities. Devon Air Ambulance would like to thank all those people whose hard work and commitment has helped establish these community landing sites.
Thank you for your support! If you would like to get involved with a community landing sites project, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please contact CLS Development Officer Toby Russell on: 07943 207673 or email@example.com.
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Reﬂection helps us to set our direction and priorities for the years ahead Sharing with you how previous years were our busiest on record has become a bit of a habit over recent years. With another year behind us, I need to do the same as having deployed to 1,897 incidents and treating 1,211 patients, 2021 has now become our busiest year ever.
he experience we gained during 2020 provided us with consumables and equipment in readiness for the busy year good insight into what the likely challenges for 2021 we were predicting. might be, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, Despite all our advanced planning and procurement, and therefore what we could do to minimise the impact. we were not completely immune to the challenges on the Uncertainty regarding overseas travel arrangements, the national supply chain. As the high levels of demand for our early Devon-based holiday booking surge being reported and service continued throughout the year, and the miles our the establishment of additional caravan/camping sites within Critical Care Cars were covering to reach patients increased, the county, all suggested that not only was there likely to be our requirement for diesel to fuel our cars also increased, just a significant influx of people into Devon, but also the potential at the time when the availability of fuel around the county that many Devon residents would choose to stay local rather became stretched. Although we never ran out of fuel and than travel for their holiday. had fallback arrangements Although not as significant to secure fuel in our main “ Everyone at Devon Air Ambulance has towns, we had to be as the initial stages of the pandemic, pressures on mindful of the situation worked tirelessly to ensure that, despite the supply chain for some when responding to several the signiﬁcant increase in our activity, items of PPE remained incidents in succession and ensuring we always our patients continue to receive the best within the more rural parts had sufficient to keep our of Devon. possible care in their time of need ” patients and staff safe was Everyone at Devon Air a constant focus throughout Ambulance has worked the year. Worryingly, we also started to see early signs of tirelessly to ensure that, despite the significant increase in pressure on the wider supply chain, some of which wasn’t our activity, our patients continue to receive the best possible related specifically to the shortage of goods but rather the care in their time of need. Our desire to ensure this means inability to move them into and around the country. that even during busy times, we continue to look forward, The anticipated increase in Devon’s population alongside often drawing on our past experiences, and explore and the potential that essential items of equipment may become develop our service and plans to provide our patients with difficult to source, led us to expand further our procurement an even better experience of the care we provide. Some arrangements to responsibly source a higher level of medical aspects of development relate directly to the care we
Operations Meet: Nigel Hare - Operations Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Nigel is accountable for overseeing the care we provide to our patients, including liaising with the Care Quality Commission, NHS and emergency services, as well as leading our team of paramedics, doctors and support staff. Nigel joined Devon Air Ambulance in 1997 as an Aircrew Paramedic
spring 2022 | PATIENT SUPPORT
As you may have read on page 17 of this issue of provide patients, such as introducing a new or improved item Helipad or on our website, in looking to futureproof the of medical equipment, while other aspects benefit patients delivery of our service Devon Air Ambulance is exploring indirectly, such as providing ongoing training and education the opportunities and benefits that a purpose-built new to our staff which provides the building blocks to support combined headquarters and airbase could bring to our advanced decision-making patient-centred care. patients and staff. Our airbase at Exeter no longer meets our Increasingly, more of the experience we use to shape our needs in terms of accommodating the number of operational strategic thinking and operational development comes from staff needed to respond our patients and their families, to an increasing number something made possible since “ Reﬂecting upon our experiences, of patients, the operation becoming an independent of not just our helicopters healthcare provider registered incorporating those of our patients, but also now our Critical with the Care Quality considering the emerging evidence and Care Cars, as well as safely Commission. Our Patient and seeking to take advantage of the latest accommodating airbase Family Support team seek to visits by the public and our contact our patients and/or their technological advances are all key to patients so they can meet families in the days and weeks developing our service. ” our team and view our Air after we helped them initially, Ambulance helicopters and offering to fill in any gaps in their understanding or memory of the care we provided. Something Critical Care Cars. We also lack sufficient storage facilities for the increased levels of equipment and consumables needed that is quite common due to having a decreased level of to maintain our operational readiness now we are responding consciousness or awareness because of their injuries, illness or treatment. We are also able to signpost our patients to other to more incidents, and we don’t have any dedicated training facilities needed to enable us to continually strive to provide organisations who can provide ongoing support that might help in their recovery. We can even provide details of agencies the very best and safe care that we can to our patients. Reflecting upon our experiences, incorporating those of our that provide free financial or legal information if a patient’s patients, considering the emerging evidence and seeking illness or injuries has implications in this respect. to take advantage of the latest technological advances are Importantly, when contacting our patients, we also seek to all key to developing our service. This will help ensure we learn from their experience of the care we provided them. continue to provide the people of Devon with the very best Patients can share their experiences by speaking to us on chance of a successful outcome should they suffer a lifethe phone, sending us an e-mail or increasingly again - now threatening medical condition or serious traumatic injuries. the pandemic restrictions are easing - face to face. We have also created an online patient experience survey which our patients can complete if they would prefer to share their experiences with us in that way, or indeed if they would like to do so anonymously. For more information on this aspect of our service, or if you are a patient or relative who would like to share your experience of any aspect of our service, please If you or a member of your family has been a patient, we visit www.daatcl.co.uk/patient-support would really appreciate your comments, good or bad, Two more of our paramedics have recently successfully and suggestions. They will be used to help improve our completed their MSc in either Pre-hospital Critical Care or service in the future for you and for other patients. If Advanced Clinical Practice, meaning 11 of our paramedics you wish to thank our crew, you can ring us on 0800 061 have now studied hard over three years to obtain their 4344, e-mail email@example.com or click on the Master’s degree. With one more paramedic awaiting ‘Thank the Crew’ button on our website. their results, a further six in the final year of their Masters education, alongside three of our paramedics now joining You can share your experience of your care with us many of our doctors in obtaining their Diploma in Immediate using our online form at: www.daatcl.co.uk/contact-us Medical Care with The Royal College of Surgeons of or by scanning this QR code Edinburgh, and two of our paramedics successfully completing their university Independent Prescribing course, our clinical team have shown a tremendous commitment to enhancing their knowledge and qualifications to provide even more advanced aspects of safe care to our patients. However, it isn’t just education and training the team have been undertaking during this busy period. As part of our replacement programme for our current vital signs monitors that we have had in service since 2016, which are used to display and record amongst other things our patients’ heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation, we have just started to trial a range of new monitors with the aim of purchasing the best type to meet our patients’ and clinical teams’ needs. Alongside reviewing other key items of equipment, we are seeking to incorporate as much technological advancement as we can, so we can offer even more advanced treatments and interventions to our patients.
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Lest We Forget West Falkland
Fitz and Simon Weston 51°30' Volunteer
New Island New Island
orty years ago, Margaret Thatcher stood in The House of Port Albermarle Speedwell Commons and announced that The Falklands had been Bleaker Speedwell Island Island invaded and thus The Falklands War - an undeclared war, a conﬂict, call it what you will - began on 2 April George 1982. Bull Point Island Just a few days later British warships started to leave bases Barren from around the UK. Shortly after that, cruise liners wereIsland Sea Lion Islands requisitioned and as one American observer called it - a 52°30' military impossibility - started to take shape. The SS Canberra Simon and Gary Halsey was requisitioned and set sail with 3 Commando Brigade aboard. The Queen Elizabeth 2 was also requisitioned and left Southampton on 12th May with 5th Infantry Brigade on board. to the track side to listen to the band. As The whole task force eventually comprised Nicci they took a break, a member walked towards 127 ships: 43 Royal Navy vessels, 22 Royal Pugh the former Welsh Guard and quietly said Fleet Auxiliary ships and 62 merchant ships. … “Remember me?” Former Royal Marine Beauchene Island The people, dockyards and military bases of Bandsman Gary Halsey from Exmouth had 58° 59° 60° the South 61° West played a huge role in building been sent to The Falklands in 1982 and that task force. had become a stretcher bearer. One of his There are many veterans still living in Devon injured had been Simon. A broad grin spread like Nicci Pugh, who was a Trauma Operating across Simon’s face. “Yes, I remember you Theatre Sister in Queen Alexandra’s Royal … you dropped me … twice.” I have cleaned Naval Nursing Corps, one of just forty women their conversation up!. The stretcher had who were sent to the conflict on active been too wide for the door of the medical service. Her nursing memoir ‘White Ship, Red unit, so Gary had tipped it slightly and the Crosses’ sets out how she and her comrades inevitable happened, Simon fell off. “And like worked on the hospital ship Uganda. an idiot I got back on again … and he did it She clearly remembers the dozens of again …” I think the photograph shows that injured who passed through the vessel there were no hard feelings. including a young Welsh Guard, Simon The conflict lasted just over ten weeks and Weston. As for Simon … “I remember the ended with an Argentine surrender on 14 beautiful blue eyes of a nurse, that’s all June, returning the islands to British control. “ I remember the I could see over the surgical mask she In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 was wearing. I often wondered who she beautiful blue eyes of a British military personnel, and three Falkland was?”. They were reunited in 2007 at her nurse, that’s all I could Islanders died during the hostilities. The 40th home in south Devon as part of a television anniversary will be marked with services of see over the surgical documentary called ‘Saving Simon’. mask she was wearing. remembrance, many personal journeys back Oddly another reunion took place at to the icy waters of the South Atlantic and Newton Abbot racecourse a few years ago I often wondered who old comrades getting together to reflect on but by sheer chance. Simon and I were she was? ” 74 days that changed so many lives. guests of The Rifles and were walking down g Ea
After sharing some of his personal experiences in the Falkland Islands in our winter issue of Helipad, on the 40th anniversary of the war Fitz takes a sober and poignant look back and meets two local people who served in the conflict and cared for his friend, Simon Weston.
Meet: David Fitzgerald - BBC Broadcaster and DAA Patron David first began broadcasting on commercial radio in the early 1980s, before moving to television. As well as a busy broadcasting career David still finds time for writing as well as enjoying a regular round of golf.
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Our busiest year ever.
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