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The Official Magazine of

Summer 2015


Bikes at our Ride Out

Follow the River Dart

from Moor to Sea

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Captain Damian Irving takes a stroll around



630 mile record breaking run

Discover the delights of DARTINGTON HALL Tickle your tastebuds with Richard Hunt’s

Summer Bounty

lutter ? Fancy A FJoin Our Weekly Lottery ...more than £11million raised so far!

Registered Charity No.1077998 Company No.3855746

Patient Stories - Real People Saving Real Lives


Heléna Holt, Chief Executive Officer

Celebrating the best in Devon

50,000 copies covering the whole county 35,000+ delivered direct to our supporters Also available online at Contributors David FitzGerald Neil Devons Sarah Chesters Richard Hunt Photographers Neil Devons South Molton News Cat Down Photography Julian Rees

RHS Photographers Simon Garbutt Carol Sheppard Tim Sandall Cecile Moisan Tim Sandall

Publisher Heléna Holt 01392 466666 Editor Debbie Gregory 01392 466666 ext 135 Advertising Sales Julie Hutchins 07843 621463 Advertisement Copy 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 18 November 2015

is published by Devon Air Ambulance Trust Unit 5 Sandpiper Court Harrington Lane Exeter EX4 8NS T 01392 466666 E Registered Charity No 1077998 Registered Company No 3855746 @DevonAirAmb © 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.

Welcome to our latest issue of Helipad and I hope you are all revelling in the long summer days. Here at the Trust, we’re all feeling very excited and proud to have been recognised as South West Business of the Year, awarded by global giants PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers). It’s a fantastic coup and a great testament to everyone involved in the Trust to have even reached the final; I understand we are the first charity ever to have been shortlisted! Another exiting development has been the recent addition to our retail outlets; our specialist Furniture and Electrical store in Summerland Street in Exeter. This opened in early June and the feedback we’ve had has been amazing. Comments like “such good quality stuff ”, “some real bargains” and “it doesn’t feel anything like a charity shop” are all music to our ears and confirmation that our retail strategy is hitting all the right buttons. Our shops are important for so many reasons, not least because they are, along with our network of volunteers, our grassroots within the community we serve. We love being part of the business scene in local towns and we enjoy the engagement and positive relationship we have with residents and holiday-makers alike. We are still on the lookout for a suitable premises in the Plymouth area and also in the north Devon area – so if you see anywhere you think might fit the bill, please do contact us! Meanwhile, stay safe and enjoy your summer.

Editor’s news Hi! In this edition we meet some fairly radical fundraisers – including some who cycled 400km in the wind and rain and another who ran, yes ran, the entire South West Coast Path – all 633 miles – in record breaking time. You can also read the stories of some of our patients; Graham who collapsed while walking on Dartmoor, Sophie, who took a tumble from her horse and little Lewis, who hit his head while out on his scooter. We follow the beautiful River Dart from its source to the sea and focus on the historic Dartington Hall along it’s route. And Pilot, Captain Damian Irving, takes us on a stroll through his home town of Sidmouth, pointing out places of interest along the way. As always, my thanks go to all our guest writers, patients, fundraisers and photographers who have contributed to this issue of Helipad.


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


In this issue... On The Cover Issue No.11 Summer 2015 Postbridge Dartmoor ©Capture Light Photography

Next Issue: Focus on English Riviera North Devon Walk Devon Dialects And much more!

7 8

Trust wins Prestigious Award

Staff, Aircrew, Trustees and Volunteers are all delighted to have won the West of England Business of the Year award (for businesses less than £30million)

Ways to Help & Volunteering

Two young Plymouth-based students demonstrate various ways to support the Trust and Rosey Oakes shares some of the antics enjoyed by our volunteers during Volunteers’ Week



Prizes 18 Star Hot on the heels of our Motorcycle Ride Out, we thank some of our supporters for their engagement through Social Media. With thanks to Eastcott Vineyard and Winery for their generous donation

Ride Out 19 Motorcycle Despite the wind, rain and mist, around 800 bikes took

part in our annual Ride Out this year, following a scenic 90-mile route across Devon’s diverse countryside

red Royal Marine Collapses on Dartmoor 10 Reti Regular walker, Graham du Feu, suffers a

Irresistible Devon Cream Tea 20 The Richard Hunt, tickles our taste buds with a mackerel salad,

On 12 What’s Some important dates for your diary to make

Stay Longer than Intended 23 Holiday-makers Plans for the Denton family altered dramatically

Takes a Tumble 17 Sophie The last ride of the trail

in History 24 Steeped We take a peek into the past and present of

cardiac arrest whilst walking on the moors

sure you don’t miss out this summer

season doesn’t end quite as Sophie expects

followed by his own special recipe for scones and jam

as dad, Jonathan, suffers a cardiac arrest

the historic Dartington Hall, near Totnes

to Sea 25 Moor Following the River Dart from its source to the sea, we note just some of the places of interest along the way

38 Cyclists take on a challenge 4


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


24 Steeped in History 24

What’s On

33 Lewis Gunn

8 Ways to Help

32 Moor To Sea

Top Tips 29 Seasonal Sarah Chesters, from RHS Rosemoor, shares her wisdom and offers advice to maximise colour and foliage as the seasons change

Sorts of Everything 30 All Are you moving house? Whether you’re looking to

donate good quality furniture and furnishings or buy more for a new home, look no further than our new Furniture & Electrical store

31 Meet our canvassers, coming to a doorstep or Join Our Lottery town near you

Crashes Into a Lamppost 33 Scooter Lewis needs transferring from one hospital to another after crashing into a lamppost

Stroll Around Sidmouth 34 AAlthough more used to seeing the county from the cockpit of a helicopter, Captain Damian Irving takes a stroll around his home town

37 When Jim White had an accident in the farmyard and Snow Causes Access Issues

his farm was cut off by snow, only the Air Ambulance could come to his aid

Take on a Challenge 38 Cyclists In memory of Devon-man, Chris Bennett, friends and fellow cyclists take on an audax across Devon and Cornwall


People 42 Devon Some of our fantastic fundraisers around the

county. Our thanks go to all our supporters. There is never enough space to mention you all – but we are grateful to everyone!

ng Young 44 Starti Meet some of our youngest supporters on Board 46 Businesses Some companies nominate us as their Charity

of the Year and staff from others participate in various activities and events. Whatever way you support us – Thank You

ons 48 Operati Operations Director, Nigel Hare, brings us up to date with the clinical development of the service

Chat 50 Back Our Patron, David FitzGerald, meets former England footballer, Sir Geoff Hurst

We Love To Talk! We’re active on many social networks and media channels so you can keep up with everything we’re doing between issues. Follow us on Facebook and Google +, join the Twitter conversation and watch our YouTube films.

630-mile Record-Breaking Run

Exeter University Professor, Patrick Devine-Wright, takes on the South West Coast Path – and wins!


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine




£139 PER MONTH Plus Initial Rental on Mazda Personal Contract Hire



Plus Initial Rental on Mazda Personal Contract Hire

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Book a test driveº today, call us on 01752 636363 Vospers Honiton Road

Vospers Marsh Mills

Honiton Road, Exeter, EX1 3RS Tel: 01392 203800

Marsh Mills Retail Park, Longbridge Road, Plymouth, PL6 8AY 01752 636363

Vospers Mazda are pleased to be supporting Devon Air Ambulance Trust

The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Mazda Range: Urban 30.4 (9.3) – 74.3 (3.8). Extra Urban 49.6 (5.7) – 88.3 (3.2). Combined 40.9 (6.9) – 83.1 (3.4). CO 2 emissions (g/km) 161 – 89. The mpg fi gures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results obtained through laboratory testing. These are provided for comparability purposes only and may not refl ect your actual driving results. Personal contract hire offer on all-new Mazda2 75ps SE and all-new Mazda CX-3 120ps 2WD SE on orders received between 01.07.15 and 30.09.15, subject to availability and status. Age 18+ only. All-new Mazda2 figures based on a non-maintenance contract hire package with advance rental of £2,186.50, then 41 monthly rentals of £139.00. Excess miles over contracted mileage of 31,500 over 42 months charged at 8.39 pence per mile. All-new Mazda CX-3 figures based on a non-maintenance contract hire package with advance rental of £1,754.11, then 41 monthly rentals of £219.00. Excess miles over contracted mileage of 31,500 over 42 months charged at 7.6 pence per mile. Excess charges also apply if you breach manufacturer servicing or maintenance guidelines or if the car exceeds BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear guidelines for its age/mileage when it is returned to Mazda Contract Hire. Package includes road fund licence and Mazda Assistance. Guarantee/indemnity may be required. Prices and details are subject to change without notice. For full specification and T&Cs contact your local retailer. You will not own the car. ALD Automotive Ltd, trading as Mazda Contract Hire, BS16 3JA. Models shown: all-new Mazda2 75ps SE, OTR from £11,995 and all-new Mazda CX-3 120ps 2WD SE, OTR from £17,595. All-new Mazda2 model shown features optional Soul Red Metallic paint (£650) and all-new Mazda CX-3 model shown features optional Soul Red Metallic paint (£660). OTR prices include VAT, number plates, delivery, 12 months’ road fund licence, first registration fee, 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty and 3 years’ European Roadside Assistance. °Test drives subject to applicant status and availability. Details correct at time of going to print. Not available in conjunction with any other offer unless specified.



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Historic win as Devon Air Ambulance Trust scoops PWC West of England Business of the Year Award Trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters across Devon celebrated when Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) was named as the PWC West of England Business of the Year with a turnover of less than £30 million at a gala dinner at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol on 2nd July. DAAT was the first charity ever to be shortlisted and the first not-for-profit organisation to win the coveted prize which has previously been won by well-known businesses such as Graphic plc, the Gro Company and Seasalt. Anita Newcombe, DAAT’s Chair of Trustees, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It is testimony to the hard work put in by everyone at DAAT and particularly to the Senior Leadership Team who have carried out an exemplary programme of development in recent years to improve the service we offer not only in operational terms, but in finance, human resources, PR and marketing, fundraising and retail as well as connecting with the community.” The award entry described the Trust’s operation in six key business areas; innovative products/services; employee training; business management; financial performance; future prospects and contribution to the region. Chief Executive Heléna Holt, commented: “This has been such a valuable experience for us. After being shortlisted we greatly benefited from the judges’ feedback. We were also visited by a professional film company to capture what we do and the footage, which was shown on the night of the awards, has been made available to us to use for our own communications. This is a great result for DAAT and for the people of Devon whom we serve.” Volunteer, Julie Stapleton, was among the guests at the gala dinner, “I felt very privileged and honoured to be at the Awards Ceremony, representing the 452 volunteers who passionately and tirelessly support the Devon Air Ambulance team. I was just blown away when they announced we had


Anita Newcombe (L) and Nigel Hare (R) collect the award from Tracey Bentham and Christian Jones

Julie (2nd R) with the team at the Gala Dinner.

won, out of such a highly acclaimed finalist list. The whole experience was amazing and I’m just so delighted that everyone’s efforts have been recognised in the business world. Well done Team DAAT!”

Proud team members celebrating their new glassware


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Ways to help... We are really grateful for all the help our supporters offer:

Subi’s skydive

• Donating goods to our shops • Purchasing goods from our shops • Playing our in-house Lottery • Putting on an event • Attending an event • Participating in a challenge • Doing a sponsored event • Volunteering to help at Head Office or at one of our events • Making a one-off or regular donation • Leaving a gift in your will One young couple, Subi Sidey and Sophie Diver, who met at Coombe Dean School in Plymouth, decided to make their gap year more of a challenge by raising funds for the Trust in a number of different ways… First, Subi, 20, made a hair-raising, spine-tingling, jump from a plane in his first ever skydive. Next was a trip to Peru. They aimed to climb Machu Pichu though, sadly, both were struck down with altitude sickness and had to descend before the summit. Undaunted, back in the UK, they entered the county’s firstever 5K colour run, Run or Dye, in the beautiful grounds of the Great Fulford estate in Dunsford. Still to come are a variety of events where the couple have offered to help as volunteers, including DAAT’s own motorcycle ride out. Speaking about the young fundraisers Caroline Creer, Fundraising Director, said “The support from Subi and Sophie has been great. Setting themselves these challenges for their gap year will certainly give them stories in the years to come as well as adding to their CVs, and the help they have offered and funds they have raised for us in the process are very much appreciated.”

Subi and Sophie in Peru

Subi added, “We wanted to make our gap year between college and uni count. It would have been all too easy to become a little lazy and self-focussed so we thought we’d add some fundraising challenges. Raising money for DAAT was an obvious choice for us as Sophie was airlifted in 2011, albeit by a Royal Navy Sea-king, after suffering from hypothermia whilst doing the Ten Tors on Dartmoor. I must say thanks to you guys for your advice and support, it’s been absolutely great fun supporting DAAT and we’ve already had some amazing experiences.”

Meeting Ambrose at Run Or Dye



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Volunteering at Devon Air Ambulance Volunteers are the linch-pin of every charity and are often the unsung heroes – but for a week in June each year they are publicly recognised, hugely thanked and positively celebrated. For Devon Air Ambulance volunteers, this year was no exception. Rosey Oakes, Volunteer Support Coordinator explained… “Volunteers’ Week has been brilliant! We kicked things off with a fabulous Shop Volunteer airbase visit at Eaglescott on Sunday. Debbie and Amy brought the Sidmouth volunteers up by coach – just like a real old ‘charabanc’ trip - and all enjoyed the trip, despite getting lost en-route! Carole from our Barnstaple shop also joined us and was awarded her 5-year long service award. “It was a really lovely occasion and by Sunday evening I’d had lots of really complimentary emails from volunteers like Sidmouth’s Carolyn, who said: “Just a quick note to say a very big thank you to you all for today. It was a wonderful insight into what we volunteer for and brings home the fantastic work that the pilots and paramedics do on a day to day basis. It was brilliantly presented and brings home what we all work towards. I feel I speak for us all from Sidmouth in saying how much we like helping Debbie and Amy in the shop, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have been party to today’s visit.” There are various events throughout our calendar where we need an abundance of help and, as well as our regular helpers, we are grateful to enlist the support of their friends, partners, parents and/or children. These events really are ‘all hands to the pump’ but such fun. A classic example was this year’s Run or Dye – a colourful 5K run through the Great Fulford estate in Dunsford, near Exeter. We provided 80 volunteers and their roles included registration, baggage, water stops and, of course, paint throwing!


Margaret from Totnes dresses a manequin

Tony from Tiverton displays the bric-a-brac

Sidmouth volunteers head to Eaglescott

Run Or Dye volunteers at Dunsford

If you ever wonder what you could do to help and wonder what would be in it for you, please call Rosey Oakes on 01392 466666 to find out more.

Get in touch!


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Graham’s Tour of Tors Retired Royal Marine, Graham du Feu, and his military friend, Rob, are no strangers to ‘yomping’ and had challenged themselves to walk all the Tors on Dartmoor. Successfully ticking them off over the months, their plans were all going very well until one day earlier this year. Graham takes up the story… 28th 2015; the weather was dry, cold and windy; January but still perfectly acceptable for a walk on Dartmoor.

From the car park at Meldon Reservoir, near Okehampton, Rob and I made our way to the top of Black Tor, with the intention of continuing to Lints Tor, further into the moor. Whilst relaxing with a warm drink we noticed a rather nasty weather front moving along the valley from the south. This put paid to continuing with the walk and, reluctantly, we started to make our way back to the car park, some forty minutes walking distance away. On commencing the descent, however, I began to feel rather dizzy and started to shake. Next, I was on my knees stating that I needed a few minutes rest. Rob reminded me of the urgency to get off the high ground because of the approaching bad weather; to no avail, I became ‘full stretch’ and unable to move. I remember remarking that I thought I was going down with hypothermia. Rob, having wrapped me in a ‘space blanket’ realised that it was more than that! He quickly managed to obtain a mobile phone signal (a rare achievement on certain parts of the moor), and contacted the emergency services, stating my predicament and giving our grid reference. By this time the weather had somewhat deteriorated and, though slipping in and out of consciousness, I remember the Devon Air Ambulance approach over the reservoir and made an excellent landing on the slope where I was laying. 10


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

I was soon loaded on board and the paramedics, on examination, noticed that the front of my t-shirt was soaked in sweat: I was having a heart attack! I remember being able to hear the paramedics during the flight, but I was unable to respond. I have little recollection of the following, apart from a sense of being ‘wheeled’, which must have been the move from the helicopter landing site at Derriford Hospital into the Emergency Department. I now know that I suffered a cardiac arrest which took over ten minutes to resuscitate. I was then moved to the Critical Care Unit, having had a stent inserted in my heart and a pump in my aorta. In the meantime my wife, Colleen had been gently warned that my chances of survival were very slim; but if I did live, then I might have suffered brain damage. I finally woke up from an induced coma three and a half days later, slightly before the ventilator tube was removed from my mouth. I didn’t know what day it was, or the time, but was informed of this after concerned nursing staff ascertained that I wasn’t ‘brain damaged’ after all! I remained in the Critical Care Unit for a further four days being very closely monitored and treated with the necessary drugs before being moved to a Cardiac Ward, where I remained for a further week, before coming home. I am now well into the process of recovery, on medication and awaiting further treatment. I am even managing some

Patient Story The spot, overlooking Meldon Reservoir, where Graham collapsed

“Though slipping in and out of consciousness, I remember the Devon Air Ambulance approach over the reservoir and make an excellent landing on the slope where I was laying.” ‘low key’ Dartmoor walks. I consider myself very lucky to be alive. I feel, in retrospect, that if I was going to have a heart attack – and survive it – I was lucky to be in the right place, with the right people. My very heartfelt thanks goes to my good friend Rob (Army Major); the pilot of the helicopter, Rob Mackie, who

flew through some very marginal weather; and the two aircrew paramedics, Nigel Lang and Mark Hawley, who kept me alive. Thanks also to all the staff of the Emergency Department, the Critical Care Unit and the Cardiac Ward at Derriford Hospital. Thank you all. o

Graham du Feu reunited with Nigel and Mark


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Out and about this summer... Be a winner for just £1 Visitors to our stands at numerous shows and events this summer will, again, see the familiar sight of a brand new Mazda car – yours for the princely sum of just £1.00 per Grand Summer Draw ticket. For the eighth year running, Vospers are kindly supporting our Draw and, all being well, we will see the grand total of income from our draw tickets exceed £500,000! Following the old adage “you have to be in it to win it”, everyone loves the chance to win something – and what could be better than a fantastic new, five-door, Mazda2 sitting on your driveway. The demonstration model on loan to Devon Air Ambulance for the summer months sports our helicopter artwork although, I am assured, this will not be on the winner’s car! Alex Bass, Vospers’ Mazda Sales Manager, said “We are delighted to support Devon Air Ambulance Trust again and it is our pleasure to lend them a car for their shows. Seeing the possible prize close up is a great temptation and we know that it encourages people to buy a ticket. The thought of winning such a great prize for just a £1 investment is certainly very attractive!”

Come and see us…

We love all the shows we attend around the county and meeting locals and holiday-makers at our stand is always brilliant. Still to come this summer are the following events:

JULY 25 July - Mid Devon Show 26 July - Totnes Show 27 July - Woolsery Show 29 July - Yealmpton Show

OCTOBER 10-11 October - Commando Challenge 14 October - Tavistock Goose Fair 18 October – Great West Run and Schools Challenge

AUGUST 5 August - North Devon Show 6 August - Honiton Show 12 August - Exford Show 13 August - Okehampton Show 15 August - Christow Show 20 August - Chagford Show 21/22 August - Dawlish Air Show 27 August - Holsworthy Show

SEPTEMBER 5-6 September - Dart 10k Swim 8 September - Widecombe Fair 13 September - DAAT Sea Swim 27 September - DAAT Dragon Boat Racing

Are you able to help at any of our events? They are enormous fun; with training on the day, no experience is necessary. Call Rosey Oakes on 01392 466666 or email 12


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

o t e c n a Your ch splash! make a

Diary Dates

u are interested in yo If ? er at w en p o ing in the with fellow Do you love swimm e ocean with a shared camaraderie ce One th evon Air Ambulan ? D a great day out in e th to w o n p u t sign mber swimmers, why no adsands near Paignton on 13 Septe eat ro gr Mile Sea Swim in B ector Caroline Creer said: “This is a personal ir a D DAAT Fundraising sea swimmers and those looking for event for both keen 0 to enter! Find out more at: £2 challenge. It ’s only s-on at /wh

A re y o u b o ld e n o u g h to ta k e o n th e D ra g o n s ?

Not for the d faint-hearte ce on Challenge takes pla

do This year ’s Comman 1 October. Your chance to /1 the weekend of 10 ty on the Royal Marine’s ir d get down and get oodbury Common. There is W Assault Course on or 17k route – book early to k a choice of a 4k, 10 t! en avoid disappointm al www.commandoch


Friends or family: who do yo u wa in your team? Or do you fancy nt getting together with colleag ues the best team-building challen for ge ever? If so, book your boat no w and join in this year ’s Dragon Boat Festival on Exeter Quay on 27 September. Find out more on 01392 466666 or fundraising@

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Attractions & places to visit in Devon The long summer days are finally here – hooray! With them comes the anticipation of getting out and about, finding new places and exploring some of the many attractions that Devon has to offer. Whether you are a resident of the county or a holiday maker here for just a short time, here are just a few ideas to help you fill your days.


The number one family day out in the Galaxy is waiting for heroes at the largest family theme park in the South West. Experience all weather adventures with a spectacular variety of indoor and outdoor attractions for big kids and small kids. The action packed playzones have challenges to keep everyone entertained plus awesome rides and a fabulous ZooFarm with cuddly friends and exotic creatures. Be amazed by speeding hawks in the Falconry Displays, creepy critters in the Bug Shows and sparkling live performers. FIND FANTASTIC DISCOUNTS and details of opening times on

KENTS CAVERN PREHISTORIC CAVES Kents Cavern is the award winning prehistoric caves in the heart of the UNESCO endorsed English Riviera Global Geopark. The cave has a remarkable record of ancient human occupation stretching back over 500,000 years. Its most important artefact is a human jawbone dated at 41,000 years old; Britain’s oldest human bone. Kents Cavern Prehistoric Caves English Riviera Global Geopark 89/91 Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF Opening times

Woodlands Family Theme Park Blackawton, Totnes, TQ9 7DQ Telephone 01803 712598

Adult £10, Child/Senior/Student £9



Visit our website


Telephone 01803 215136

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Pecorama is one of East Devon’s leading visitor attractions, located on the hillside above the picturesque fishing village of Beer. Within the grounds is the Beer Heights Light Railway, where miniature steam locomotives pull passenger trains on a mile-long journey. Garden-lovers will enjoy the celestially themed Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Roof and Moat garden rooms which form the Millennium Celebration Garden, whilst children can let off steam in both the indoor and outdoor safetysurfaced play areas. Pecorama, Beer, Devon, EX12 3NA Telephone 01297 21542 Open daily 10am to 5.30pm Adult entry £9.25, Sen Cit £8.00, Child £7.00


Haldon Forest Park Buller’s Hill, Kennford Exeter, EX6 7XR Open daily.

April-October 8.30am – Dusk October-April 8.30am-5pm (apart from TuesThurs when gate stays open til 8.30pm)

Telephone 0300 067 5826

for a Family Day Out Red squirrels, wild boars, otters, amazing birds of prey displays, enchanting fantasy woodlands, discovery trails, a knee-trembling forest drop slide, a world-class maze, indoor play barn, summer special events - theatre on the lawn, water wars in the maze, swamp walks and delicious food from the coach house restaurant. This is Escot refreshingly different and set in 220 acres of beautiful devon countryside. A real treat for the whole family Escot, Ottery St. Mary, East Devon, EX11 1LU Summer Opening Every day 10am – 6pm


Adult £9.50, Child and concessions £8.00 Members: FREE

Telephone 01404 822188 Yayyy! I did it!

Lundy Island - A Unique Landscape Lundy Island lies in the Bristol Channel approximately 11 miles from the coast of North Devon. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty, the simple pleasure of just relaxing on this remote tranquil island or adventuring out to take in the breathtaking views with the gentle pursuit of bird watching or walking. If one day is not enough for you, why not take a short break and stay in one of Lundy’s lovely self catering properties. Travel to Lundy on the island supply ship MS Oldenburg which carries both staying and day visitors from Ilfracombe or Bideford.

Day Trips - March to end of October • Staying Passengers - All year round Telephone 01271 863636 •

North Devon Show - 5th August 2015 Showcasing the magnificent animals bred in our region.

Explore South Devon’s beautiful River Dart in guided traditional long canoes. There’s canoeshare with family discount, riverside picnics, wildlife, history, and firecraft. Group hire offers BBQ outings, or trips to riverside hostelries and to prizewinning Sharpham Vineyard. Travel a magical river across open estuary to discover its secluded creeks and hidden landings. Join at Tuckenhay TQ9 7EQ or Stoke Gabriel TQ9 6RD Timings follow the tide and change daily so Booking is Essential. Visit for Trips and Tariff. Email 01803 865301


• Food Hall – high quality food, local beer and wine • Craft & Gifts • Arcade – local businesses and Exmoor Zoo • Rural Skills – traditional skills demonstrations • Country Pursuits – fun and serious aspects of country life • Cooking demonstrations - 4 top local chefs • Much more, come and see for yourself!

Special guest – Adam Henson BBC’s Country File resident farmer and presenter. Adam will judge classes, do a book signing and present the long service awards If you want a truly entertaining family day out, come along to


Explore Haldon Forest Park on 40km of walking and cycling trails to suit all abilities or hone your skills on our cycle skills area and pump loop. Haldon is also home to Go Ape, Segway Southwest, Forest Cycle Hire and the Ridge Café which is open every day serving a range of delicious, locally sourced food and drink. There is also a life sized Gruffalo sculpture to see.

Umberleigh Barton Farm (on the A377) Umberleigh EX37 9DX

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Located near to the Cathedral City of Exeter just one mile from Junction 28 of the M5. Padbrook Park is set in the heart of the Culm Valley in the small market town of Cullompton, and offers a superb location and extensive facilities for anyone visiting the South West be it for leisure breaks, business, functions, weddings or golf. Padbrook Special Golf Deal Sunday & Friday nights - 18 holes in the afternoon, three course dinner, overnight stay, full english breakfast and 18 holes in the morning - Just £60 per person (based on two sharing a twin or double room. £20 single room supplement per night).

Padbrook Park Cullompton, Devon EX15 1RU Opening times Driving range from 8am


See our website for the latest offers.

Telephone 01884 836100

Hannahs at Seale Hayne Dame Hannah Rogers Trust, or Hannahs as they are known, is a pioneering charity, located in Ivybridge and SealeHayne, Newton Abbot. It has worked with, and championed, disadvantaged and vulnerable children, young people and adults with a range of disabilities for more than 230 years. Hannahs at Seale-Hayne is also open to the public 7 days a week with an outdoor pursuits centre, recording studios, sensory music room, farm, gallery, bistro, workshops, learning placements, accommodation and conference facilities, it is a place of true integration and imagination. Hannahs at Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ Open to everyone, 7 days a week, Free entry Telephone 01626 325800

We can’t wait to meet you... We are home to hundreds of rescued donkeys. Come and see us free of charge, open 365 days a year. The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth EX10 0NU Open 9am - dusk Free parking Wheelchair accessible Donations welcome

Telephone 01395 578222 Charity Number: 264818

Visit England’s highest waterfall!


We have a large range of Quads for everyone from 6 years and upwards. Suzuki 50cc for the little ones, Yamaha 50cc & 80cc for the younger riders, moving up to the 90cc Hondas for the teenagers and of course the 125cc Yamaha Breeze for the adults! Safety equipment and full instruction provided. Explore over 15 miles of challenging terrain. Test your off-road driving in our Landrover Discovery 4x4 in 200 acres Of North Devon countryside. Bring your bikes too and ride our Moutain Bike Trails! Keypitts Farm Oxen Park Lane Ilfracombe EX34 9RW OpenAll Year The Wetter The Better! Booking Line 01271 862247 16


Situated within Dartmoor National Park, in the heart of the Teign Valley, the waterfalls tumble down ancient rock formations to the tranquil lakes below, offering some of the most spectacular waterfall and woodland scenery in Devon. Described by one visitor as “one of the most idyllic places on earth”, wildlife thrives in the peace and tranquillity that makes the Falls a haven for all. Pathways take you on 3 scenic routes, suitable for all ages and abilities. Come and visit our magical restored Victorian Fern garden, cafe and gift shop. Canonteign Falls Christow, Nr Exeter, EX6 7RH Open daily 10am – 5.30pm Telephone 01647 252434

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

EST 1888

No family trip to the picturesque towns of Lynton and Lynmouth in North Devon would be complete without a ride on the famous funicular cliff lift. It’s the best and most exciting way to travel between these two historic towns and will be one of the highlights of the day - for Mums, Dads and all the family. Enjoy stunning views of Exmoor and the North Devon coastline as you glide up and down the 862 foot length of track; from Lynmouth nestling at the foot of the cliffs to Lynton perched 500 feet above. The Cliff Railway, The Esplanade, Lynmouth, EX35 6EQ Opening times 10am-5pm 7 Days Per Week Longer opening hours during high season.


Adult £3.70 return, Child 4-13 £2.20 return

Telephone 01598 753908 / 753486

Patient Story

Sophie tumbles into a tight spot! O

n the last day of the Trail Season in 2014, 18-year old Sophie Simmons from South Molton and her friends were enjoying a ride in beautiful countryside near Molland. In the process of offering her friend a sweet, Sophie was holding both reins in one hand when her horse spooked and caught her off balance. Sophie fell from her horse and rolled some distance down the hill, landing unceremoniously at the bottom. Unable to move, she was grateful that her friends were able to make the call to the emergency services, explaining that her location now made it impossible for a land ambulance crew to reach her. Likewise, Sophie was grateful that the same friends had caught her horse and were keeping him out of harm’s way. It was with relief when the riders heard the Air Ambulance approaching and pilot Dan Smith was able to land the helicopter just a short distance away. Paramedics Glenn

Birtwisle and Chris Saunders were able to assess and stabilise Sophie in preparation for her flight to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. With suspected pelvis, leg and ankle injuries, it was a great surprise and huge relief to learn that the x-rays revealed no bones were broken. However, following a CT scan, Sophie learned that she had a ruptured spleen. She spent three days in Intensive Care and remained bed-bound in hospital until the bleed in her spleen stopped. Following the accident, Sophie remained off work for eight weeks and it was six months before she felt confident to return to riding. Eager to raise some funds for Devon Air Ambulance, Sophie organised a Bingo Night and the money raised was topped up by Tiverton Stag Hounds to make a total of £500.00. Sophie was delighted to present the money to local Devon Air Ambulance volunteer, Paul Beazly at the recent Tiverton Stag Hounds meeting. o

Eager to raise some funds for Devon Air Ambulance, Sophie organised a Bingo Night and the money raised was topped up by Tiverton Stag Hounds to £500.00


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Star Prize Winners Our thanks go to all our followers on Facebook and Twitter; we value your feedback and comments. Hot on the heels of our Motorcycle Ride Out, in this issue we have chosen Tweets and Facebook posts to win our Star Prizes…

Ian Foster

Dan Hart @DanHart22

It’s @DevonAirAmb ride out day!! See you all there in a bit!! Remember ride safe and stay on two wheels!!!

What a cracking day (weather excluded!) good to meet so many great bikers.. Thanks to all the DAAT volunteers for putting on a really well run event.

And, a little later in the day… Just back from being a Marshall at this year’s @DevonAirAmb ride out. Tired out but a great day.. If a little wet!

Dan, Ian and Michael each receive bottles of the special sparkling Brut Rosé the Eastcott Vineyard Winery at Northlew near Okehampton. Very big thanks Eastcott Vineyard Winery for their kind donation.

will two from and to and

Michael Hoad Top marks to DAAT, Great start venue, thanks to all volunteers well done. Shame about the weather, by the huge turnout of bikers it didn,t matter we enjoyed it anyway. A tad moist and misty over the moors though!!! Look forward to next year.

We also want to give praise to Peter Clayton for the best fundraising graphic we’ve seen this spring for Three Men and a Little Lady. The team, from Bluestone 360, completed the Samworth Brothers Charity Challenge involving hiking, canoeing and cycling in North Wales, and raised nearly £1,800! What a great logo! 18


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

10th Anniversary of Motorcycle Ride Out


“Great course, great cause, great day!”

Despite the rain, mist and wind, bikers in their hundreds turned up at Trago Mills in Newton Abbot for the annual DAAT Motorcycle Ride Out on Sunday 12th July. Bikes of all shapes and sizes had been washed and polished, competing for the three trophies: Best Custom, Best Classic and Best In Show, judged by Betty Nott of DAM (Devon Advanced Motorists) and Ian Sargent, a supporter of DAAT who was airlifted following a motorcycle accident in 2013. The 90-mile route took the riders over, across and around the moors where, at times, visibility was particularly poor! The final stretch was back via Moretonhampsted to Exeter and from the A380 into Teignmouth. Spirits were high among the riders, pillions and other visitors to the Den, as everyone enjoyed good food, trade stands, family entertainment and live music from Jimmy Ireland, Giraffodils, Sound of the Sirens and Five Finger Discount. Our Facebook page filled with testimonials, such as: “Glad to have been able to participate in an excellent ride albeit with quite horrible conditions around Two Bridges to Tavistock. Sensible and safe riding by everyone I saw enroute contributed to my great day out. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help me on my way and thanks to all the staff, ESP Adam for setting it all up. Great course, great cause, great day.”


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The Summer Bounty Devon Chef, Richard Hunt, serves up his taste of summer…


pring has sprung and gone and nature’s production now begins to move into top gear with great salad leaves, crunchy spring onions and the fiery radish coming into their own, livening up many a summer salad bowl. The first real tomatoes ripening in the warm sunshine have an aroma and flavour which really can’t be beaten and reminds us that the tomatoes we endure in the winter are just not the ‘real thing’. The summer run of mackerel off our beaches and breakwaters bring the anglers in their droves casting their feathers to entice a bite from these wonderful silver and blue darts - filleted and simply pan fried or smoked, fresh mackerel is a real taste of the sea in the sun. Other piscatorial produce such as the luxurious wild bass, scallops and underrated fish such as sea-going grey mullet, are great on the barbecue, served simply with new potatoes and perhaps a tangy sauce vierge, a glass of Sharpham wine or Devon crisp cider will just draw you into a summer feeling. The warmth of the summer sun brings sweetness into the our midst with the first of the proper strawberries. The smell of true summer is unmistakeable when you walk into the farm shop or even better at the pick your own; a pastime that as a child, I would endeavour to double my body weight in the strawberry fields near Kingsbridge, but always failed after about 3lbs of those plump berries!

These wonderful silver and blue darts filleted and simply pan fried or smoked, fresh mackerel is a real taste of the sea in the sun.

A great dollop of clotted cream or a good glug of thick double cream just reminds us of how lucky we are, although our waistlines may increase a little, the beach cricket and slightly chilly dip in the sea makes us feel we have earned the privilege of a little indulgence. Peaches, apricots, raspberries, redcurrants, gooseberries, the list goes on and on of fruity treats ripe for crumbles, pies, preserving and just simply eating straight from the garden, great natural sugars that makes our 5-7 a day (I’m always confused how many it should be!) a joy rather than a potential chore to accomplish, especially for the children. Now is the time to preserve those tastes of summer for the barren days of winter to come through pickling, chutneys and preserves – or, if you want to cheat, go and grab a great local producer’s version to store if they last that long without being eaten! The traditional Cream Tea, being very close to my heart, is a must and my mackerel recipe with Lori’s fantastic raspberry vinegar from Shute Fruit in the Teign Valley sings summer. The recipes I have chosen for this edition I think really epitomise Summer and I hope you will indulge in a little taste of sunshine.o 20


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Pan roasted Mackerel fillet with a warm fennel, new potato and crispy bacon salad, finished with raspberry vinegar dressing Ingredients for 4 4 medium mackerel filleted and pin boned 1 fennel bulb with feathery tops attached 12 baby new potatoes, boiled and cooled 100gm Streaky bacon cut into lardon shapes Lambs lettuce to garnish 75ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil 20gm unsalted butter Method 1. To make the dressing, blend the vinegar, oil and seasoning in a bowl and add 1tsp finely chopped fennel tops, until fully mixed. 2. In a medium hot fry pan (preferably non-stick), heat 50ml of oil, add the mackerel fillets, skin side down and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy, turn over for 20 seconds, then remove from the pan and keep warm, season lightly 3. Add the butter and remaining oil into the pan and gently add the bacon and cook until crisp, remove and keep warm with the mackerel 4. In the same pan add the potatoes which have been cut into small bite sized pieces and cook for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until beginning to crisp 5. Add the thinly sliced fennel and cook for 1 -2 minutes more, lightly season 6. To plate this dish, place a pile of the fennel, potato and bacon into the middle of the bowl or plate and place two mackerel fillets per person on top 7. Place some lambs lettuce around and dress generously with the raspberry vinaigrette

Or even better go to your local beach and ‘feather’ up some really fresh ones!

Devon Food

Deliciously Devon Scones Ingredients 1kg strong plain flour 65g baking powder 125g milk powder 190g caster sugar 190g butter 750/800ml natural yoghurt/buttermilk Method 1. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients, add the yoghurt and mix to a smooth dough, cut into rounds 1.5 inches thick and glaze with egg wash 2. Bake at 170-180 for approx. 12-14 mins until golden

Strawberry Jam Ingredients 454g strawberries 454g granulated sugar Juice of 2 lemons Knob of butter 6g powdered pectin Method 1. Cut the strawberries in half 2. Place in a pan and warm gently until a little juice begins to appear 3. Add the sugar, powdered pectin and butter and stir gently until all is dissolved 4. Bring to a rolling boil, skimming any scum off as you go 5. When the temperature reaches 105c add the lemon juice 6. Test for set by placing onto a cold plate and look for a skin to form 7. If not, continue boiling and test again in five minutes until the set is achieved 8. Take off the heat and leave to stand for 5 mins before bottling in sterilised jars


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Good Advice is Priceless


Independent Boarding and Day School in Devon for Boys and Girls Aged 3 -18

A Chinese porcelain bowl Sold for ÂŁ67,800

St. Edmund’s Court Okehampton Street Exeter EX4 1DU T: 01392 413100 W: E:



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Since 1841 85 acre rural campus | Small class sizes Impressive GCSE and AS/A2 examination results Sixth Form leavers successful with choice universities Strong sporting tradition | Fixtures across the S West A wide choice of extra curricular activities Transport included in fees | Free taster days

Patient Story

“Thank you - you saved my life” Denton and his family, from Cirencester, Jonathan Gloucestershire, have been visiting Devon for many years,

with Salcombe being their favourite place for a regular Easter break. This year it looked as if the Dentons would miss out on their Easter weekend due to other commitments but, having spent Easter Friday and Saturday decorating at home, they headed off for a one night trip to Salcombe for Easter Sunday. Jonathan, wife Carol and their children, Hannah (18) and James (16), arrived safely in time for a pub lunch and duly checked into the Salcombe Harbour Hotel. The family spent the afternoon wandering around the shops in town and enjoyed a leisurely swim at the hotel before a lovely evening meal. So far so good…. Easter Monday, however, didn’t turn out as planned. The family decided on a swim prior to breakfast and then packed their bags, intending to leave the car at the hotel and enjoy another day in Salcombe before heading Jonathan and family in Salcombe home. Jonathan took the first bags to the car and James, in a neighbouring room, heard his mum’s mobile phone ring. Seeing the caller ID was his dad, he answered the phone. However, he also glanced out of the window and saw his father’s legs dangling strangely from the boot of the estate car. Running to the car park he found his father slumped in the boot and was unable to rouse him. James ran back to the hotel and, together with his mum Carol, they tried to revive Jonathan. Carol immediately feared that her husband had suffered a cardiac arrest. James rang 999 and learned that a land ambulance was on its way. While waiting ‘what seemed like a lifetime’ for them to arrive, they also saw the Devon Air Ambulance circling overhead. When the land crew arrived, they defibrillated Jonathan and James heard them in communication with the Air Ambulance crew who had landed on nearby South Sands Beach. Jonathan was stretchered into the ambulance to be taken to the helicopter. Carol, James and Hannah watched helplessly as the ambulance drove away. Staff and guests at the hotel, however, all offered their help in any way they could. Knowing the priority was to get the family to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital, a member of staff offered to drive them there whilst another

offered to bring their cases to them later in the day. On arrival at hospital, Jonathan had undergone a series of tests and scans, resulting in him being induced into a coma for 5 days, prior to an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) being fitted. Aircrew paramedics, Nigel Lang and Dave Dungay, were still completing their paperwork when Carol and her children arrived. The family were reassured to speak to them and passed on their huge thanks for getting Jonathan to hospital so quickly. Jonathan remained in Derriford for a total of 12 days. Fortunately, he has now made a remarkable recovery and, exactly 10 weeks after his airlift, he returned to work, taking things steadily but feeling well again. Speaking to DAAT’s Patient Liaison Officer, Debbie Gregory, he explained, “I have absolutely no memory of anything from the previous Saturday until I woke up in hospital some 5 or 6 days later. I can’t remember the drive down to Devon, shopping, swimming, eating, anything! I have no recollection from the morning of my cardiac arrest and yet now I know that I had the forethought to ring Carol’s phone. I understand that the service from the Air Ambulance was impeccable. I am so grateful; they saved my life.” Jonathan’s employer was very supportive and laid on a driver for the period to enable James to return to Cirencester to sit his GCSE’s and then visit dad in Derriford. James, explained “Out of something that was so awful for our family, and so horrible for Dad, it was amazing that everyone around us pulled out all the stops to help. From the land crew helping Dad at the scene, then the aircrew helping him during the flight and getting him to hospital so quickly, to everyone at the hotel who rallied round to help. Even local friends in Cirencester came to our aid. I had to come home while Dad was in Intensive Care because my GCSE’s were starting. I hadn’t wanted to come home but really good friends helped out and I stayed with them. Hannah, who stayed in Plymouth with Mum, needed her revision notes and another good friend took them down for her. Everyone was just brilliant. We just can’t thank people enough.”o

“I have absolutely no memory of anything from the previous Saturday until I woke up in hospital some 5 or 6 days later.”


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


A peak into

Dartington Hall

an artistic utopia

Dartington Hall, near Totnes, has been described as ‘the most spectacular mansion in Devon’. That’s some title to live up to, but a wander through the historic buildings and a meander around the Grade II* listed gardens and it’s easy to see that the title is justified.


n its magnificent setting just above the tidal reaches of the River Dart, the Manor of Dartington is mentioned in a Royal Charter as long ago as 833AD and the site on which the Great Hall stands has been continuously occupied for well over 1,000 years. Not only is it the largest medieval house built in the West of England but, unusual for its time,



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Dartington Hall has never had any protective fortification. From mid-1300s to mid-1500s there were various changes of Royal ownership, including Richard II, his half-brother, John and Henry Holand (the third and fourth Dukes of Exeter) and even two of Henry VIII’s wives, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

Beautiful Devon In 1559, the estate was purchased by the Champernownes, remaining in their family for nearly four hundred years. At the beginning of the twentieth century and eleven generations later, however, they were forced to sell much of their land and, in 1925, the remaining estate was bought by visionaries, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst for the princely sum of £30,000. Leonard described the estate to his new wife as a ‘veritable fairyland’ and, on visiting it for the first time, Dorothy is reported to have said ‘it’ll do’! The Elmhirsts were pioneers, inspired by many innovative thinkers of the time. Dorothy, orphaned at 17 years old, had inherited considerable wealth which she devoted to founding the Dartington Hall Trust. Despite much of the estate being badly run down and most of the Hall in ruins, Dorothy and Leonard shared a dream and, over the next few years, they poured their resources into the “Dartington Experiment”. Their vision was to restore the estate buildings and set up a host of farming, forestry and educational projects, all for the benefit of local people. Other initiatives included Dartington Hall School, Dartington Tweed Mill and Dartington Glass.

Dartington Hall rapidly became a magnet for artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians from around the world, creating an exceptional centre of creative activity.

Guided walking tours are available with many areas also having wheelchair access. Social enterprise was central to the Elmhirst’s original vision and continues to play a key part today. Within the grounds, a high quality retail centre sells local crafts, food, drinks, toys, jewellery and other artisan products. The White Hart Bar and Restaurant, sporting the royal White Hart crest of Richard II and now run by renowned head chef Anuj Thakar, boasts that 50% of all produce sold is sourced within 20 miles. Following Dartington’s 2012 Land Use Review, food is increasingly supplied from field to plate by farmers based on the estate. Looking forward, the Dartington Hall Trust continues to push boundaries to support positive social and environmental change. Dartington also offers state-of-the art conference facilities, studio and rehearsal space for the performing arts and, with the Great Hall encircling a picturesque medieval courtyard and 50 well-appointed bedrooms, it makes for a romantic unique wedding venue. With its ancient architecture, historic grounds, award winning restaurant and variety of events and entertainment, it’s little wonder that Dartington continues to attract visitors from across the UK and around the world. Much may have changed since the Elmhirsts first moved to Devon but the ethos established by them is as alive today as when they first created the Dartington Hall Trust. o

Bringing in local workers and influenced by Leonard’s previous work with Bengali Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, they revived the farming and forestry of the estate; launched weaving with wool from their own sheep, cidermaking and building enterprises, as well as creating a mixed, progressive school with a strong focus on liberal arts. Dartington Hall rapidly became a magnet for artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians from around the world, creating an exceptional centre of creative activity. Over the following decades such distinguished guests included Jacqueline du Pré, Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, Ravi Shankar, George Bernard Shaw, Yehudi Menuhin, Barbara Hepworth and HG Wells. Other residents during World War II included European refugees and American soldiers. Initially dozens – and later hundreds – of jobs, along with homes, shops and social centres, were created by the Dartington Hall Trust and Dartington has consistently used its land for education, experimentation and enterprise. With conservation and sustainability at the forefront throughout the decades, the Elmhirsts were determined to use their land for rural regeneration in innovative ways including groundbreaking chicken battery farming in World War II to combat the food shortage. At the heart of the estate sit the 25 acres of Grade II* listed gardens of Dartington, often featured in best gardens lists, and worth exploring all year round. With a rich sense of history and a host of features to explore, from a Henry Moore sculpture to 500 year old Spanish chestnut trees and a yew tree at least 1,500 years old, each season brings its own beauty.


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Moor to Sea

A gentle meander down the River Dart... I

f you were asked to name a river in Devon that epitomises this green and fertile county, you’d find it a very hard choice to make. The Exe, the Axe or the Avon? The Taw, the Torridge or Teign? Of the 50 or so rivers in Devon, each would have a claim but the River Dart is bound to finish on anyone’s shortlist through a combination of beauty, atmosphere and quickly changing character. The source of this iconic watercourse springs on the high moor is the East Dart, which rises near Cranmere Pool and the West Dart, which springs up less than a mile away. They separate by up to four miles only to join at the appropriately named Dartmeet where we start our journey down the Dart. Here the boulder strewn shallows of the East and West Dart give way to a tree-lined sparkling watercourse that meanders its way across Dartmoor through oak woodlands and past delightfully pretty places such as Holne Woods and Hembury



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Hill Fort descending through Newbridge where there is a narrow arched stone bridge and a car park. Nearby is Spitchwick Common; a favourite spot for wild swimmers. The Dart now passes Ashburton on its way to Buckfast Abbey and Buckfastleigh. The riverside Abbey Inn is a good place to go kingfisher watching and it’s from the town’s Dart Bridge that the annual River Dart Struggle, an internationally known madcap raft race, commences. Enthusiasts can get a good view of the ‘Struggle’ from the comfort of a steam train carriage of the South Devon Railway which runs adjacent to the Dart from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Beautiful places line this lovely river – Staverton, with its railway station near a very ancient seven arch bridge; Dartington, world famous for its former College of Arts which moved to Falmouth in 2008 and now home to Dartington Hall Trust; a charity specializing in the arts, social justice and

Beautiful Devon sustainability; and Totnes where the Dart becomes navigable, broadens considerably and hosts pleasure craft alongside some serious engineering, boat repair and manufacturing businesses. Totnes is a wonderful place to visit. It is known for an air of eccentricity and has history, culture and leisure opportunities in equal measure. Its pubs, restaurants, host of independent retailers and its riverside location make it a magnet for tourists and it’s from here you can board a river cruise to take in Totnes and Dartmouth castles, the pretty villages of Stoke Gabriel, Galmpton and Dittisham, Agatha Christie’s former home on the Greenway Estate, the Britannia Royal Naval College and on to Dartmouth and Kingswear, the terminus for another Dartside steam railway ride which skirts the Dart

estuary starting from Paignton. The Dart flows into the sea at Dartmouth where its deep water made the town a strategically significant naval port for many years. It declined in that role as Devonport became the preferred naval base but this loss has been today’s visitors’ gain having led to the preservation of aesthetically pleasing and historic buildings. The River Dart has great character and charm. It can change its mood and demeanour and will appeal quite differently to different people so it is never easy to convey the very many facets of this magical river in mere words. There is only one way to find what you’ll like about Devon’s River Dart and that’s go and visit and enjoy it. o The West Dart close to its source high on Dartmoor

Dartmouth Castle overlooks the river as it reachs the sea

New Bridge, near Poundsgate

The Struggle - from Buckfast to Totnes


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Come and join us for a cream tea, a light lunch or just an ice cream next to the river river!

Do you need off grid renewable energy for your home or business? We’ve been supplying Off Grid Renewable Energy Systems since 2006. Our sytems provide energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to supplement gas, wood-fired and oil heating users in remote areas where a mains electrical connection is unavailable. Our systems are also widely used in a variety of agricultural applications.

Where the West Dart meets the East Dart, a beautiful, tranquil place to watch the world go by. Enjoy a full meal or light snack and a drink from the bar or stay with us in our luxury apartments.

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To find out more about Off Grid Systems Call 01392 368724 or Email

Dartmeet, Yelverton, Devon Use PL20 6SG for Sat Nav

A warm welcome awaits at


on the river, Buckfastleigh

a great day out

• Fine Food & Real Ales • Picturesque Riverside Setting • Cyclists & Canoeists Welcome • The Ideal Base for Exploring


Discover the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie, nestled on the banks of the River Dart. Open daily, 10.30am-5pm. Members and under 5s go free. © National Trust Images. Registered Charity Number 205846.

Book your parking space on 01803 842382 or

Comprehensive servicing, Comprehensive servicing, repairs and parts. repairs and parts.

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30 Buckfast Road Buckfastleigh Devon TQ11 OEA

Vis i t

PIXIELAND Dartmoor’s Famous Giftshop Open Since 1947



See Services section on website for vices section Serails Seedet on website for details

 Boatyard & 35 Tonne Travel hoist  Large Chandlery & Parts Counter  Boatyard & 35 Tonne Travel hoist  Large&Chandlery & Parts Counter  Leisure Commercial Engineering

 Leisure & Commercial Engineering

 Shipwrights & Yacht Refinishing Electrical &&Electronics  Shipwrights Yacht Refinishing  Electrical & Electronics Metal Fabrication  Metal Fabrication

Find in the shop our renowned local luxurious sheepskin rugs, slippers and other British sheepskin products. Also a wide range of collectables and gifts for everyone. Visit our gnome and pixie garden and take a pixie selfie on the giant toadstool in a pixie hat! There’s a play area and I-Spy game for the children too. Donʻt Pass Pixieland By! Come and take look and chuckle at the memory for years afterwards.

OPEN EVERY DAY From 10am March-December


T +44 (0)1803 752 242 ·M T +44 (0)1803 752 242 ·

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Darthaven Marina · Brixham Road · Kingswear · Devon · TQ6 0SG



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01364 631412

Da rt mee t n n r. Pr in ce to wSG 6 0 De v on P L2

Sarah’s Seasonal Top Tips


Our gardens should be approaching a climax in colour, scent, foliage and exuberance right now before the temperatures drop into autumn.


Borders can flag in late summer, so visit garden centres and nurseries to fill the gaps and always consider foliage which can hold a whole colour scheme together. Several elders, Sambucus, have rich dark purple foliage and attractive pale pink flattened flower heads and, when planted amongst the brighter summer flowers, add depth to a border. Salvias, are a godsend to all gardeners, whether you use them as bedding, dot plants or bold individuals within a flower bed, there are vibrant reds and purples, rich velvety blues and cream. Some have scented leaves when crushed and all are related to the humble sage plant. The vast majority come from South America, and they need a good open sunny position, but do take cuttings or dig them up and over-winter indoors as many are not hardy. Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’

Salvia x jamensis ‘La Luna’

Advice Line

Salvia guaranitica ‘Argentina Skies’

If you’re thinking of planting a tree delay it until the autumn, prepare a good wide and deep planting hole, sprinkle in some blood, fish and bone and water regularly during its first year to establish a good root system. A thick mulch of well-rotted garden


Salvia involucrata

Spare a thought for our butterflies, which seem to have dwindled in number since I was a child - they love nectarrich plants like Buddleia and Sedum, which also brighten our late summer gardens. Asters and dahlias will also attract them, but single ones are best as the insects can’t get through the mass of petals in doubleflowered forms. Continuing with the foliage Sambucus nigra theme, a large shrub/small tree with rich scarlet autumnal leaves is Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’ the smoke bush. In spring, the bare twigs burst with fresh reddish shoots, open to rounded purplish leaves in summer, hold large airy sprays of the tiniest pale pink flowers above the leaves which in full flower look like puffs of smoke. It flowers best in full sun - a good allrounder. A large and stunning climber, perfect for covering a large stump, old shed or clambering into large trees is Vitis coignetiae, an ornamental vine, with large sculptural leaves which turn a range of wonderful colours in autumn. It does grow large, however, so don’t plant it in a small garden or in time it Salvia microphylla var. may be the only plant you can microphylla ‘Newby Hall’ see out there! ¨

compost or farmyard manure on the soil will retain moisture, reduce weeds, encourage worm activity to open up the soil, and allow air and water easy access to the roots. Take some time to plant it and you will be rewarded with years of pleasure.

Listen in to BBC Radio Devon every Sunday morning from 9.00 – 10.30am, when Sarah Chesters, from RHS Garden Rosemoor, will answer your gardening questions on The Potting Shed.


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Calling all home lovers… Many of us enjoy wandering round department stores and furniture outlets, looking for inspiration or that special something that would fit ‘just nicely in that corner’. And now there is a solution! At Devon Air Ambulance Trust’s latest store, you can replace old furniture or add the finishing touches to a room at a fraction of the cost of other retail outlets. From beds, bedding and wardrobes; sofas, armchairs and coffee tables to bookcases and dining suites, the new store in Summerland Street, Exeter, has it covered. There is also a range of table lights, fridges, freezers, televisions, music systems and a whole host of other electrical items available. Our Retail Director, Martin Bell has been amazed at the generosity of supporters so far, with some amazing pieces being donated. “We’ve been incredibly lucky,” explained Martin, “with a great variety of styles, makes, fabrics and sizes of both living room and dining suites being offered. We’ve also had a great range of bedroom furniture, with bed frames, wardrobes, chests and bedside tables.” Martin continued, “We are fortunate that all our shops are able to sell small electrical items but our specialist Furniture & Electrical shop enables us to also offer larger items, such as televisions and white goods.” Most of the pre-loved stock, all of which is very good quality and has the recognised legislative labels where necessary, has been kindly donated by our supporters around the county. In addition, however, there is a fantastic range of brand new oak furniture, kindly donated by Furniture Direct. With prices to tempt pockets of any size, whether you’re kitting out your first home, upsizing to a new home or doing up a home for someone else, make Summerland Street your first stop. We are also able to offer a collection service so, if you are looking to update a room in your home and your existing furniture is still in good condition, please contact our team on 01392 433532.

Former England footballer Steve Perryman cuts the ribbon at the new furniture and electrical shop

We’re all delighted with the great comments in our Visitor’s Book!

Martin Bell

Bargains! Always looking at ways to maximise the income on the donations we receive, our eagle-eyed retail teams are keen to spot donated items that are quirky, specialist or just that little bit different. These items are then passed to our Ebay team to reach a broader audience. If you are a collector of Royal Doulton, Wedgewood or Denby or would love a pair of Prada shoes at a bargain price, keep an eye on our Ebay site and check out what’s come in...

Why not keep in contact with your local DAAT shop by liking their Facebook page ie Topsham Devon Air Ambulance shop! 30


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Lottery goes from strength to strength… Our in-house Lottery is a very cost-effective way to raise funds that save Lives. Tracy Owen, team leader of DAAT’s in-house Lottery, is delighted that the number of regular playing members is continuing to grow steadily and, as we go to print, is rapidly approaching 30,000! Tracy explained, “This rise is due, in part, to the work of our team of canvassers who promote our Lottery through various retail outlets. Gary Johnson, Jake Dalrymple, Wayne Edwards (not pictured) and Helen Tremlett cover the county and work tirelessly to promote the cause. Although they are not directly employed by us, we work very closely with Tower Lotteries who supply us with our team. The response we have had has been terrific! “This year we have achieved record levels of membership with over 5,000 new players signing up as a direct result of our team of canvassers and we see them as great representatives of the Trust. An added advantage is that we have learned about a number of patients who have been airlifted, who we weren’t previously aware of. “Currently 88% of members pay by standing order. We prefer this method of payment as it doesn’t cost as much to administer; this


means more goes towards serving patients. Members are also given the choice of paying monthly at £4.34, quarterly £13, six monthly £26 or annually £52. “Members can also play through local businesses (ie local post offices/ general stores) who act as agents and collect money from their customers on a weekly basis. Several larger companies, like Alcoa Howmet, Tracy Owen South West Water and WBB support us by encouraging their employees to play our weekly Lottery through their monthly pay-roll.” Tracy concluded, “We would like to reassure all our supporters that their personal details are never passed on to any third party. The feed-back we are getting from our team of canvassers is that Devon Air Ambulance Trust is a good, local cause with people regularly saying ‘after all, you never know when you might need it!’”

Mark Hawley (Paramedic), Jake Dalrymple, Helen Tremlett, Gary Johnson and Mark Langley (Paramedic).


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine



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



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The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Responsible person, C Creer of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust, 5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NS. The Devon Air Ambulance Trust is the official Lottery promoter and is licensed by the Gambling Commission, no: 000-0005032-N-308657-001

Patient Story

Scooter accident for Lewis T

he skies above the West Country have no borders and Air Ambulance crews willingly cover neighbouring counties whenever necessary. The specialist Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) dispatchers can see the availability of each aircraft and, depending on the circumstances and location of an incident, will deploy the most suitable Air Ambulance. Lewis Gunn lives in Weymouth, Dorset. In June 2013, when Lewis was just eight years old, he was out on his scooter with his brother Reece, helping to do his paper-round. Sadly, while going down a hill, Lewis crashed into a lamppost, hitting his head. A local land ambulance crew conveyed Lewis to Dorchester Hospital where he underwent a series of tests. However, it became apparent that a CT scan was required to ascertain the true extent of Lewis’ injuries. The scan revealed that Lewis had suffered a large bleed on the brain and was in urgent need of life-saving surgery. With Dorset & Somerset’s Air Ambulance already deployed on another incident, Devon Air Ambulance was called and paramedics Nigel Lang and Mark Langley, with pilot Rob Mackie, rushed to Dorchester Hospital. Lewis, also accompanied by a Doctor in the helicopter, was then flown to Southampton University Hospital. Whilst his anxious parents waited outside the operating theatre, Lewis had a craniotomy and brain surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain and to stop the bleeding. Melanie explained, “We were told by the surgeon there was a chance Lewis might not survive the operation but that obviously they would try their best.”

Mel continued, “It’s every parents’ worst nightmare and we were beside ourselves with worry. As we stood in a small side room off the theatre in a distraught haze, we met the aircrew paramedics. It was so reassuring to talk to them and they explained how Lewis had been on the flight and how they monitored him. We especially noticed how very caring they all were.” It was midnight before Lewis was brought round from his operation and he suffered further blood clots on the brain a few days later. His accident has left him with frontal lobe brain damage and he had to learn to walk again after the surgery. Melanie acknowledges that her son has some on-going difficulties to overcome physically and mentally; he is still receiving regular neurological and psychological help. Mel explained, “It was such an unfortunate accident. Lewis was going too fast to stop and had a choice of going into the road or hitting the lamppost. If he’d gone into the road, things may have been even worse. We’ve come a long way since June 2013 and there’s still a long way to go, but without the Air Ambulance getting Lewis to Southampton for life-saving surgery, the neuro-surgeon explained that he definitely wouldn’t even be here today. Words cannot express our thanks to you all, we will be forever grateful.” Lewis said “When I woke up from my operation the nurse told me I had been in a helicopter. I wished I was awake for it because I love helicopters and planes. I was very poorly at the time and don’t remember but I want to say a really really big thanks to you all for saving my life. And thank you all for letting me come and see you, I’m very excited.” Lewis and his parents were reunited with Mark and Nigel on a recent visit to Exeter Airbase.o

“We were told by the surgeon there was a chance Lewis might not survive the operation but that obviously they would try their best”

Jon, Lewis and Mel Gunn with cousin Leon and paramedic Nigel Lang


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


A Stroll Around

Sidmouth By way of a change from the usual view of our county from the air, we asked our pilot, Captain Damian Irving to take a stroll around his home town of Sidmouth


aving moved here in 2004 I don’t think that there is a better place to live. It doesn’t matter how many times I go away I always enjoy coming home to Sidmouth. I can be in the countryside in minutes and still have access to enjoy its beaches, forest walks, friendly shops, welcoming pubs and restaurants. Hopefully you’ll enjoy my favourite walk around the town. Take a trip through some of Sidmouth’s historical past and take time to appreciate that for a little town Sidmouth has a lot to offer.” o

1. DAAT Shop Sidmouth. – Open since February 2013 where Debbie, Amy and their team of volunteers offer a very warm welcome. Very near to where the Trust first started. Left from the shop down to Fields then turn right and out to the beach. 2. Esplanade – To the right an outstanding view of Peak Hill, High Peak and the red rocks of the Ladram Stacks in the distance. To the left, the cliffs run down to Branscombe and Beer. The red rock of the cliffs and stacks are red sandstone from the Triassic period between 245 - 235 million years old. Down past the Faulkner Hotel and the sailing club to the end. 3. Alma Bridge – Opened in 1900 and built to replace the original bridge of 1855 built shortly after the battle of Alma in the Crimean War. The mouth of the River Sid was a significant port in medieval times (1322) but was wider and closer to the centre of town. In 1346 the town was able to raise 3 ships and 62 men for the King’s service and in earlier times it was used as an anchorage for the Romans. Follow the path and road to the Ford. 4. Waterloo Bridge over the River Sid –named in 1817 after the famous battle two years earlier against Napoleon. 34


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5. Toll House – Renovated in 1985 and in the Greek revival style from 1817. Cross the road and into the Byes. 6. The Byes – Discovered by only a few visitors. A mixture of National Trust land and land purchased by the Sid Vale Association. The result is an outstanding area of tree lined paths, cycle-ways and meadows along the Sid River, all the way to Sidford. (If you have the time explore by following the path and returning by the same route.) There is always time to pause and watch from the bridge or play “Pooh Sticks” in the river. Through the Byes to the 2nd bridge to cross the river and then up the steps. 7. Town Council offices – Dating from at least 1698 with a fine medieval hall inside.Carry straight on to the Police station and turn left. Follow the road into town. 8. Radway Cinema – Opened in 1928 with musicals before changing to show “talking pictures”. The name dates back to Norman times and the De Radway family. Turn right at the roundabout and past All Saints Church. 9. Woodlands Hotel – Traces of a Tudor and Elizabethan past. Purchased as a seaside residence around 1806 by Lord Gwydir. It has been a hotel for the last 90 years. Cross by the roundabout and into Cotmaton Road – watch for cars! 10. Marino Lodge – A lodge house for the Georgian Pauntley House (owned by the Whittington family of “cat” fame.) 11. The Wall of faces – How many do you see?

Summer Walks Left at the end of the road and down the hill.

as part of the Sidmouth Garrison. 16. Fortfield Terrace – Intended to be rented to the aristocracy as Sidmouth became a fashionable resort. The double head black eagle commemorates the stay of Grand Duchess Helene of Russia, including her staff and band!

12. Benches with a view – The highest point on our walk. Enjoy the view East to Branscombe. 13. The Clock Tower – A lime kiln in the 18th century, boathouse and an observation post during the Second World War. Now a welcome café. By the flint archway you can see Peak Hill then High Peak, 157 metres (515 feet). On its top is High Peak Camp, a Neolithic settlement (3130-3830BC) which was later used as a Roman fort.

Left at the roundabout then first right into the Triangle and past the anchor.

14. Connaught Gardens – with bands providing free concerts during the summer, an excellent place to sit watch the flowers grow, take a “cuppa” and view Lyme Bay.

18. Parish Church of St Giles and St Nicholas – A Norman Church which was rebuilt in 1450 – 1480 (only the North Nave pillars date from 1480) then again in the 1860s by the Victorians.

17. Sidmouth Museum – Hope Cottage built in 1830 and now housing the excellent Sidmouth Museum, run by the Sid Vale Association. It is the best place to learn more about the local area and its history. (Thanks for their help!)

15. Belmount Hotel Stone Arch – Built in the early years of the Napoleonic Wars, originally

Back to the start and our DAAT shop.

8 7

6 5




11 17 1 16


3 2




N © Crown copyright 2015 Ordnance Survey. Media 059/15 & Quail Maps


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


I ndependent C o -e duCatIonal S Chool

Open Day Saturday 19 September

• Happy and fulfilling all-round education • Strong academic achievement • Dedicated school mini-bus service from locations in Devon and Somerset Senior School (11-18) Boarding and Day

Open morning at 9.45am

Please ring to reserve your place on 01884 252543 (Senior School) 01884 252393 (Prep School) or to arrange an individual visit

Prep School (2½-11) Boarding and Day

Open afternoon at 1.30pm

tIVeRton • deVon • eX16 4dn • WWW.BlundellS.oRG 36


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Patient Story

Trapped by his tractor loader bucket Main picture: Helicopter photographed by paramedic Nigel Hare, who was dropped off to check the depth of the snow before it could land. Inset: Alan (Jim) and wife Kathy, who now volunteers in the DAAT South Molton charity shop, visiting Eaglescott airbase.


lan White, known as Jim to friends and family, was living in Barbrook near Lynton, when he was involved in a very unexpected incident. Jim was busy working on the family farm in January 2013 when the hydraulics on his tractor loader bucket failed, with the bucket catching him cleanly in the chest, trapping him between the tractor and the loader, puncturing his lung and breaking four ribs. Jim, struggling to breathe, was knocked to the ground and knew he needed help. The farm, however, was cut off from all local roads by heavy snow. As Jim’s wife Kathy called 999, both knew that a land ambulance would have difficulty reaching them. Finally, a police 4x4 vehicle brought a land crew to their aid as the Air Ambulance also arrived, executing a precision landing in the snow-covered yard of the farmhouse. Aircrew paramedics Paul Robinson and Kate Adlam treated Jim on scene with a chest decompression, to relieve the build

up of pressure in his chest, before airlifting him to Derriford Hospital. The severe weather conditions meant that Kathy was unable to follow her husband and had to rely on telephone conversations with the hospital before visiting him a couple of days later. The farmhouse was still snowed in when Jim was discharged from hospital four days later and Kathy was tasked with clearing three miles of snow to ensure the lane to their door was accessible! Not long after Jim had recovered, the couple moved to Chittlehampton, near Umberleigh, and Kathy now volunteers in the Devon Air Ambulance South Molton shop. Kathy explained, “Living near the airbase we see the helicopter take off from Eaglescott on a regular basis and I know that it’s always heading off to help someone in need. We’re so grateful that it was there when Jim needed to get to hospital quickly, that volunteering has been a great way to give something back.”o


Jim, struggling to breathe, was knocked to the ground and knew he needed help. The farm, however, was cut off from all local roads by heavy snow

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In Memory of Chris In 2012, the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT) made a valiant effort to save local barrister Chris Bennett’s life when he suffered a fatal heart attack whilst on his bike in the Devon hills. When he died, he had been designing a route spanning our county’s greenest lanes for a new cycling event. His friends and family have since made his vision of the cycling event come to life. His daughter, Frankie, tells us more.


y father was an outdoors man, and a keen amateur cyclist with the Torbay Cycling Touring Club. Over his years in Devon, he had perfected a scenic route that took him through the Devon hedgerows and on down to the Cornish coast where his parents lived. Wanting to share the secluded ride and picturesque views with others, he designed his own 300k route. Sadly, Chris died before he was able to see his event come to fruition. However, his friends have made sure his memory lives on in the perfect tribute – bringing his route to life in the annual Turf n Surf series. The Turf n Surf series are three events, made up of Chris’ 300k route, his close friend Rod Pash’s 100k route to complement, and the two put together to form a 400k (for the brave amongst us!). The events are part of Audax, a type of event originating from France. Audax is not a race. Instead, it gives cyclists a set timeframe in which to complete their distance. For example, for the 300k, riders are given 20 hours to finish; so long as you reach each checkpoint before it closes, you will complete your Audax. What began as a small effort from loved ones to Chris has, by its third year, developed a strong following. Word seems to be spreading amongst the cycling community of the stunning vistas you can enjoy whilst spinning along these challenging routes, with around 100 cyclists braving the April showers to

take part in 2015. Happily, the addition of a 100k route this year saw more women take part than ever before. All our cyclists can expect friendly faces and plenty of encouragement as they make their way around the checkpoints, and a healthy dose of homemade cake at the finish line. This year, my sister Grace made a giant fruit cake, drenched in rum and with an icing bike on top – the first cut was given to Simon Romaine, the first cyclist to finish the 300k route. It is safe to say that the Turf n Surf series has become a staple in many cyclist’s calendars, with many people asking on their way home “Do you know the dates for next year?” From the beginning, any profits made from the rides have been donated to DAAT in Chris’ memory. This year, we included a raffle for cyclists to win a signed SkyRide jersey, complete with certificate and presentation box. This desirable prize drew much attention to the cause and I’m proud to say we have raised over £1,000 for the charity. Devon Air Ambulance paramedic, Paul Robinson, who attended the scene when Chris collapsed, joined Chris’ cycling friends and his wife, Cathy, to present the cheque to the Trust. If you’d like to know more about the Turf n Surf series, please email Frankie Bennett or Lisa Pash on or find us on Facebook – don’t forget to click Like! o

Cathy Bennett presents Paul Robinson with a cheque for £1,000 from this year’s event



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Wanting to share the secluded ride and picturesque views with others, Chris designed his own 300k route


The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


A record-breaking challenge Fundraising income from the community of Devon brings in about a quarter of the money needed to keep the county’s two helicopters running. And our fundraisers are renowned for all sorts of mad-cap activities; none more so than Hemyock’s Patrick Devine-Wright.


hilst no stranger to long distance running, in April this year Patrick set off on his toughest challenge to date – to break the record for running, yes running, the entire length of the South West Coast Path. Totalling 630 miles, from Minehead to Poole, Patrick set about running the equivalent of two marathons every day, to break the record of 14 days, 14 hours and 44 minutes. The very good news is that Patrick, 45, achieved his ambition and did, actually, break the record! And in the process, he has raised significant funds for Devon Air Ambulance Trust along with The Wave Project and South West Coast Path Association. But it wasn’t all plain sailing… There were clearly high points and low points during the challenge – and not just because of the 35,000+ metre total ascent to contend with. Patrick happily states that he enjoyed most if not all of the run. He also recognises that the whole



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episode gave him a far greater understanding of what makes something enjoyable. “Beginning the run with my 16 year old son was a great start. Likewise, the last six days, when friends joined me to run each day was brilliant – I certainly had great fun when I was with other people.” Prior to the start, Patrick’s schedule had been set with the aim of running 50-55 miles every day, shaving a full 2 or 3 days off the record. But, for a variety of reasons, he fell behind in the first few days. “I just got slower and slower; I ran out of energy. I realised that my expectations of the run had been wildly optimistic and when the reality was just so different, it sapped my confidence and left me despondent.” He continues, “In those first few days there were times when I wondered whether I had it in me to even finish, let alone break the record. I was prepared for the hills but it was particularly

Devon People hard running into the head winds along the stepped sections of the path, which pained my knees going up and going down. I had my own ‘internal conversations’ and was wracked with guilt and feelings of humiliation about the thought of not completing it – would I have to give the money back to everyone who had donated?” Reaching the half way point was, therefore, significant for many reasons. Until that point, Patrick had experienced moments of doubt but, psychologically, it was a huge mental boost to know that there were more miles behind than ahead. He also realised that, whilst he was a little behind his planned schedule, he was still on target to break the record and, in his words, “it would be ridiculous to stop now!” Patrick is grateful for the support he had; from Ganesha Wholefoods ensuring that his calorie intake was varied and nutritional, to support drivers ensuring that he didn’t have to carry his entire kit the whole way, to people who volunteered to put him up for the night (including Dartmouth Holiday Homes) and to the runners who joined him along the route. “It was the most public run I have ever done and I was very aware that, having set out with such a huge challenge ahead of me, I really did have to deliver. The whole coastline has such a beauty but the terrain was brutal at times, particularly the tarmac sections with my knees giving me real pain. I crossed two rivers,

one up to my knees and the other up to my waist – and the blisters on my feet had to be seen to be believed. But, overall, it was a great experience that I wouldn’t swap for the world. “By the end of the second last day, with only 30 miles left to run, it was pretty clear that the record would be broken the following day. It was suggested to me that I could keep going through the night to take as much time off the old record as I could. But I made a decision not to do this so that I could finish during the day with as any friends and family who could join me at the finish, mindful of the support I had received and wanting to share my achievement – our achievement - with them all. Reaching Studland Point in record time – 14 days, 8 hours and 2 minutes - was a moment I will never forget. I was quite overwhelmed and the real sense of achievement didn’t sink in for a couple more days. I was filled with a feeling of complete contentment.” Giving his body just a few days to recover, Patrick was out jogging again just two weeks later, this time at a local Park Run. “I love running and feel privileged to be able to do it. But everyone has to start somewhere and if I can inspire anyone to start running, then that’s a bonus. My aim is to keep running until I’m 90! o If you are inspired to donate to Patrick’s challenge, please visit:

“It was the most public run I have ever done and I was very aware having set out with such a huge challenge ahead of me, I really did have to deliver.”


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Devon People

Real people saving real lives - what could you do to save a life?

There are always loads of events and activities taking place around the county and our thanks go to ALL our fundraisers. Here are just a few… t Lee Everest

from Budleigh Salterton ran the Brighton Marathon in 3:50 hours and raised over £675! Having to pull out of the London Marathon this year, Jim (Jimbo) Parker was delighted to be a top finisher in Edinburgh Marathon the following month, raising £565 for DAAT u

pLocal businessman Peter Motson chose to raise awareness for DAAT on a tee with a most stunning view at Axe Cliffe Golf Club

A sponsored cycle ride from Tiverton to Weymouth by members of the Tiverton Constitutional Club raised £750 for DAAT and Dorset & Somerset AA q

pFollowing a national competition, the new Exmoor Flag is revealed at Exeter Airbase



This year’s Bridgerule Open Gardens raised a further £1,200, bringing their total to over £9,000 since 2007 q

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Beth Watmore and partner Alec HampdenSmith paddled the 125 miles from Devizes to Westminster in the longest non-stop canoe race in the world and raised nearly £400 q

An ‘All American Charity Night’ was held by foundation degree students at Petroc College and raised over £300 q

pThe medical department of Exeter University celebrated relocation to St Lukes Campus with a ‘Colossal Cloisters Cake Bake Off’, self-raising £175 in the process!


t Willand Short Mat Bowls raised £425 from a recent charity tournament.

Members of Plymouth University Swimming & Water Polo Society took part in their city’s Half Marathon and raised over £250 q

The team from Paritor had great fun, getting wet and very muddy, at this year’s Rock Solid Run and donated £570 to DAAT following the event u

An innovative idea by Graeme Smith, selling second hand books at RD&E Heavitree Hospital, has raised over £3,500 since the idea began in 2010 q

A total of £833.50 was raised at Chulmleigh Golf Club during Andrew Clark’s year as Captain p

If you would like to find out more details about how you could support Devon Air Ambulance, please call 01392 466666 or email


Get in touch!

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Starting young... Little Evie

Evie Bellamy from West Anstey was just approaching her third birthday when she was involved in an accident and in need of the Devon Air Ambulance. Evie’s mum, Nikki, had been moving the family’s horses when one kicked out and caught Evie on the head. Despite wearing a helmet, which took the force of the hoof, Evie suffered a nasty injury. “There was blood everywhere and Evie was screaming; it was like something out of a horror film. I was so relieved when I heard the helicopter approaching.” Evie was flown to RD&E hospital where, despite a deep gash requiring the skills of a maxillofacial surgeon , x-rays revealed that she had not suffered any brain damage. The family were inspired to raise funds for DAAT and set about planning a Family Fun Day, which raised £1,300! And, in June this year, Evie took part in the 500m Iron Kids Run at Wimbleball Lake. Nikki added, “We were determined to raise the funds to pay DAAT back for airlifting Evie and our total currently stands at about £3,300! Without the generosity of previous donations, the air ambulance would not have been available for us, so we want to make sure it is available for future emergencies too.” Evie training for the Iron Kids Run

A great way to say thank you

With three children under 4 years old, life in the Raynor family is always pretty hectic. Zach, age 3 and Indie, 2, were both thrilled with new brother Arlo was born just 4 weeks ago and life was just starting to settle back down. For mum Jessica and dad Simon, however, things took an unexpected turn when, while out together as a family, little Indie fell off a wall and banged her head. Almost immediately, Indie fell asleep and, as she appeared to be particularly drowsy, Jess and Simon decided to go straight to Sidmouth Hospital. Initially undaunted, Jess and Simon expected that the medical staff would reassure them and send them home. But it became apparent, after a series of tests, that Indie was completely unresponsive. It was ‘all systems go’ for the Raynors as the helicopter landed in the nearby Sidmouth Rugby Club. Aircrew paramedics Adrian Parker and Richard Walker also assessed little India and a decision was taken to fly her to Bristol Children’s Hospital. Whilst Jess was relieved to be able to fly in the aircraft with her daughter, her husband and sons watched the aircraft take off. Simon then organised child-care for Zach before rushing up to Bristol with Arlo. Along with concern for his daughter, Simon was keen to get there as quickly as possible, before Arlo was due his next feed with Jess! The flight from Sidmouth took just 25 minutes and Indie was monitored all the way. She was still slipping in and out of consciousness when they arrived at the specialist Children’s Hospital. Jess was hugely relieved when Simon and Arlo arrived and fortunately, by then, India was awake and making a gradual recovery. “It’s not something you ever think you’ll need,” explained Jess, “but I’m so grateful that the Air Ambulance was there for us. I just can’t fault it – the guys were so lovely. I had started to panic and they explained everything as it happened; they were so reassuring.” Happily, the family were all back home together 24 hours later and India is none the worse for her ordeal. One week on and Jess has decided to raise funds for DAAT to say thank you. Not, however, by holding a cake sale, but by running 37 miles in an Ultra Marathon in October! “I’ve always loved running and it’s definitely Me-Time. A friend and I decided to take part in this run and I figure it’s a great way to give something back.” If you would like to support Jess in her run, please log onto Zach, India and Arlo



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Junior Crew

Fine one minute, poorly the next…

Little Leo Hart was just 10 months old when he was flown by Air Ambulance to Derriford Hospital. For Leo’s mum, Sarah Benson, the day had started perfectly well and Sarah had enjoyed a lovely afternoon with her 3-year old daughter Lara and Leo at a friend’s birthday party. Returning home, however, Sarah was aware that Leo’s demeanour was far from normal. He was rocking and twitching and, as his eyes glazed over, he became unresponsive and very floppy. Sarah was terrified and immediately called the emergency services, concerned that Leo may have contracted meningitis. The land ambulance crew arrived within minutes and called for Devon’s Air Ambulance to attend. Paramedics Mark Hawley and Richard Walker were soon on scene and a decision was taken to fly Leo to hospital for further tests. Despite Sarah’s fear of flying, she was relieved to learn that she could travel in the helicopter with her baby boy. A team of paediatric doctors were waiting when they arrived at Derriford and Leo was immediately given intravenous antibiotics and a lumbar puncture. It was a very worrying time for the whole family but, fortunately, his test results and the CT scan revealed that Leo was suffering from a virus, but it was not meningitis. Leo remained in hospital for a further three days whilst his condition was monitored. Leo, who has now celebrated his first birthday, made a full recovery and is blissfully unaware of the drama his family went through. Sarah explained, “It all happened so quickly. We’d had a lovely afternoon at the party and things just went downhill after that. But I cannot fault everyone who helped us – from the first paramedics who turned up, to the aircrew from Devon Air Ambulance to the whole team at Derriford; I am just so grateful to them all. It was such a worrying few days but I’m glad to report that Leo now seems fine!”

Leo, who has now celebrated his first birthday, made a full recovery and is blissfully unaware of the drama his family went through

Editor’s note: While chatting to Sarah about Leo’s story, Sarah went on to say that she has been inspired to raise funds for DAAT and is planning to run the Great West Run for us in October. Added to this she has applied to the ballot for a place in next year’s London Marathon – thank you Sarah and very good luck with your training!

Leo with his sister Lara

William loses weight for DAAT

William Smith, 10, from Chulmleigh has raised over £500 by doing a sponsored weight loss. William has been swimming, cycling and playing football and rugby in a bid to shed a few pounds. To date he has lost 10lb in weight and 6” from around his tummy! Six members of his family are also joining in and, between them, they have lost of whopping 5 stone 9lbs. William presented his cheque at our South Molton shop with Assistant Manager Jay Walker (r), Volunteer Kath White (c), and William’s Grandmother, Volunteer Sue Fewings (l).

If you would like to find out more details about how you could support Devon Air Ambulance, please call 01392 466666 or email

Get in touch!


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Business support From sponsoring an event, offering goods and services or staff volunteering to help in our shops, support from the business community is always appreciated. Here are just a few ways in which local companies have offered their help… SW Highways

After a day helping out in our Sidmouth shop, manager Debbie received the following letter: Dear Debbie & Amy, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed my day volunteering to work in the Devon Air Ambulance shop on Friday and I will definitely try and help out some more in the future. Thanks for making my day such fun. Kind regards Elizabeth West PA to the Managing Director, SWHighways

Linden Homes – As part of their Charity of the Year, Linden Homes hosted their annual charity golf day at Torquay Golf Club, raising a whopping £20,000 to be split with Cornwall Air Ambulance and Footsteps for Louie. Their fundraising continues….

Eastcott Vineyard nominated DAAT as their Charity of the Year at the beginning of their season. In addition to kindly donating a case of their special sparkling Brut Rosé wine for our Helipad Star Prize winners, they also donated proceeds of £217.23 from their Winery ‘Talk & Tour’ and a Grand ‘Vine to Wine’ tour. The Vineyard and Winery is open to the public every Tuesday and Saturday. B&M - Our Ambrose went along to join the

Mayor of Tiverton to open B&M’s 450th store.



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Business Support

It’s not too late to enter our Dragon Boat Festival! Join fellow businesses, such as Crisp Associates (winners last year), RD&E, Toolbank Exeter, Girling Jones Exeter, Exeter Saracens, Sarah West Recruitment Exeter, Michelemores to name just a few!

Masons Kings - For the

second year running, Masons Kings have nominated DAAT as their chosen charity. This year’s main event was the Gator Experience at the Devon County Show, which raised over £1,100!

Charity of the Year fundraising during 2014/15 by staff at Francis Clark raised a fabulous £8,100. Activities included a golf day, Three Peaks Challenge, Dragon Boat Festival and the Great West Run.

Ashleigh Riggs from Liverpool Victoria explained, “Every 3 months we ask our employees here in Exeter to nominate a local charity close to their hearts that they would like to receive a one-off donation. Devon Air Ambulance was lucky enough to be chosen this quarter, from a possible 4 local charities, to come into our offices and receive a cheque for £1000.”

The team at Devon Cliffs Holiday Park were delighted to raise £410 from a charity football match in which they beat Weymouth Bay Veterans 4-1!

Students at Newton Abbot College have been busy in a variety of fundraising activities whilst DAAT is their Charity of the Year, including cycling many miles on static bikes outside the town’s Asda store and hosting a hair and beauty evening.

If your business is interested in supporting DAAT call Caroline Creer on 01392 466666 Ext.*133 or by email on


Get in touch!

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Aircrew Paramedics continue to develop their skills Operations Director, Nigel Hare, brings us up to date with the clinical development of the service It is always fantastic and often humbling to hear from our patients about their experience of when we were called to help them. We hear about the difference we make, whether that is from taking away their pain, improving their quality of life or, indeed, saving their life. Even though we hear of the positive outcomes our patients experience we continue to explore ways to continually improve the service we offer. You will be aware of our plan to extend our service into the hours of darkness next year, which will help even more patients. However, equally important to us is further developing the clinical care that we are able to provide to our patients. This year we embarked on our Advanced Clinical Development programme, which will see us increase the knowledge, clinical skills and treatment options that our Paramedics are able to provide. We have worked in partnership with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) over a number of years and have already developed our Paramedics’ clinical ability far beyond ‘standard’ Paramedic practice. However, to further realise our aspiration to bring clinical care

previously only available in hospital to the pre-hospital arena, where patients are injured or taken ill, we have developed the Advanced Clinical Development programme. This will see us work closely not only with SWASFT but also with Plymouth University and a small group of specialist doctors. This will provide an environment where our Paramedics will be able to study Pre-Hospital Medicine at a level previously only focussed on in a hospital setting, whilst the team of doctors will regularly join our crews operationally on some of their shifts to support, oversee and mentor the Paramedics as they deliver an even greater range of clinical skills. On the days when our team of doctors are Nigel Hare flying alongside the Paramedics to develop their practice they will also be able to provide decision making advice and clinical care should the patient require it. The support you continue to provide Devon Air Ambulance means that not only can we continue to offer the service we do now but we are able to enhance it to help even more patients, throughout a longer period of the day, with the ability to provide them with an even greater range of advanced treatments at their time of need.

We have already developed our Paramedics’ clinical ability far beyond ‘standard’ Paramedic practice.

Aircrew undergoing Fire Training



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

Operations The Lucas machine does automatic chest compressions enabling Paramedic Richard Walker to ventilate the manequin

The crew receiving a training session on treated chest injuries.

The crew perfecting their ‘equipment dump’ ready to secure a patient’s airway.

Paramedic Mark Hawley at the Fire Training


Fire Training

As well as the clinical training our crew undertake they also have regular training and assessments on the aviation aspects of their role. Recently the crew undertook their fire training which, as well as ensuring they are aware of everything they can do to minimise the risk of fire in and around the aircraft, they also refresh their use of the aircraft and helipad fire extinguishers. They also practice putting out fires so they remain familiar with the safe techniques of doing so as well as experiencing the heat from fires and the way fire extinguishers handle in use.

The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine


Back Chat

They think it’s all over...

Well-known broadcaster and DAAT Patron, David FitzGerald, talks to footballing legend Geoff Hurst. Sir Geoff Hurst has been down in Devon as guest of honour at The Devon FA Awards and had to put up with me as a co-host. The Devon FA are an incredible team of dedicated people having to deal with a staggering number of players and teams. On a recent BBC Radio Devon interview, the senior football development officer, Dai Carpenter, surprised everyone in the studio when he casually mentioned that there are roughly 2,500 football teams in the county. Devon FA Chairman Bernard Leech later added to that by telling me there was something like 27,000 players! After the awards, which recognised some of the dedicated people who keep the beautiful game going, I managed to get hold of Sir Geoff to have a few words. Firstly he is no stranger to Devon. ‘I have been down to Devon on many occasions,’ said Sir Geoff. ‘My earliest recollections would have been 1965. My wife and I stayed in a caravan in North Devon, there was not much money about. Then we stayed in ‘66’, that would have been Woolacombe and then we came back a year later. I had a bit of money by then after the World Cup success and we stayed at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel. All I can remember was going round the souvenir shops because the weather was awful. Devon is great if you get the weather, we didn’t…every time!’ I reminded him that Allan Ball made Devon his home for a time, as did the legendry football commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme. Geoff agreed, ‘Indeed, I got to know Kenneth in later life and his commentary on that famous World Cup ending is still spoken about today. When I am introduced to young children and they look blank at the name Geoff Hurst, all someone has to mention is… ‘They think it’s all over…it is now…’ and they know who I am. Those few words have spanned the generations. It just fitted the day so well in 1966. He was a lovely man.’


So what brings you to Devon? ‘I am here as a McDonalds Director of Football to meet some of the dedicated people who keep the game going. I travel all over the country to see the Football Association in action. We recognise and celebrate the efforts of the clubs, the leagues, the coaches and not just that, but the person who cuts the sandwiches, the person who puts up the goal posts or mows the pitch, they are all a vital part of the game.’ Looking back at 1966, why has England’s performance never been repeated? ‘It is very difficult to work out. There are a lot of factors. Maybe it was just the right time when the right group of people came together. We had a great manager and a great backbone to the team. Gordon Banks was a brilliant goalkeeper, probably the best ever. Booby Moore at the back, my West Ham colleague and Captain, he was special. Sir Bobby Charleton, no one has ever come close to his performance. He played 49 times for England and scored 100 goals. And remember we had a genius up front who never played in the final, Jimmy Greaves. I don’t think we, England, have ever replicated that kind of team. There is no one thing.’ I read somewhere that you were also a very good cricketer. ‘Yes…well I was. I enjoyed both sports as a teenager, to my detriment. I played both, but I needed to focus on just one. The choice was made for me when I joined West Ham and made the first team. My career took off and cricket was dropped.’ Sir Geoff, now 73, is still in fine form. He took to the stage at 7.00pm and was still signing autographs and posing for photographs at 10.00pm. He is a dedicated ambassador and paid his respects to the equally dedicated Devon FA team. o

“My earliest recollections would have been 1965. My wife and I stayed in a caravan in North Devon, there was not much money about”

Keryn Seal (far left) and Dan James (both players with the England and Great Britain blind football team) with Ricky Suliauskas and Sevy Baker - FA Young Volunteers of the Year and Sir Geoff Hurst.



The Official Devon Air Ambulance Trust Magazine

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Helipad Summer 2015 Online Issue  

The Summer 2015 issue of Helipad, the official magazine of Devon Air Ambulance Trust.