Helipad Winter 2018

Page 1

The Voice of Devon ...chat with Gordon Sparks

Letterboxing stamp your book...

Astro to Atlantic

ma ing eats o s pport

the o cial maga ine o DEVON AIR AMBULANCE

winter 2018 |

aat org

DISCOVER Independent


The Devon

CHIEFS Meeting rugby’s local boys

FREE MAGAZINE Find out more about: Our Service Our Patients Our Fundraisers & Your Beautiful County!

RHS Rosemoor re ects on the gardening year

Inspiring stories of patient survival

Our Fantastic Fundraisers!

Join Our Weekly

LOTTERY See inside

Andy, happily back on his bike

Devon Air Ambulance’s very own Community Magazine

Winter Wonders Glow, every Thursday, Friday & Saturday until 5 Jan Winter Sculpture Exhibition until 24 Feb Christmas Food & Craft Fairs 23 - 25 Nov & 15 - 16 Dec Father Christmas and his Elves – family workshop (ticketed event) 21 - 24 Dec Gardenalia Sale 19 & 20 Jan Snowdrop Weekend 2 & 3 Feb Orchids in the Spotlight 9 & 10 Feb Stunning garden walks and fun family events. Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8PH For full details pick up an events leaflet or visit rhs.org.uk/rosemoor Every visit supports the charitable work of the RHS RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

winter 2018 | WELCOME


WELCOME Heléna Holt hief



It is hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close. Devon Air Ambulance had its busiest year ever in 2017 in terms of number of patients we deployed to and, on current predictions, it looks like 2018 will prove to be even busier. While not great news to be in such demand, it is reassuring that we have been able to be there to provide our life-saving emergency service to even more people in their time of need, and that’s what we’re here for. Our other big news in 2018 was that we ordered our new helicopter from Airbus, to replace G-DVAA. This new aircraft is bigger and more spacious, so should allow us to carry additional crew and equipment and will also ean oth our aircraft will have night ying capability. We look forward to welcoming our new helicopter into operation in 2020 and will report on the many criteria that determined our

choice in the intervening months. We have had another successful year of events and, as always, I would like to say a very big thank you to all our amazing volunteers, fundraisers and local business supporters who continue to raise the funds we need to eep our helicopters ying e really couldn’t do it without you, and we all look forward to working with you to make 2019 another successful year. Wishing all our readers a happy Christmas, and a safe and peaceful new year.

P.S. Please see the carrier sheet to this issue of Helipad to read my update about recyclable packaging!

Debbie Gregory Helipad Editor As we approach the year’s end, I would like to extend a very big thank you to all the patients and their families who have contacted DAA this year. ue to patient confidentiality our edical teams are unable to tell us anything about who they have helped so it’s very rewarding when a patient contacts us to let us know how things are going for them since the incident. Sometimes this is years after the event, but it never matters. As well as enabling us to pass that message back to the aircrew involved, we can also invite those patients to join us at a visit to one of our airbases. The reunion of a patient with their paramedic and pilot can be very e otional ut also very eneficial, to all parties If you know someone who has been airlifted,

and they haven’t already been in touch, please do ask them to contact me. Meanwhile, we were delighted with the feedback and responses we had from the questionnaire in our summer issue, thank you kindly. It would appear, overwhelmingly, that you all love your Helipad exactly as it is. So, as the old adage says, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fi it we ll e eeping things as they are I hope you enjoy this issue of Helipad – thank you as always for your continued support. Season’s greetings and happy new year to you all.

GET IN TOUCH! Devon Air Ambulance Unit 5 Sandpiper Court Harrington Lane Exeter EX4 8NS

01392 466666 info@daat.org www.daat.org

Registered Charity No 1077998 Registered Company No 3855746

Fundraising & Events Lottery Volunteering Patient Contact PR Community Landing Sites Operations Magazine Advertising Magazine Inserts

Cara Jones Debbie Gregory Sarah Burden Toby Russell Nigel Hare Ben Foster Gaynor Garton

fundraising@daat.org lottery@daat.org c.jones@daat.org d.gregory@daat.org s.burden@daat.org t.russell@daat.org n.hare@daat.org 01366 728488 0203 283 4055

© All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form without prior permission of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Devon Air Ambulance Trust will not accept liability for loss or damage. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content but the publishers cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations or for the consequences of any reliance on these details; neither can they vouch for the accuracy of claims made by any advertiser. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers.


helipad | www.daat.org

CONTENTS | winter 2018 44 xx The Offical Magazine of Devon Air Ambulance Celebrating the best in Devon 50,000 copies covering the whole county. 35,000+ delivered direct to our supporters Also available online at www.daat.org


Contributors Sarah Chesters Richard Hunt David FitzGerald Neil Devons David Phillips Naomi Zeiwe-Palmer Photographers Flyonix Alan Craig at Mid Devon Advertiser James Bird at Tavistock Times Gazette Newspapers Carol Smart Clare Booth Neil Devons RHS Rosemoor Atwell Martin Publisher Heléna Holt h.holt@daat.org 01392 466 666 Editor Debbie Gregory 01392 466666 ext 135 d.gregory@daat.org Sub Editor Alison Simpson 01392 466666 ext 147 a.simpson@daat.org Advertising Sales Ben Foster 01366 728488 b.foster@daat.org Advertisement Copy copy@daat.org 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 Spring 2019



The Voice of Devon

Fundraiser Focus



Keeping in Touch We always love to hear from you and to share your stories with our readers and supporters. Write or contact us via email or through social media.


Lifestyle Destination Fundraiser Focus – Astro-Atlantic We hear the story of four incredibly determined women from Devon who are taking on the challenge of rowing across the Atlantic unaided and unsupported. Find out why it was an easy decision for them to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance in the process.


Trash or Treasure Our retail team love to accept your pre-loved items for sale in our county-wide shops, so learn more about what we can and cannot sell, and how some donated items end up costing us money!


Business on Board We say a very big ‘thank you’ to all the businesses and companies – big and small, near and far – who support Devon Air Ambulance in so many ways.


Junior Crew From cream teas and theatre shows to sponspored walks and heads being shaved, we meet some of our young supporters


Devon People In every issue of Helipad, we showcase and celebrate some of our brilliant fundraisers. We are grateful for every penny they raise to support evon ir ulance, and ust love to find out a out their amazing achievements and creative fundraising ideas.


Operations Why our crew sometimes decide that the best option for a patient is to travel y land a ulance rather than y helicopter and find out if there is a community landing site near you?

winter 2018 | CONTENTS




The Voice of Devon We chat to Gordon Sparks, presenter of BBC Radio Devon’s Breakfast Show.



Exeter Chiefs – Devon Born and Bread Meet the Devon-born players of our most successful ug y nion tea and find out why having a highly rated academy that has built on local talent, is now paying such amazing dividends.


Dolly’s Testimonial Year Support for DAA Exeter Chiefs Full-Back, Phil Dollman, tells us why DAA is one of two local charities he has chosen to support through his testimonial year events.


Getting ready for another year Sarah Chesters looks ahead to ways of giving our gardens a lift in the spring and encourages us to try something new.


Tavistock – A town with an independent air No matter which way you approach this picturesque market town on the edge of Dartmoor, you will get a real sense of a wonderful, rugged landscape and an interesting and important history.


A picture paints a thousand words DAA Operations Director, Nigel Hare, shares some of his incredible photographs with us.


Letterboxes aren’t just for post! David Phillips encourages anyone who loves to walk on Dartmoor to get involved in this interesting pastime.


Winter warmers Despite the approach of winter, Chef Richard Hunt tells us why he loves the warming and comforting foods of autumn and shares an unctuous slow-cooked beef shin casserole that is perfect to come home to after a day out in the cold.


From ‘magnificent industrial monuments’ to life-style destination How Royal William Victualling Yard in Plymouth, the largest collection of Grade 1 Listed military buildings in Europe, is being transformed into a vibrant modern hub of living, dining and the arts.


Back Chat Fitz catches up with the inspirational Simon Weston CBE - Falkland’s veteran and charity worker - as he gets ready for a series of appearances across Devon in 2019.

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Beating the Odds We learn how one of our patients became a lottery member and won our Lottery two weeks in a row! Volunteering Our Volunteer Manager, tells us about some of our amazing box collectors, and how this invaluable volunteer service helped raise over £180,000 for the charity in 2017 – all in small change!




“You only have one life, so live it!” The incredibly moving story of Andy Guy from ovey racey who suffered life-changing spinal injuries in a freak kiteboarding accident. Andy tells us why he feels extremely lucky and how nothing will ever hold him back.


Getting back in the driving seat When taxi driver Tina Owen-Sevilton was involved in an horrific road tra c collision, she was determined to do whatever it took to recover from her devastating injuries.


The benefits of mindfulness eresa ort suffers fro such severe anaphylactic reactions that an attack can be triggered by almost anything and she needed the help of DAA over 10 years ago. But, it was due to a freak accident involving a friend’s dog that saw the Air Ambulance come to her rescue for a second time.


Danger in the sky aul rown recounts how a ight in his para otor, on a blustery day, ended in a horrifying crash to earth and how, thanks to the Devon air ambulance, he got to Derriford hospital in just over an hour!

On The Cover Issue No.21 Winter 2018 Sunrise Silhouette © Nigel Hare


helipad | www.daat.org


Abbotsham | Bideford | Devon | EX39 5BE

Compassionate care and generous accommodation – at a realistic cost Kenwith Castle near Bideford is a Care South Country House Care Home, offering the highest quality residential and dementia care at a realistic cost. Nestled in the heart of North Devon’s spectacular coastal countryside, Kenwith Castle provides a country home lifestyle with comfort and specialist care. A Chinese censer, Ming Dynasty Sold for £23,000

To request a brochure or find out more, visit

www.care-south.co.uk or call Kenwith Castle on

St. Edmund’s Court, Okehampton Street, Exeter EX4 1DU

☎ 01237 470060

Registered Charity No. 1014697

T: 01392 413100 W: www.bhandl.co.uk E: enquiries@bhandl.co.uk

Helipad_Duo_Half_Page_Layout 1 19/10/2018 11:59 Page 1






CALL 01626 853050 www.gmcoachwork.co.uk GM Coachwork Ltd | Teign Valley | Trusham | Newton Abbot | TQ13 0NX

• Drive from your wheelchair vehicle • Travel as an up-front passenger • Interchangeable front seats • Full length lowered floor • Exit the vehicle facing forwards

Your generous support keeps Devon’s ir ulances ying to a e a regular donation, please complete the attached Direct Debit form or follow instructions on the main menu of our website home page here are any ways to contact the team at Devon Air Ambulance: www.daat.org ou ll find lots of infor ation a out the charity and our service on our website. If you ve een airlifted, go to our Who We Help page and tell us your patient story or all sorts of fundraising advice and information, go to our Get On Board pages


Keeping in touch...

winter 2018 | SUPPORT


Service User Number







Please fill out all boxes in the form with a ball-point pen and send it to:

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

Instruction to your bank or building society Please pay PSL re Devon Air Ambulance Direct Debits from the account detailed in this Instruction subject to the safeguards assured by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this Instruction may remain with PSL re Devon Air Ambulance and, if so, details will be passed electronically to my bank building society.

Name(s) of Account Holder(s)

Bank/Building Society account number Branch sort code Name and full postal address of your Bank or Building Society To: The Manager of

Bank/Building Society


Postcode Signature(s)

Date Banks and Building Societies may not accept Direct Debit instructions form some types of account

Please now complete your details below Name

Message us, like our page, share our events, post photos if you see our helicopter and post a review if you ve witnessed our service first-hand


or news fro the aircrew and charity staff, follow evon ir to see what we’re up to ind us at devonairambulance on Instagram





I wish to give Devon Air Ambulance Trust a donation of £ per month/quarter/year (delete as appropriate)

Please take Direct Debits on 6th/20th of the month (delete as appropriate)

We take your personal data seriously and do not sell on or share with any third party. If you would like to receive our elipad maga ine or occasional information about the Charity please tick: Post Email I want to Gift Aid my donation of £ ___________ to Devon Air Ambulance I want to Gift Aid my donation of £ ___________ and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past 4 years to Devon Air Ambulance

Please notify the charity if you: • Want to cancel the declaration • hange your name or home address • o longer pay su cient ta on your income and or capital gains

Write to info@daat.org

I confirm I am a ta payer and understand that if I pay less Income Ta and or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference.

01392 466666

The Direct Debit Guarantee Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits. • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit PSL re Devon Air Ambulance will notify you five (5) working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request PSL re Devon Air Ambulance to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request. • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by PSL re Devon Air Ambulance or your bank or building Society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society - If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when PSL re Devon Air Ambulance asks you to • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building Society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.

5 Sandpiper Court, Harrington Lane, Exeter EX4 8NS

• This

This guarantee should be detached and retained by the payee


helipad | www.daat.org

Pushing the boat out...


While most of us will be preparing for the excitement of Christmas, four ladies from South Devon will be preparing for the incredible challenge of rowing the Atlantic Ocean. When more people have been into space than have rowed the Atlantic, we wondered what inspired such an ambition. Helipad’s Naomi Palmer spoke to the team from Kingsbridge to get the lowdown on their forthcoming world record attempt.


he Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a race and test of endurance across 3,000 miles of dangerous ocean. This December, the Astro-toAtlantic team is taking on that challenge in aid of our helicopters. The four Devon women will be battling the elements to row, unaided and unsupported, over rough seas, on board a 28-foot rowing boat, for up to 60 days across the Atlantic. Before the team can reap the rewards of this incredible feat, they ust first endure sleep deprivation, dehydration, huge calorie deficits, hallucinations, salt sores, 60-foot waves and almost total physical and mental exhaustion as they navigate their way across the vast stretch of inhospitable water. So what inspired the team to take on such a daunting feat? Helen Symons, who will turn 33 while at sea, and her hockey team buddy, Louise Read, who will celebrate her fiftieth irthday id-row, were undertaking a gruelling cycling challenge from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2015 when they joked that it would probably be easier to row the

Atlantic because at least it was at hat idea ger inated, and despite the likelihood that waves would disrupt the desired atness of such a mission, soon the two were joined by fellow hockey team members, Chloe Harvey, aged 27, and Lou’s daughter, Emily Read, who will celebrate her 21st during the race. ogether the four have een training for this massive test, during which they will face all kinds of mental and physical challenges.

During the challenge there are no whole-team breaks, just continued rowing with pairs alternating: two hours on, two hours off, -hours a day until they reach their destination. “It’s going to be tough,” says the youngest member of the team, Emily, “but we’re preparing as best we can by hitting the gym 4-5 times a week. We’re doing lots of weight training as we each need to gain 6% more muscle mass in the run-up. Friends and family have

“ We intend to become the fastest allwomen crew to cross the Atlantic. The current record stands at 34 days; it’s a tough ask, but we like a challenge ” “We intend to become the fastest all-women crew to cross the tlantic he current record stands at 34 days; it’s a tough ask, but we like a challenge,” says Helen. “Hey, we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t!” About the challenge he tea will depart fro San Sebastian in the Canary Islands, heading for Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua. Once they leave the security of the harbour they are on their own.

been incredibly supportive especially as they currently don’t get to see much of us!” The background that anchors the team You could be forgiven for assuming the south Devon team have been seafarers since birth, but though each of the is very physically fit and active, none of them are sailors or ocean rowers. In fact, Chloe is a paralegal, Lou and Emily both administrators, and Helen is a

driving instructor, each fitting their disciplined programme of training around normal working lives. “We’re all very excited,” says Lou. “But there’s so much planning and work to do behind the scenes before we even get to the start line. We’ve put a great deal of energy into raising the funds we need to make the challenge possible. Our corporate sponsors and partners have been fantastic.” Indeed, the race is so high profile that the alis er Whisky Atlantic challenge reached 39 countries and National Geographic became the race’s global launch partner, with race stories reaching millions globally. he preparation has een a huge learning curve for us,” says Helen. “We’ve undertaken all the necessary first aid, navigation and fitness training, but we’ve learnt from scratch and we need to be very practised and knowledgeable to do what we are planning.” A December departure he tea departs on the 12th December; the most favourable time of year in terms of weather and currents he war er cli es of the Canary Islands will be

winter 2018 | SUPPORT

a welcome contrast to the UK’s frosty shores, but the relative comfort won’t last for long as the team prepare for the rhythm they will need to cover the necessary distance every hour, day and night, until they reach Antigua. All in the preparation The four have been fundraising and gathering support since 2016 to reach the £100,000 needed to make the feat possible, which includes the cost of the boat, their equipment, and the training they need to successfully navigate the ocean. “We’ve run fundraisers from gin parties to bingo nights,” says Chloe. “It’s been great fun and we have more planned too. We’ve also invited our supporters to

take on our 500m and 200m sprints for just £2 per entry, which is a really fun way for individuals to get involved.” As well as the levels of physical fitness an resilience required, the team is also preparing mentally for the task ahead. Spending possibly up to 60 days together in a small boat, sleep deprived (thanks to the sheer noise of the waves against the bow and the heat of the cabins), whilst living on what looks like space food, is likely to test even the closest of bonds. “We already see a great deal of each other, in fact, it’s a rare day when we don’t,” says Emily. “We know the right things and the wrong things to say to each other and there will be tough times, but we’ll all help each other along.”

Would you like to support the challenge? For further details about this incredible challenge or if you would like to support the Astro-to-Atlantic team then visit their website www.astro-to-atlantic.co.uk

It’s clear the team is not only bonded by their close relationships on the pitch, but also by their fearless sense of adventure. Team spirit is the most fundamental of requirements for such an undertaking, and it’s something the women have in spades. Supporting Devon Air Ambulance Once the team has met their ambition to hit the water, they can switch their focus to fundraising for Devon Air Ambulance. The charity is very close to the women’s hearts. “It was very easy to agree on who to raise money for”, says Lou. “We all know someone who has been touched by the charity, which is such an essential service to Devon. We’re looking


forward to making a positive i erence to those ithin the county where we live, work and train.” After the race, the team also plans to donate money raised from the sale of the boat and the equipment to Devon Air Ambulance. “We’re bowled over by the incredible feat the Astro-to-Atlantic team is undertaking,” says Caroline Creer, Fundraising and Communications Director for the charity. “These are four very courageous people who have committed to a real test of their strength and endurance and we feel honoured to have been selected as their charity to support. We will follow their progress and wish them every success for their challenge.” o


helipad | www.daat.org Andy visits the DAA airbase at Exeter

Determination pays dividends On Sunday 23rd February 2014, Andy Guy from Bovey Tracey went kite-boarding with a friend in Broadhempston near Totnes and decided to attach a GoPro camera to his helmet to gather footage. It was a move that was to save his life.


ust minutes after he put the helmet on, Andy launched his kite but was immediately caught and lifted 50 feet from the ground by a particularly strong gust of wind. Just as suddenly, the wind changed, and Andy pl mmete , first crashing to the ground before being lifted again and crashing hea first into a metal arn Andy was knocked unconscious in the fall and his friend urgently called 999. The Devon Air Ambulance was swiftly despatched and paramedics Adrian and Paul were soon at the scene along with a doctor from Torbay Hospital who had also responded to the call. With a patient who had fallen from such a height and his helmet clearly badly damaged,

there was immediate concern about the severity of his injuries. Immobilising Andy and administering pain relief at the scene, Adrian and Paul prepared him for the flight to the major trauma centre at Derriford Hospital. Pilot Mark Woodward recalled

with Derriford’s neurological and surgical teams. Once at Derriford, scans revealed that Andy had broken his neck with a C6/7 spinal injury resulting in paralysis from the chest down, and so began the lengthy process of recovery including two weeks in

“ I remember it was a very windy day, with sudden gusty squalls and it as ite a challenge ying o n to Plymouth! ” the incident, “I remember it was a very windy day, with sudden gusty squalls and it was quite a challenge flying down to Plymouth!” As the helicopter set off from Broadhempston, Paramedic Paul was in communication

Derriford before Andy was transferred to a specialist spinal unit for further therapy. Andy recalls, “I woke up in Intensive Care and had no idea what had happened. I kept thinking that I should be back at

work! Instead, I was in hospital for a total of 5½ months and underwent intensive physio and occupational therapy. As well as the spinal injury my nasal bone had been broken into 13 pieces which also needed specialist surgery too.” He continues, “I don’t remember much about the incident itself – although when I saw that my helmet was broken into three pieces I knew that I was lucky to be alive. And it was only that I’d wanted to capture footage on the GoPro that made me put it on! But, while I was in the spinal unit, I realised that I was actually so fortunate. There were many patients with more severe injuries than mine and it made me

winter 2018 | PATIENTS


Andy in hospital

Where there’s a will there’s a way!

determined to get back to living a full life just as quickly as possible.” That determination has paid dividends. Andy, now 33, lives independently, drives a specially adapted

car and is an avid sportsman - regularly competing in wheelchair rugby (and currently training for a place in the GB squad), basketball and table tennis. He has also learned to ski

and to water-ski! “I was due to move house the day after the accident. It was a house that needed lots of work to do it up so, perhaps not surprisingly, I never did move in! My life

may be different now to what I’d expected before the accident but it’s fine – I do as much now as I did before, perhaps even more. You only have one life, so Live It!” o

“ There were many patients with more severe injuries than mine and it made me determined to get back to living a full life just as quickly as possible ”


helipad | www.daat.org

Trash or treasure? How you can help...

Donations to our shops are always welcome but did you know that we can’t accept some items, and others cost us more to dispose of than we can make from selling them! Here is our guide to how you can help us make the most from your generously donated pre-loved items

Our charity shops are one of our core income streams and we’re always grateful to the generosity of those who choose to donate to us. Donations to our shops are always welcome, but please be aware that some items cost us more to dispose of than we can make from selling them. We want to make sure that the pre-loved (and sometimes nostalgic or sentimental) items we receive are appropriate and sa e or resale, an that they fin a ne home that s right or them The YES PLEASES We always welcome clothing, shoes, books and DVDs, brica-brac, games, toys and jewellery, and we quality check everything e ore it goes onto the shop oor r specialist outlet in Exeter also accepts furniture and some electrical items, while unusual or rare donations go to one of our vintage and variety shops in Topsham and Dartmouth. Although we can steam clothing, we don’t have the facilities for washing them, so it’s much easier if items donated to us are clean and in good condition. Items that are too worn for resale go into the rag trade. What to do with the NO



We can’t accept weapons of any kind. If you have something a collector or antiques dealer might be interested in you could always donate the proceeds to us! Alternatively, take them to your local police station.

Video tapes and old tech

Cassettes can be old enough to be considered collectable, but sadly they don’t have much retail value. Some websites have advice about how to make money from particular videos and other obsolete technology. Be sure you erase data from any

devices before you donate them

Safety, gym and mobility equipment All equipment must meet very high safety standards to be sold, so take such items to your recycling centre where the materials can be managed. Shops like Age Concern may accept mobility equipment.


Charities such as Ride On in Exeter have the expertise to check the bikes are safe and ready for resale.


While we can accept bed linen, we can’t resell actual bedding, even if washed. How about donating bedding to an animal charity which will be grateful for your help keeping the animals snug.

Plastic or incomplete toys

Quality toys make a great income for us, but we can’t sell toys like jigsaw puzzles that are missing even one piece, or a toy car with a lost wheel. If your Hungry, Hungry Hippos set has no balls, then the whole item goes into trade waste that the charity has to pay to dispose of. We are always grateful to be selected as the charity that receives your donated items - everything we sell makes a positive di erence to our ser ice So, remember us this Christmas, especially if ou find ou recei e the perfect gift .... for someone else




eing a wheelchair user should pose no barrier to getting out and about, but for Juliet Williams she found that her disability meant she wasn’t able to get out and drive, be it for work, day-to-day living or pleasure. But the Ford Duo, built by Devon manufacturers GM Coachwork, has given her back her independence which once she had feared lost. The Ford Grand Connect Duo is an innovative product offering users the twin

any other vehicle. The Duo, based on the popular Ford Grand Connect is a 1.5 turbo diesel which offers the perfect blend of power and economy, returning up to 60mpg. It boasts unrivalled space, as not only does it allow the wheelchair passenger to travel up-front, but it also has enough room to turn the wheelchair 180 degrees so that you can exit the vehicle facing forwards,

the Ford Duo is a spacious and versatile vehicle which provides families with choice, not sacrifice Finding the right vehicle means analysing your needs and for Juliet, like most, it is an important and personal choice and one which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Historically, people without full mobility have had to get by with inferior products but now with advances in technology

Juliet Williams, who has recently purchased a DUO is delighted. “I am loving my vehicle. It all works so smoothly and having the vehicle makes me feel so uch ore confident and independent.” Juliet is in a powerchair which is too large for many vehicles. As Juliet wasn t confident driving a large vehicle, the DUO was a perfect choice, she added “GM Coachwork took a lot of time to ensure everything

enefits of eing a le to drive from a wheelchair and travel as a front seat passenger. With interchangeable and removable front seats; it provides an inclusive passenger experience, excellent vision and e i ility should drivers choose to swap. The versatility and adaptability which the Duo gives to families is unparalleled to

not backwards. The Duo is simple and easy to use - one touch from a simple keyfob and the tailgate opens, and the ramp lowers automatically. Once inside, another press of the button and the tailgate will close leaving you ready to drive away. Combining Ford’s renowned design skills and GM’s specialist engineering skills,

and engineering, there are an abundance of adaptions and vehicles available on the market. GM Coachwork, based in Trusham, have been at the forefront of pioneering technologies to revolutionise the vehicle conversions industry to help users have greater choice, a better vehicle experience and less restricted mobility.

was just right for me” The Ford Duo is just one of a range of drivefrom wheelchair vehicles expertly engineered by GM Coachwork. The Devon manufacturers offer a vast range of engineering solutions to fit a variety of needs and help individuals maintain their independence. o

Find out more at www.gmcoachwork.co.uk

helipad | www.daat.org


The Voice of Devon a chat with

Gordon Sparks Over 40 years ago, a DJ at a Jersey hotel called in sick. By chance, a teenage guest from Plymouth agreed to stand in although he had no broadcasting experience whatsoever. They gave him a list of events and a few records and left him to it.


people around me do most of the talking. If you try and have o this day he doesn’t know what made him volunteer but without that DJ being poorly and without that spontaneous a separate persona from what you are away from the radio station, it wouldn’t work. This industry is about communication o er to help, the people o evon may have een eprive and relating to people and that’s what we try and do each day.” o an instantly recognisa le an com orting voice that, or Gordon is clearly aware of the special relationship he must years, has grace the local air ays have with his listeners, callers and interviewees. “You are often Now aged 57, Gordon Sparks presents BBC Radio Devon’s the first point of contact a listener ay have with the world ou Breakfast Show providing local and national news, weather have to balance local topics, fun topics and on-air banter with and travel reports, all delivered with the right balance of good so e of the ore serious stuff hen there is a a or story humour and serious commentary, live conversations and such as the Manchester bombing, Westminster Bridge and probing interviews. The Golden Hour follows where listeners Grenfell, it touches everyone and you can’t ignore it. We have are invited to guess the year from a choice of records and to do those stories and embed them in the show. quirky clues. “When I’m interviewing MPs or local councillors on more After the Jersey experience, Gordon got the broadcasting serious topics, I have a bug and for the next 12 years rule to treat it he combined working for the “ e are on er lly iverse, the only self-imposed not as an interview but as a Electricity Board with Hospital co nty ith t o coasts, ith antastic conversation. They are there Radio, that special medium that to be challenged but if I treat has launched so many famous seascapes an the moors rt o it as a conversation that is fir careers. In fact, Gordon started cities an co ntless to ns, villages an but fair, I get more out of the with Hospital Radio Plymouth ust as hillip chofield was hamlets are all Devon but all individual guest and it makes it more of an interesting listen for our leaving (the jury is still out on an fiercely protective o their name an audience.” where chofield found the their rep tation ” He genuinely loves everything name for Gordon the Gopher!). to do with Devon and his Another 12 years was spent special broadcasting touch is his real sense of surprise, wonder honing his broadcasting skills in commercial radio before a and pleasure at learning something new from his listeners and call from the BBC led him to Broadcasting House in Plymouth being able to share it far and wide. To cover such a wide range where he has been a stalwart for the last 17 years. All the of topics, he needs a good knowledge of Devon, a wide general while, Gordon was known throughout the South West for his knowledge and an understanding of the bigger picture when it legendary commentaries on his beloved Plymouth Argyle, a may impact upon his listeners. job he held for 32 years until the lure of a two day weekend “You have got to have the knowledge, you are talking directly became irresistible. to people – they wake up with you, you’re in their town, in their As soon as you talk to Gordon about broadcasting, you can house or in their car. I make sure I take in the news each evening tell he loves everything about it. He told Helipad, “You can’t at home. My producer will discuss the line-up and how we can do any radio unless you enjoy it. You have to be enthusiastic lead that on-air interaction but we must also account for someone and you have to lead. You can’t come in at stupid o’ clock saying so ething in the show that leads us in a different direction in a bad mood, thinking I don’t feel like it today so I’ll let the

winter 2018 | DEVON PEOPLE


“ The way that people responded to the appeal with their generosity was amazing. Who would have thought a local radio station could have achieved that? ”

and that’s the beauty of live radio, you can go with it.” Gordon is also very proud of what BBC Radio Devon does and represents. He was at pains to point out that their logo is on a Devon Air Ambulance helicopter in celebration of the huge contribution he and his colleagues made to the BBC Radio Devon Air Ambulance Appeal in 2012, which exceeded all expectations by raising over £852,000 and he remains very moved about what they all took from the campaign. “That experience was absolutely incredible. After all these years things shouldn’t surprise me on the radio but they do. The way that people responded to the appeal with their generosity was amazing. Who would have thought a local radio station could have achieved that? “We learned a lot about the air ambulance and the emergency response service and how people engage with it. The countless stories we were getting from people whose lives were saved or who wouldn’t have been here without the service. It was unbelievable and relentless. We thought these stories had to dry up at some stage but they didn’t – they kept on coming. It was stunning. We were helping to make new connections with the people of Devon.” What of the man away from the microphone? He loves his

real ale (only at weekends) and often judges at beer festivals and CAMRA events. He enjoys photography and uses the natural topography of Devon as his subject matter. He also loves sport of all types but many might be surprised to learn that football is not his favourite. That honour goes to American Football and in particular the Cleveland Browns where he is a frequent and impassioned visitor. It would have been unfair to press Gordon for his favourite places in Devon and he, typically, enthused about it all. “People living in Devon are so lucky,” he said: “We are wonderfully diverse, the only county with two coasts, with fantastic seascapes and the moors. Our two cities and countless towns, villages and hamlets are all Devon but all individual and fiercely protective of their na e and their reputation ou can be very proud as you see what people have achieved as you go around the county.” Gordon Sparks is a natural broadcaster with an uncanny ability to be down-to-earth and approachable while deftly displaying a range of brilliant broadcasting skills that keeps his shows moving along, interesting and innovative. As he said, you can’t do radio without loving it. He clearly does - and it shows. o

Gordon Sparks presents the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Devon on weekdays from 6.30 a.m. followed by the Golden Hour commencing at 9 a.m.


helipad | www.daat.org

Looking forward to a great future Tina’s car, almost unrecognisable after the collision

n th epte er , any supporters, past patients, staff and aircrew of evon ir ulance were cele rating the th anniversary of the service at an event at arts ar in opsha eanwhile, not too far away


n the A30 at Monkton, there as a roa tra c collision et een a car an a campervan hich nee e the rgent atten ance o evon ir m lance long ith a team rom the lan am lance, aircre parame ics ark an rian r she to help, fin ing the river o the , ina en elvilton rom he ar in omerset, still trappe he i pact of the head-on collision had caused ina s foot and leg to e pushed up into her pelvis, noc ing out the all oint of her hip, as well as suffering life-threatening internal bleeding. In addition, ina had open fractures to her right arm and had broken her left ar pea ing to elipad s

Debbie Gregory, Tina e plained that her e ory of the incident is ha y, now was drifting in and out of consciousness do recall the incredi le ang as we hit and

at that point how badly my arms were broken.” s fire crews wor ed on cutting ina free, drian and Mark assessed Tina and ad inistered pain relief,

An xray showing Tina’s rebuilt arm

other noises, such as the roof of the car eing cut off and the helicopter landing near y I also remember showing my floppy ar s to y partner, James – I was alarmed that blood was seeping onto my new hoodie! But I had no idea

knowing that she needed urgent hospital treatment. ilot ichie repositioned the helicopter closer to the accident and, as soon as ina was released fro the vehicle, she was strapped into the aircraft and flown

to Southmead Hospital in ristol artner Ja es ercer was conveyed y the land crew to oyal evon eter ospital suffering fro a fractured sternu , ro en ribs and a broken toe. On arrival at Southmead, ina was put into an induced co a, where she re ained for the following three days. During this time, she had treat ent for internal leeding of her liver and spleen as well as being put into traction to reposition her leg. Later that night James was ta en y a friend fro to outh ead and, on arrival, he and ina s surgeon discussed options for surgery on her hip. As Tina, aged 41, has always een very fit and active a ong any sports, she had een a professional snooker player and keen

winter 2018 | PATIENTS 17

“ I know I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I do recall the incredible ang as e hit an other noises, s ch as the roo o the car eing c t o an the helicopter landing nearby ” golfer - the decision was taken to rebuild her hip with titanium rather than give her a replacement joint. Surgery also included fitting pins and rods in her leg and both arms. Tina spent a week in ICU and a further 2 weeks learning to be self-sufficient. Tina continued, “This was a really tough time for me. I had no use of my arms as they were both pinned and in plaster and I couldn’t put any weight down on the floor because of my pelvis, leg and foot. As somebody who is fiercely independent, it was dreadful having to ask for help for even the most basic of personal needs. But I was so determined. From the moment I could do physio, I began in earnest, often walking the hospital corridors at 2am-3am to rebuild my muscles and strength.” Tina’s courage paid off and, after a further brief spell in Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, she was allowed home to continue her

Tina and partner James visit the airbase

rehabilitation. Much to the surprise of everyone, Tina was back at work, as a taxi driver for A1 Taxis, just two months later. “Work were brilliant,” she explained, “and I was so happy to get back behind the wheel. I know I had some significant injuries, but I consider myself very lucky. Seeing my damaged car some time later made me realise how incredible it was that I was even alive! I didn’t have any spinal or brain damage and my broken bones mended well. I was just keen to ‘get back to normal’ as soon as possible and couldn’t wait to start playing pool and golf again. I even beat my partner James in our first pool match, I was so chuffed! I’m really grateful to everyone who helped me, both at the scene of the accident and in hospital afterwards. I love James to bits and, thanks to everyone’s help and support, we’ve still got a great future to look forward to.” o

helipad | www.daat.org


Back Row (Left to right) Stu Townsend Sam Simmonds Danny Southworth Marcus Street Will Norton Jack Maunder Sam Maunder Sam Skinner

Devon Born & Bred One of the great Devon stories to have emerged in the last decade is the rise of the Exeter Chiefs from comparative rugby also-rans to becoming 2017 Premiership Champions and one of the most powerful teams in Europe.


here have been a lot of contributing reasons for this success – great management both on and o the pitch, insight l player ac isition, a highly rate r g y aca emy n rt ring yo ng o th est talent and the building of a special cl ethos to name but a few. Unlike some other Premiership clubs, what the Chiefs appear to have avoided is ‘splashing the cash’ to attract the sport’s Galacticos, preferring to build a mixture of experienced and young players and mould them over time into the superb rugby unit they have become. Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, has shown a real

knack of identifying young players and bringing them on, mostly unseen, and before you know it they are playing in the top flight and challenging regular first team choices for their place. Rob also remains loyal to his home county and where he sees local players with potential, he’s not afraid to give them an opportunity. With this in mind, it’s great news that nearly a quarter of the current squad of over 60 senior players hail from Devon and Helipad wants to introduce them to you.

The Chiefs of Devon Paul Davis Hooker An Exeter-born player who joined the Chiefs set-up through the club’s strong links with the University of Exeter.

A powerful, hard-running hooker, he was awarded a senior academy contract with the club based on some notable displays both for the University and for the Braves in the A League.

Sam Hill Centre Born in Exeter, the tough tackling Sam is another product of the Chiefs’ Academy. Along with some of his team mates, he was part of the victorious England Under-20s Junior World Championship squad in 2013 and has since represented England Saxons on a number of occasions, including the 2016 summer tour to South Africa.

Jack Maunder Scrum Half Son of Exeter Rugby Club

legend, Andy Maunder, 21-year-old Jack is a product of the club’s Academy and a fine example of a young man given an early opportunity to make his mark. Thrown into the deep end because of injuries, Jack debuted against the mighty Clermont-Auvergne, finished his first season with a Premiership Champion’s medal and won an England cap against Argentina in Santa Fe.

Sam Maunder Scrum Half Jack’s 18-year-old brother is another product of the Maunder scrum-half factory and the Academy ranks. He made his debut this season as a replacement for Jack in the home win against Sale.


Front Row (Left to right) Joe Simmonds Jack Yeandle Paul Davis Henry Slade Harry Strong Ben Moon Sam Hill

Jack Yeandle Hooker Exeter-born Jack made his Chiefs debut in 2012 and took on the club captaincy in 2015. His on-field leadership, coupled with his powerful play both in the loose and setpiece, has seen him become an integral part of the Chiefs make-up in recent years and a real favourite with Chiefs fans.

Ben Moon Prop Fast approaching 200 senior appearances for the club, the Tiverton-born forward has been very much part and parcel of Exeter’s rise in recent years. Ben made his debut in 2008 and is one of the original few players in the current Exeter Chiefs squad that remains from the club’s days in the RFU Championship. He was also called up in September to train with the England squad.

Henry Slade Fly-half/Centre Since making his first team debut against in 2012, the Plymouth-born back has

been a central figure in the rise of the Chiefs with a remarkable rugby skill-set including a great kicking game, silky handling and deceptive running. A former Rugby Players Association ‘Young Player of the Year’, Henry is now a fixture in the England set up with 13 caps at the time of writing.

Joe Simmonds Fly-half

Sam Skinner Lock As a lock he has quite a few hard acts to follow including Australian Dean Mumm and England International Geoff Parling, as well as Rob Baxter who plied his trade in that position at Exeter for 16 years. To Sam’s credit he is learning fast and becoming an integral part of the first team.

Born in Torquay, the younger of the Simmonds players has emerged as a real contender to start at 10 for the Chiefs despite such a young age. The 21-year-old has demonstrated cool decisionmaking and nerveless goalkicking in his rise up the ranks and looks to be in line for a stellar rugby career.

Marcus Street Prop

Sam Simmonds Flanker

Harry Strong Centre/Wing

The all-action flanker makes up for a comparative lack of bulk with his dynamism and speed. He also has the highest try-pergame count than anyone in the history of professional rugby and has now earned seven international caps.

The Exeter-born back is a versatile player at home as a centre or anywhere in the back three. He will combine life with the Chiefs with playing at Championship club Cornish Pirates on dualregistered terms.

19-year-old Marcus has moved into the senior ranks at Exeter Chiefs ahead of the new season where he is expected to flourish. The highly-rated prop is another who has come through the club’s Academy system.

Stu Townsend Scrum-half Highly rated, Stu is one to watch closely. Having kicked off the 2016/17 campaign at Bedford’s Goldington Road with the Cornish Pirates, he finished it on the winners’ podium at Twickenham having just been part of the Devon club’s title success. Stu has been getting more game time on the front line and will be looking to kick on even further to nail down being first choice for the 9-shirt. 19-year-old prop, Danny Southworth (b. Barnstaple) and 25-year-old prop Will Norton (b. Exeter) are the latest Devon-born lads to join the Chiefs senior squad. We mustn’t forget that as well as our Devon boys, there are 7 Exeter Chiefs from Somerset and 7 from Cornwall, amid a sprinkling of Scottish, Irish, Welsh Australians, Zimbabweans, South Sea Islanders, an Italian, an Argentinian, a New Zealander and a South African, as well as players from other parts of England. o


helipad | www.daat.org

Championing Support for Extraordinary Service

Devon Air Ambulance is delighted to have been selected as one of two charities that Exeter Chiefs Full-Back, Phil Dollman, is championing with the support of his testimonial committee.

“Devon is an exceptional place to live and my family and I are very lucky to call it home,’ says Phil, who moved to the South West from Wales 10 years ago. ‘Having spent some time with the Air Ambulance crew it’s clear that what they do on a daily basis is extraordinary and impacts positively on so many people. I’m delighted I can do my bit to support them. As a professional rugby player who has spent ten amazing years with Exeter Chiefs, I am so proud to have been awarded a Testimonial Year for 2018/19. Pride and passion epitomise all that is exceptional about our club and supporters. Without

doubt these qualities have fuelled our era of success and I have been extremely lucky to have played a small part in the amazing rise of the team. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to give something back for the support and encouragement I have received from all those around me. I have nominated two local charities to benefit from my year: Devon Air Ambulance and the Exeter Foundation. The work of Devon Air Ambulance makes a significant difference to everyone in the area – I am immensely proud to have the opportunity to support them.”

Phil and his testimonial committee have organised a calendar of exciting events to help raise funds for his chosen charities. With a huge variety of events planned, there’s something that everyone can enjoy, not just rugby enthusiasts. Head over to www.dollysyear.co.uk for bookings and follow @DollysYear on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to watch the year unfold.

winter 2018 | LOTTERY



When Roderick Hayes, a beef and sheep farmer from Witheridge and former DAA patient, was approached by one of our Lottery canvassers in his local supermarket, he couldn’t say ‘no’ – and this year, not only won first pri e ut was a a ed to win third pri e the following wee Roderick spoke to Debbie Gregory to tell her of his very personal reasons for being a member of DAA’s lottery


first learned a out our Air Ambulance back in the very early days of the service. I witnessed someone collapse in front of me, so I ran to the telephone box to call 999. I got such a surprise when I realised that the Air Ambulance was coming. It landed just 2 or 3 minutes later it was ying ac to base from another job – it was a a ing Roderick was inspired to fundraise to support the service and organised two sheepdog trial events, on his farmland. Fast forward to a freezing cold New Year’s Eve 2009 and Roderick found himself in need of the same service. “I was checking on the bullocks. We had six in a 12’ x

24’ pen, all weighing in about 600kg, and I was looking to see if they were fit and ready for market. But they were more familiar with my son, James, and didn’t know me very well. As I climbed into the pen they took fright. One bullock tried to jump the gate but couldn’t and, as he took a big jump he side-kicked out and caught me clean on the upper thigh, knocking me off my feet. I fell back against the gate with a resounding thump. “I could see the bullocks all fighting together but I was unable to move, I was motionless – and in excruciating pain. Terrified that the bullocks might trample me I managed to phone my son, who was on


rofile racy wen - undraising

Marcia his tractor and hadn’t heard the commotion. As James arrived, I was yelling at him to let the bullocks out of the pen, to which he said, “Get up Dad, you could get hurt in there”! As well as calling 999, Roderick also managed to contact his neighbours who swiftly appeared at the scene and, under Roderick’s instruction, supported his badly broken leg. Although Roderick knew he’d done some damage to his leg, his pain had lessened and, as the paramedics from the Air Ambulance arrived, he questioned whether the helicopter was really necessary. The aircrew, however, quickly realised that Roderick was becoming hypothermic and needed urgent surgery; they prepared to fly him to RD&E hospital. “As they

tried to straighten my leg, I screamed,” he explained. “My pain had gone from a 2 out of 10 to a 12. I didn’t realise how badly broken it was.” Fortunately, the surgeon pinned and screwed the hip and thigh back together, explaining to Roderick that it had been a clean break. Just four days later, the farmer was back at home for six weeks of complete rest and recuperation. “It was strange after a lifetime of 12-hour days, like an enforced luxurious rest!” “I could hardly say no, could I?” added Roderick, when he was approached to join the lottery. “I was so grateful to them for my speedy flight to Exeter – winning a prize two weeks’ running was such a surprise, I just couldn’t keep it all – and donated a lump sum back to the charity to say ‘thank you’.” o


ail t owen daat org racy has een with for over years and oversees all aspects of fundraising, including wor ing with those who have no inated us as their harity of the ear, usiness supporters and our own in-house ottery

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Mindfulness helps…

winter 2018 | PATIENTS


s so eone who suffers fro idiopathic anaphyla is, Teresa Wort from Milverton in Somerset knows only too well the dangers she faces when she has an attack.


hilst some patients suffer an anaphylactic reaction from something specific, such as an allergy to nuts or bee stings, Teresa’s symptoms can be triggered by ‘anything’ and she lives her life surrounded by Epipens, just in case. Despite being told that her case is extremely rare, Teresa has had four such attacks to date, with full blown shock, her tongue swelling, her throat closing, and struggling to breathe. he first ti e this happened, Teresa and her husband Steven were visiting Lydford Gorge in July 2005 for their first wedding anniversary They had just enjoyed refreshments in the café

when Teresa went to the Ladies room and collapsed. When Steven went to look for his wife, he saw her hand under the door of the cubicle. Devon’s Air Ambulance was scrambled, and help was soon on hand. Steven described hearing the helicopter arriving as ‘the best sound in the world’. As the paramedics administered the necessary adrenalin, Teresa’s life was saved. Fast forward 11 years, and Teresa had need of Devon’s Air Ambulance for a second time, although this time was NOT for an anaphylactic episode. In June 2016, Teresa was out walking in Milverton, near Taunton, with Steven and two other friends and their

“ Teresa continued to practice mindfulness throughout the journey to hospital ”

dogs. They were all enjoying their walk in the beautiful countryside on a footpath eside a field, ad iring the waist-high corn growing in the field The dogs were ahead and had been called back, but instead of stopping at Teresa’s friend’s feet, they

the ground for two hours – with pilot Richie impressing everyone, including the land owner of the field, y landing the helicopter between the rows of corn to avoid causing any damage to the crop! The helicopter journey from the bridle path to Musgrove Park Hospital was just

“ Pilot Richie impressed everyone, including the land owner, by landing the helicopter between the rows of corn to avoid causing any damage to the crop! ” decided to weave past and go to her husband and, not realising Teresa was directly behind her friend, the dog ran into her. As soon as she fell, Teresa knew that she had broken her leg. Having previously done a first aid course, she knew she needed to get into the recovery position and, incredibly, despite extreme pain, she remained calm throughout, even issuing instructions to the friends alongside. Teresa practices mindfulness and found it to e e tre ely eneficial as she laid on the ground waiting for the emergency services he first responders eventually arrived from Minehead but, due to their isolated spot, the only offer of transport was y a Land Rover and everyone accepted that it would be a very bumpy and painful route. When the air ambulance arrived, Teresa had been on

three minutes in the air and Teresa continued to practice mindfulness throughout the journey. On arrival at A&E they were met by a nurse and a doctor and subsequent scans revealed that Teresa had broken her tibial plateau. Surgery led to plates and screws eing fitted eresa spent 10 days in hospital before heading home to begin the long road to recovery. Two years on and Teresa now feels much better and has been walking for 10 months. During her lengthy and largely immobile recovery, Teresa put her time to good use and ualified as a teacher of Mindfulness and Compassion. She now plans to give talks about how Mindfulness and Compassion can help with pain and anxiety, with donations to Devon Air Ambulance. For further information or to organise a talk, email tcwort@ outlook.com. o


helipad | www.daat.org

Watching your garden grow ell, what a difference a year makes - after a wet summer in 2017, this year we have had months of glorious sunshine! Although this brings its own challenges, with more watering, I hope it has also meant you enjoyed spending time just sitting in your garden.


s my garden is still only two years old, and the planting not fully established, I watered each o er e once a eek The combination of this and sunshine has meant the plants have grown a great deal and I’ve really en oye seeing the i erent layers emerging also visit a nursery or garden centre once a month and usually buy something, as this ensures my garden is never itho t interest or colo r Always check the “please save me” bench at the nurseries. I’ve picked up real bargains on these and also in supermarkets. I recently found Loropetalum chinense ire ance which first saw used as hedging in China. It has lovely dark purple foliage and in pretty, slightly scented witch ha el pin owers in springtime. Any moist but well-drained soil, south or west facing with some shelter, will suit it. As the year draws to a close, the leaves start to drop but many berries and

fruits remain on the trees and shrubs, giving a splash of colour and food for the birds; Sorbus, Malus and Cotoneaster are particularly good. Use the winter to plan and make structural changes to your garden; some new steps, a wall, terracing, a pergola or pond. If your soil isn’t too wet, plant trees and shrubs, making sure you dig a much bigger hole than the

catalogues and make your choices, there’s nothing like it for lifting the spirits and imagining your garden in the spring and summer again. I need more roses in my garden, so I’ll be ordering some beautifully scented ones for bare root delivery in the spring – place orders soon so they don’t run out of your favourites. Many people love to

l ays check the ‘please save me’ ench at the n rseries ve picke up real bargains on these and also in s permarkets ”

pot size – if you expect it to give you years of enjoyment it’s worth spending a little more time preparing the ground. Sprinkle in some bone-meal to encourage rooting and incorporate organic matter, plus a thick mulch of well-rotted compost or manure on top, which the worms will drag down for you. Over winter, curl up in the warm with some seed

grow Hippeastrums around Christmas, and throw them away after owering, ut they can be kept for years given a little care. When the owers die, cut the off, leaving the green stem to photosynthesise, only cutting it down when it starts to shrivel. Start feeding the bulb as the leaves begin to grow and continue until the end of September. Stop feeding

and watering, cut the leaves down and allow the bulb to hibernate where it is, until you start to see new growth appearing. There may be leaves in the second year but, given a good feed in the growing season, there should also e a new ower ud or two – when you see these, start to water again. Once we’re into the New Year, think of something new to grow in the garden, or a different way of growing, like potatoes in pots, or strawberries in hanging baskets – an excellent way to combat the slugs! If your garden needs an injection of colour in early spring, pots of cyclamen, Iris retulata, Eranthis hyemalis, snowdrops and iniature daffodils are perfect planted under deciduous shrubs. They can left there to multiply once they die down. Make a resolution to visit a snowdrop garden, there are many of them around the county and this delightful little ower really does bring a smile to our faces. o

winter 2018 | GARDENS Iris GP-SP-5 (Reticulata)

Eranthis hyemalis

Loropetalum chinense

Malus Ă— zumi Golden Hornet

Potatoes, shooting in bucket.

GARDENS roďŹ le Sarah Chesters - Education and Learning Manager at RHS Rosemoor, near Torrington, North Devon



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Tavistock the town with an independent air Tavistock is an ancient stannary and market town on the River Tavy in West Devon. It is a singular and attractive place that should be on the itinerary of every visitor to the Westcountry.


hichever way you approach Tavistock, you are in for a visual treat. Heading north from the urban sprawl of Plymouth you burst on to the wide-open spaces of Dartmoor before passing through a number of picturesque villages such as Yelverton and Horrabridge, crossing the River Walkham and climbing through some woodland before descending into the town. From Okehampton, you drive through beautiful Devon countryside dominated by farmland on a lovely route peppered with pretty villages with iconic watering holes such as the famous Highwayman’s Inn with its flamboyantly

decorated exterior, the beautiful thatched Bearslake Inn, the uniquely named Elephant’s Nest Inn and the cosy Trout & Tipple. This way to Tavistock also includes a long stretch of road through Dartmoor with a typically rugged moorland landscape on one side and views over rolling farmland towards the Cornish border on the other. To the northwest of the town, just six miles from Tavistock, the road from Launceston in Cornwall passes through the village of Milton Abbot, owned for centuries by the descendants of John Russell the first Earl of Bedford who was gifted the lands of Tavistock Abbey on the dissolution of the monasteries

in 1539. He served the country as Lord High Admiral and Lord Privy Seal and, in 1552, he was appointed as the Lord Lieutenant of Devon by Henry VIII. Coming from the west, the Cornish town of Gunnislake is noted for its mining heritage while Morwellham Quay an historic port and copper mine with a restored 19th century village, a Victorian farm and nature trail - played a huge role in Tavistock’s prosperity. In 2006 this area, including Tavistock, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognising the significance of the Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape. Once upon a time you could have arrived in Tavistock

by train, as the town had a station north of the river, and another one south of the river. The line to the north of the town was part of the Plymouth to London route and features an impressive viaduct which still spans several streets despite Tavistock Station closing its doors in 1968. The viaduct is today used as a nature walk. At the west end of the town stands the impressive bronze statue of Tavistock born legend Sir Francis Drake, complete with sword, poignard, globe and heroic pose. The people of Tavistock will always be quick to point out that this is the original statue - the one on Plymouth Hoe is a replica!

winter 2018 | BEAUTIFUL DEVON

Tavistock Town Centre You’ve arrived in Tavistock so what are your first impressions? Undoubtedly, you ll find a usy town with an air of independence. There is an interesting town centre configuration ased on Bedford Square. Here you’ll find t ustachius church and the ruins of Tavistock Abbey, the Grade II listed Town Hall, and the disused former Guildhall/magistrates’ court buildings. Hidden behind the Town Hall is the must-see Pannier Market. (See Shopping overleaf). The square and the hotel opposite are named after successive arls and u es of Bedford who owned much of the surrounding land including tin, copper, lead and silver mines and who are inexorably entwined with the history of

Left: Tavistock Town Hall This page: The Bedford Hotel

the town. Indeed, the eldest son of the u e of edford holds the title of Marquis of Tavistock. You can also see a copper statue of Francis, 7th u e of edford in front of the former magistrates’ court. Heading west from Bedford Square along Plymouth Road, there is Tavistock Wharf, a very fine live usic, cine a and arts venue, the town’s bus station and a lovely park known locally as the Meadows complete with a swimming pool, play equipment, bowling green and public tennis courts. The River Tavy ows past the harf and the Meadows and the Tavistock Canal was opened here in 1817 connecting the town to Morwellham Quay and reviving its prosperity through mining after years of decline.



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The Duke of Bedford

Shopping in Tavistock ou won t find glo al brands in Tavistock and very few national ones. The town is well known for its independent shops and sheer variety of unique retail outlets along West Street and Duke Street including clothing boutiques, books and antiques, art galleries, fashion and jewellery, crafts, home and lifestyle shops, delicatessen and local produce and, of course, its famous Pannier Market. Granted its Royal Charter in 1105, the Pannier Market has been going ever since, a mere

Tavistock’s vibrant Pannier Market

913 years. The wheelchairfriendly building hosts a wide range of permanent stalls with the remaining stalls changing throughout the wee to re ect the different daily the es It has an eclectic mix of products for sale from books and handmade boxes, to clothes, antiques, tools, music, pictures and bric-a-brac. There are also a couple of lovely cafés. And, while you are in town, don’t forget to pop into the Devon Air Ambulance shop in Market Street and say hello to Netty and her team!

Netty Packer at our Tavistock shop

Goosey Fair As you’d expect, a town of the size and status of Tavistock has a range of quality events including music festivals, farmers’ markets, town trails and a summer arts and crafts festival. But dominating it all is the annual Goosey Fair. Dating back to the 12th century a ‘Goose Fair’ was where farmers sold their geese in time enough to fatten up for Christmas. Today, the internationally known event attracts traders and showmen from all over the UK with stalls and

sideshows throughout the town centre and a funfair and live music entertaining the crowds. It’s a wonderful experience but anyone thinking of going for the first ti e should plan in advance, as visitors regularly outnumber the 11,000 or so local residents, and parking can be a challenge! Tavistock is a wonderful and varied place to visit and if you want any more detailed information you can contact the Visitor Information Centre at Court Gate on Bedford Square by calling 01822 612938 or visit www.visit-tavistock.co.uk/ www.heritageintavistock.org.

winter 2018 | BEAUTIFUL DEVON


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And now for something co pletely different Operations Director Nigel Hare explains how the passion and love for photography he developed as a boy helps maintain his wellbeing by giving him a different perspective on life igel shares so e of his eautiful photos, and top tips to help us all ta e etter photos, no atter what ind of ca era we have


ow does a paramedic or doctor cope with all the distressing things that they see while working on the Air Ambulance?” is a question I am regularly asked. f course, not everything our service sees is distressing, we also experience many positive aspects, not least helping patients have their pain and suffering relieved or helping the survive their in ury or illness despite the odds.

owever, when it co es to the sights, sounds and smells which can be stressful, distur ing or di cult to forget, there is no single answer to explain how each crew member processes those experiences to help maintain their wellbeing. Aspects such as peer support and chatting through with colleagues who understand your wor ing environ ent are essential and a strong

fa ily and friends networ outside wor is co on among the crew. As well as also having access to professional well eing services, another common theme is having interests outside wor which, to paraphrase onty ython, ena les individuals to have a ‘now for something co pletely different e perience or yself, in addition to the support receive fro fa ily, friends

and colleagues, have found my love of photography the perfect way to maintain my wellbeing. started ta ing photographs when was a out eight or nine years old after my parents ought e a toy ca era lthough a toy, it used real fil , and suspect used every e posure within a out inutes everal point and shoot ca eras followed, as did y frustration of sending the fil away to e

winter 2018 | PHOTOGRAPHY


top tips

With today’s modern smart phones and relatively cheap pocket cameras, anyone can take their photography skills to the next level and capture some really great images. Indeed, I take quite a lot of my pictures with my phone! If you fancy enhancing your photographic skills, here are my top five tips, no matter what type of camera you use. 1 Look around you before you take the picture Just look slightly to your left and right, or even take a step back and consider moving position slightly to enable a better composition. Thinking about all the options of what to actually include in your picture will a e a huge difference 2 Before you press the shutter button, take a shallow breath in and hold it while you take your picture The act of breathing causes your shoulders to rise and fall, which moves your arms and ultimately your hands which are holding the camera, causing it to move slightly just as the shutter opens creating a slight blur to your image. 3 Brace yourself or your camera The more still you are when you take the picture, the sharper the image will be. Tripods are great, however resting your camera on a wall or a fence or even leaning against something yourself, so you are more stable, can be just as effective in eeping your ca era still and your i ages sharp 4 Press the shutter button gently ressing the utton fir ly or too uic ly can cause the camera to move or even jolt, making it more likely your images will be slightly blurry. 5 Take the camera out of automatic mode Most cameras, including those on a phone, will allow you some degree of manual control. Try adjusting the focus point or the shutter speed, or even changing the exposure slightly. Experiment, look at your image after you ta e it, and try again with a slightly different setting It will not be long before you realise how much better you can make your images look. Camera memory is both cheap and reusable. It will cost you nothing to take lots of photos, learn from the experience, and then use the memory card all over again.

developed and having to wait for it to be returned. However, I was hooked, and have been ever since. Saving money from undertaking an evening paper round enabled me to uy y first proper camera in my early teens - it was Pentacon Pratika t too fil and, unli e today s odern cameras, there was nothing automatic about it. However, it was a huge step up in

terms of photography for me as I could now control where I focused, as well as the shutter speed and aperture. About the same time, photographic shops started to offer sa e day and even one-hour processing – a huge drain on my paper round wages! One of the things I love about photography is that no atter how good your camera, the most important ele ent doesn t involve the

camera at all, its composition, and this is where the real pleasure and enefits to your wellbeing come from. If I want to photograph a sunrise, I get to enjoy the walk to my chosen location, listening and watching nature awake as daylight breaks. If I am looking to photograph wildlife, I need to move slowly and sit patiently and quietly, hoping that my intended subject makes an appearance. And, if I wish to

shoot a landscape, then I can enjoy my surroundings as I seek the perfect composition. I like to photograph most things. However, I particularly enjoy photographing things that might otherwise go unnoticed, or might not be easy for most people to see, such as sunrises in the very early hours or animals or birds that require patience and stillness to either get close to, or allow them to get close to me. o


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Letterboxing on

DARTMOOR David Phillips tells us about an addictive pastime that combines treasure hunting and orienteering across some of Devon’s most rugged landscape


hen I tell people I love walking on Dartmoor, they usually try to recommend other places where they enjoy walking, but with me it isn’t just the walking - it’s the ‘letterboxing’, a pastime that originated on the moors but is now enjoyed worldwide. For those of you who have never heard of this particular hobby, I can only describe it as a cross between treasure hunting and orienteering, using a map and compass. I’ve been enjoying the thrill of the hunt for nearly thirty years now and I am thoroughly addicted. Letterboxing started back in 1854 when a Dartmoor guide from Chagford, named James Perrott, placed a glass bottle in a peat bank at the remote spot of Cranmere Pool, on the north moor, and

encouraged the walkers he took there to leave behind postcards for subsequent visitors to post back to them. he idea too off and soon other visitors were setting up their own ‘letterboxes’ for people to leave their cards in to have posted back. Over the years, bottles became plastic pots and

Nowadays, potentially every rock or peat bank you pass could have a box hidden within in it, but how do you know without looking under every single one? Well, there is actually a club you can join called ‘The 100 Club’. The idea is you find your first boxes by yourself and then you can join.

“ I’ve been enjoying the thrill of the hunt for nearly thirty years now and I am thoroughly addicted. ” rubber stamps were added, along with small notebooks, so people could sign their names and take a copy of the stamp. No longer restricted to the major tors and remote locations, the boxes began to spring up everywhere no location was off li its as long as it didn’t involve trespassing, damaging the environment or disturbing any relics or artefacts.

Membership entitles you to buy the all-important clue book, which gives you grid references and bearings to objects in the landscape, aimed at aiding you in your search for those elusive plastic pots. The Club meets twice a year on Clock Change Sunday! At present the meetings are held at the village hall in Lee Moor, but in the past other venues included The Forest Inn, Hexworthy and The Prison cers lu in rincetown At these gatherings, not only can you buy the letterboxers’ bible - after presenting proof of your finds - ut you can also get walking

Left: The Cranmere Pool Letterbox Right: David Phillips

gear and all the letterboxing paraphernalia you need! Of interest to supporters of Devon Air Ambulance, you can also purchase clues to sets of stamps that have been put out on the moor with the sole purpose of raising much needed funds. This hobby is so much fun and good exercise. It is also educational. Since becoming involved I’ve learned so much about the moor itself and Dartmoor life and history in general. In fact, it’s how I became so knowledgeable about the many myths and legends that have been told about many areas of the landscape and the artefacts to be found there. During my years of hunting I’ve lost count of how many stamps I have in my collection but, as of the latest monthly update I recently received, the new stamps that have been registered with the club now have a serial number in the 51,000 range…and long may this number keep rising! o letterboxingondartmoor.co.uk

winter 2018 | PATIENTS


Paul and his paramotor

ALWAYS CHECK THE WIND... Until January of this year, downtime for busy Hope Cove hotelier and Bideford Marine Pilot, Paul Brown was the relatively young sport of paramotoring - a form of paragliding with a 2-stroke engine. Paul explains, ‘It’s the closest you can get to the essence of ight without having to spend an entire ing s anso on equipment, training and licences”


aul had spent the morning of 14th January 2018 stripping wallpaper at his hotel, the Sun Bay in Hope Cove, and was keen to get o t or a ick y in the afternoon. Okaying it with his wife Michelle, Paul left the decorating behind and egan preparing or a ight He checked the weather, his wing, fuel, engine run up, helmet, tools, Notice to Airmen and ensured he had enough warm layers on. Arriving at his launch site on neighbouring land, Paul noted a black cloud front moving in from the west, but it was at least an hour away; the wind was a gentle 5-knots with good visibility and Paul was soon ready to go. With a squeeze on the throttle, aul ran the five steps necessary for ta e off and, in his words, “I dropped the shackles of cold, grimy, January earth and roared away like a giant blue airborne whale.” is ight was s ooth, over the village, up to Malborough and on towards ings ridge all the time checking his wing, estimating height, observing landmarks on the ground

and always, always, always thin ing a out the wind has it changed direction, is it stronger now than it was? After a while, and realising how cold his fingers had become, Paul decided to head for home. Seeing his wife at the landing site, Paul was determined to impress. He even had ideas about videoing his ight, so he could post it on Facebook later.

landing. However, his motor stalled and his wing became a ailing giant pillow-case of death with a running lawn mower in the middle of it’! Paul dropped from about 60-80 feet, landing on the airbag (which worked perfectly) but was followed by 34kg of fuel and motor into his back. He remained conscious throughout and remembers wriggling

“ However, his motor stalled and his ing ecame a ailing giant pillo case of death with a running lawn mower in the middle of it! ” However, as he rose higher the air suddenly got really bumpy! The black cloud line had raced in and, although nothing really registered on the land, at 100ft and above, the wind had changed direction causing the air to roll off the cliffs eciding to y down the line of the cliffs, aul was eing tossed about all over the place and he realised that he was losing control. He managed to turn into land and eased the throttle to escape the turbulence and prepare for

his toes, relieved that he could do so. He managed to extricate himself from his harness and crawl away fro the otor ut realised he was unable to stand. Laying on the cold, damp soil he remembers really hoping that someone had seen him fall. is rescuers arrived, firstly a local lady who vaulted the 7-foot dry stone wall from the South West Coast Path, to reassure Paul that further help was on its way. First esponders and the local

Coast Guard also arrived, as did Paul’s wife Michelle, who raced to his aid and helped to keep him calm. They were all grateful to see evon ir ulance arrive, piloted y ichie with paramedics Mark and Adrian onboard. Paul was airlifted to erriford ospital with a broken back, arriving just 65 minutes after he fell from the skies. Surgery followed, and he spent a total of six weeks in hospital, surprising everyone by walking just two weeks later. Getting his seafarers certificate ac at week 14 allowed Paul to go back to work piloting ships in orth evon Paul expressed his gratitude to ALL of his rescuers and said of evon Air Ambulance, “It will come as no surprise that they were professional and swift. Having the air ambulance in a county li e evon is an absolute necessity. Pray that you never need one but hope that if you do, that this particular star stays in our skies. They have certainly earned a lifetime standing order donation from me.” o


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a sure there are any of us now having these discussions, along with when shall put the heating on t see s those wonderful long, sunny, su er days are well ehind us and the chill of the autu n has wafted across the county


n the foodie world the last of the major food festivals has come and gone and we start to think of the warm and comforting hug of the winter larder. I have always liked this time of year, as it reminds me of my very favourite types of dishes, from warming parsnip soup, to roast pheasant and perhaps a slow roast belly of pork, or even a grilled Dover sole with lots of parsley and lemon butter. he first of the tlantic gales have rolled in, re inding e how uch our fisher en and wo en put on the line for us his season is great for fish li e ig fat plaice or wonderful diver scallops, succulent and tender ha e, a owl of stea ing e or eign ussels coo ed with cider and garlic ow a out a very underrated ounder, filleted, dusted in a little our, pan-fried in utter or si ply grilled delicate and delicious n the land the choice is plentiful, and a very luc y to hold an assador chef role for aste of a e a wonderful organisation run

y nnette oolcoc in eha pton which is set up to pro ote the a a ing wild ga e we have around the country hy not try using pheasant reast instead of chic en in curries or coated in readcru s and ade into a tasty urger on t forget you can confit the pheasant s legs in duc fat or dripping and then crisp in a hot oven he eat a es a a ing pies

or shire puds and lashings of gravy, it s well worth it fter such a hearty feast, and after the washing up is done, why not collapse in the chair and have a snoo e on t forget pudding - apples and pears are plentiful and everywhere try oven- a ed ra ley apple stuffed with dar rown sugar, sultanas and le on served with hot custard or

“ I think there is something about a roast rib of beef and all the trimmings on a cold Sunday that just can’t be beaten. It may be a tad pricey but served with crisp roasties, Yorkshire puds and lashings of gravy, it’s well worth it! ” or use for oriental panca e recipes or ore ideas and the odd recipe of ine have a loo at tasteofga e org on the internet thin there is so ething a out a roast ri of eef and all the tri ings on a cold unday that ust can t e eaten t ay e a tad pricey ut served with crisp roasties,

crea r how a out pear and lac erry co ler, slow coo the fruit then top with a uttery scone i , throw in a few dried cran erries into the scones a very war ing wintry pud ow finally to hrist as, which will e with us efore we realise, so how a out thin ing ahead hy not

a e your pigs in lan ets now and free e raw, the sa e with your stu ng ur eys are going to go into the stratosphere in price towards hrist as, so try and uy a local one now and pop in the free er too, you ll save yourself a good few pounds and you really won t now the difference lease don t uy the assproduced ince pie nasties, all pastry and no filling a e your own, topped with a cinna on cru le and a generous dollop of randy crea - your taste uds will than you your waistline ay not, ut we will worry a out that in the ew ear or this issue, have chosen a great honest dish using fine evon eef t s a cheaper cut ut is perfect for slow coo ing and is a dish you can prepare well in advance and have ready when you co e in fro the cold ve added a few tasty wild ushroo s to add so e lu ury ave a loo for orest ungi ased in awlish they grow so e a a ing varieties that can e ought online and in local far shops o

winter 2018 | FOOD & DRINK


raise hort i o evon ee ith il shrooms an reamy ash

Serves 4 4 short ribs of Devon beef about 300-500gm each with bone pieces of uality s o ed acon cut into 1cm pieces 3 medium onions sliced 5 cloves garlic sliced 2 carrots thinly sliced g i ed wild ushroo s or chestnut mushrooms 100ml vegetable oil 50gm butter 1 dessert spoon thyme leaves 3 bay leaves 1 tablespoon tomato puree 350ml red wine 1 litre beef or chicken stock g plain our or potato our for gluten free , seasoned heavily Salt and pepper


his is hat o l categorise as real com ort oo , short ri s ere almost a orgotten c t o ee t thanks to s che s they have ecome on tren hanks to the great tchery team at reen ale arm hop ho s pplie some on er l short ri s all c t to si e etho oat the short ri s in seasoned our and sha e off the e cess 2. Put half the oil into a frying pan and seal the ribs well over a medium heat. When well-browned on all sides, transfer to a casserole dish or slow cooker pot. 3. In the same frying pan, add the bacon and cook until lightly browned. Add to the casserole dish. 4. Using the remaining oil, fry the onions and carrots until nicely browned, add the tomato puree and the red wine, bring to the boil and simmer for 2- 3 minutes before adding to the casserole. 5. Again in the same pan, melt the butter and cook the mushrooms over a high heat until nicely golden, add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme and transfer to the ribs. 6. Add the stock to the casserole dish and, if necessary, top up with water until the ribs are just covered, place the lid on and gently cook in a preheated oven 100110c, gas 2 for at least 4-5 hours. f you are using a slow coo er, turn to the hot setting for the first inutes then turn to low and cook for 4-5 hours. hen the eat is tender and falling off the one, gently re ove fro the li uid If you would like a slightly thicker sauce, bring to the boil and add a touch of corn our i ed to a s ooth paste with water until you reach the desired consistency. Season to taste, return the ribs to the pot and serve with creamy mash and steamed or baked winter vegetables.

My tops tips for great mash l ays se a potato s ch as aris iper or ing ar as they are m ch o rier in te t re on t overfill yo r pan ith potatoes as some ill e per ect hen cooke an some slightly har hen yo have raine yo r potatoes, ret rn to the pan an shake over a lo heat or a min te or so to remove any e cess ater ash is only great mash ith li eral amo nts o tter an a goo splash o cream Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, stay warm, eat well and look forward to the coming of spring!

FOOD & DRINK rofile Richard Hunt - Chef Devon born and bred, Richard Hunt, consultant Chef and culinary judge has worked in renowned restaurants and hotels across the UK and Europe and is now proprietor of the Devon Scone Company.


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transformation OF

ROYAL WILLIAM YARD For many years the largely unknown Royal William Victualling Yard was unused and unloved. When it was finally released y the Ministry of Defence, the potential of this largest collection of Grade I Listed military buildings in Europe was recognised and the idea to create an imaginative and modern, mixed-use development from existing historic buildings was germinated.


lthough still a work in progress, today the Royal William Yard is a serious lifestyle destination, renowned for its array of top class dining, its arts and crafts, its programme of events including outdoor theatre productions and open-air cinema, and public open spaces where visitors can enjoy its wonderful location between the River Tamar and Plymouth Sound. What is most striking, however, are the buildings – what English Heritage has called one of the country’s ost agnificent industrial monuments’. Constructed between 1826 and 1835, the group of limestone and granite buildings were designed by architect Sir John Rennie and named for King William IV. Its job was to consolidate the feeding and provisioning of the Royal Navy into a single place and this involved constructing a central storehouse, a brewery, mill and bakery, cooperages, o cers residences and a slaughterhouse. The small harbour could accommodate merchant vessels and there is even a tunnel in the Firestone Bay sea wall where cattle and other goods could e conveyed on and off transport vessels. For security purposes the Yard is protected by a high wall on the landward side with access through an imposing gateway from Cremyll Street. It is surmounted by a 13ft statue of King William IV. The functions of the buildings have changed but the names haven’t. The Police Building The Gatehouse or Police Building once had its own mini police force who not only reinforced the Yard’s security but kept a sharp eye out to prevent pilfering of the many

winter 2018 | DEVON HERITAGE

tempting goodies stored there oday, it offers classy usiness o ce space Clarence he first to e uilt on the site, larence was originally a storehouse for li uids with a different oor for spirits, eer and vinegar. Doors, windows, interior colonnades and the roof were made of iron ecause of the danger of fire fro the alcohol stored there larence has su se uently een converted into conte porary, award-winning apartments. Brewhouse dvances in the storage of fresh water meant that the rewhouse never actually brewed anything. Purpose uilt in , it re ained e pty for the first years of its e istence after which it was variously used as a repair shop, rum store and torpedo workshop. It is now home to 78 apartments and a variety of cafes and restaurants as well as an e hi ition space Cooperage he ictorian avy had an insatia le de and for arrels to store food and drink on oard ship, so a selfcontained cooperage was a a or asset for the ictualling ard uilt around a pair of concentric uadrangles, it e ployed up to coopers at its height ut, once again, advances in technology diminished the need for these s illed trades en and their nu er dwindled to just 12 by the end of the th century when a new, s aller cooperage was uilt he original uilding was transfor ed into a achine shop and ordnance store he ld ooperage now houses cean tudios who provide afforda le studios, wor shop facilities and gallery space for artists here is also an artisan a ery coffee shop and an indoor events venue.

Melville his i posing uilding has a central uadrangle and a cupola featuring the ard s original uarter chi ing cloc which dates fro elville was designed to e the administrative hub of the ard and also served as a major store for food. Under developers r an plash, elville is eing transfor ed into a creative hu and wor space on the two upper oors, with eeting roo s, rea out spaces and its own coffee shop elow, the plan is to have independent shops and restaurants around an outdoor courtyard and event space Mills Bakery he uilding used two stea engines and illstones and could a e around , l s of our each wee to produce read and iscuits t eca e a clothes and e uip ent store after it stopped a ing in and today has 86 apartments alongside co ercial and o ce space Slaughterhouse tanding opposite the Gatehouse and with a atching oric colonnade, the laughterhouse could process up to ulloc s a day ut had a relatively short e istence as an a attoir uilt in in the eorgian neo-classical style typical of the Yard with impressive e ternal colu ns, it is now an attractive property for potential co ercial users particularly ecause of its unusual triangular courtyard, its views over the water and open access to a new oardwal cer esidences esidence and are fine uildings near the entrance to the ard and overloo ing what is now a pu lic green space populated with a s all nu er of large white,

plastic cows he esidences were uilt for civil service o cers efore eco ing o ces and, in , were the head uarters of the ly outh evelop ent orporation, a ody esta lished to secure the physical, environ ental, econo ic and social regeneration of surplus inistry of efence land in the city he oyal illia ard is a wonderful place to visit, enjoy and to breathe in the history that is embodied in so e agnificently handso e and uscular uildings that were definitely uilt to last n recent years,


the visitor e perience has been improved with new oardwal s and an a a ing illu inated staircase which ena les wal ers to pass through the Yard on their uninterrupted passage on the outh est oastal ath he co ple is a testa ent to how design, planning and vision can lead to the successful transfor ation of a collection of rade listed uildings that is also a scheduled ancient onu ent oyal illia Yard is now a vibrant, conte porary i ed-use develop ent and an asset to ly outh and evon o


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Box Collecting

Every Penny Counts! In 2017 communities of Devon raised £182,000 in small change for the Devon Air Ambulance. We are grateful to have a fantastic team of volunteers who regularly service our 4,200 collection boxes.

Pete Mason and Pauline Gooding Volunteer Pete Mason first heard about the work of Devon Air Ambulance while he and his late wife Janet were at the Devon County Show in 2005. After speaking to a member of the team, Pete and Janet walked away from the stand with a single collection box, into which they put their own small change. At the time, Pete was still working full-time but they both still found time to attend a volunteers’ meeting at DAA’s Head Office. It was there that they overheard two other volunteers discussing their ten collection boxes. Intrigued, Pete asked why they had so many. It was then he understood that local businesses would hold boxes on behalf of the Trust and that the local box collector would service them twice yearly. Pete and Janet soon set a out finding new o outlets in their local community. Thirteen years later, Pete services 140 collection boxes in the Ippelpen, Ashburton and South Brent area along with Janet’s cousin Pauline, who began to help Pete after Janet passed away in 2013. Pauline says, “now that I have retired, I don’t know how I found the time to work!” Pete and Pauline not only service collection boxes but they also attend an array of events on behalf of the Air Ambulance. They are both very social people who enjoy getting to know others, so volunteering is perfect for them. Given his experience with box collection, Pete was also a le to offer invalua le advice and thoughts when the charity was looking to develop a pioneering online cash return form which will see the box collector role moving towards a more digital future auline, however, is a fir eliever in the traditional paper forms so, to ensure we do not exclude anyone, both methods will be available to all our box collecting volunteers!

Above: Pete and Pauline Right: Pete’s wife Janet

winter 2018 | VOLUNTEERS


VOLUNTEERING rofile Cara Jones - Volunteer Manager mail c ones@daat.org Cara is responsible for steering and coordinating volunteering across Devon Air Ambulance, including the recruitment, induction, training and support of our volunteers wor ing in our shops and in the co unity

Don Hansford Don began volunteering for Devon Air Ambulance in 2002, having previously worked for Express Dairies for 39 years, served 30 years in the Devon and Cornwall Special Constabulary and spent 15 years with the St John’s Ambulance. Following his semi-retirement, Don became one of two paid box collectors working from Head Office, driving the length and breadth of Devon servicing our collection boxes. During his spare time, he continued working on a voluntary basis for DAA, along with his wife Margaret. They became totally committed to raising as much as possible for the air ambulance; holding table top sales, attending community fundraising events and representing the charity at cheque presentations. Don and Margaret celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the

28th August 2010 and raised £310 in aid of DAA. In 2016, Margaret sadly passed away, and Don – always thinking of others - raised £530.40, donated in memory of his wife. Being so well-known in his home region around Colyton and Beer, Don found it was relatively easy to encourage people to fundraise, offering to help in any way he could Don still services sixty collection boxes locally. Despite the local bank closures, Don built a great relationship with his local ost ce which allows hi to deposit the oney collected in his boxes. In fact, when his local Nat West ranch closed, they offered hi their old weighing scales to ensure his calculations were always exact. Don has built a number of lifelong friendships all over Devon through his generous volunteering, and is proud that many of his family are also involved in caring and life-saving professions - his grandson and granddaughter’s husband are paramedics, his daughter is the Deputy Manager of a care home, and his granddaughter is a nurse!

Above: Don (centre) with fellow volunteers Simon Card (left) and Tim Hoad, aka The Three Amigos Right: Don’s wife Margaret

If you are interested in a box collecting role or know of any outlet that might like to display one of our boxes, please get in touch with Cara on c.jones@daat.org



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Business On Board! We welcome partnerships from all types of businesses throughout the county – so e ig, so e s all, so e offering financial support and others offering so ething co pletely different Here are just a few companies that we are working with. Some of them joined us at a recent visit to our Exeter Airbase, seeing the helicopter, meeting the aircrew and learning more about the importance of their support. As part of their Charity of the Year fundraising activities, Richard Stone from the Torquay branch has had a very public head shave (!) which raised over £420.00. Plus, a magnificent £3,500 was donated from the store’s last year’s “Singing Reindeer” display!

C-Plant Services Big support since 2012 from organising their Tombola/Raffle at the annual Honiton Agricultural show raising just under £4,000 for DAA.

Berrys’s Chartered Accountants raised over £3,500 since 2012 from their annual Charity Golf Days.

Pro-Tect Security Ian Stone and his team have protected our helicopters on the rare occasion when the aircraft hasn’t been able to return to base. They also help us with security at our Motorcycle Ride Out and Commando Challenge events.

winter 2018 | BUSINESS SUPPORT

Dragon Boat Festival A massive thanks go to all the businesses who entered teams in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival on Exeter Quay:

A&E Torbay • Arconia • BCT • BT • Goodmans Financial Planning • JFE Nissan Exeter Pavey Group • Salcombe Estuary Rowers • Torrington Dental Practice • Westerly BMW ITT Industries • SMC Exeter SEAT • NPS Ltd

Welcome support: We are grateful to the following companies who have all pledged their continuing support for 2019: Burts Snacks Ltd, Norse Group, Ventons Cyder and Otter Vale (makers of preserves and chutneys)

Hunts Cider


This family run cidermaking business, based in Stoke Gabriel near Totnes, held their third annual Cider Festival at the beginning of October and raised just over £1,000 for DAA.

Marks & Spencers, Barnstaple The store has raised over £8,000 in recent years and decided to support us again from July 2018 - July 2019.



If you would like to discuss ways in which you or your company could support DAA, please contact Tracy Owen on t.owen@daat.org



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Junior Crew This year has seen some fantastic support from young people around the county. Thank you to everyone who has raised funds individually or through their school; you’re all amazing!

When Imogen Spencer’s grandfather, Jeff, was airlifted after a nasty accident with an angle-grinder, Imogen decided to raise funds for the Air Ambulance. She organised a community dog walk and cream tea – and was joined by nearly 40 friends and family! The afternoon raised a fantastic £365!

Volunteer Tony Cannon with pupils of Mary Tavy School, following their cream tea event which raised £537.09. The scones were made by the students in memory of a mum of one of the pupils who tragically passed away earlier this year.

Daisy Langford from Hartland raised over £180 when she had her head shaved for DAA this summer!

James Bass, Chair, and Harriet Pike, Secretary, from Honiton Young Farmers present volunteer David Brock with their fabulous fundraising sum of £5,454.24, raised from a variety of fun-filled activities over 2017-18

Izzy Martin is an extraordinary young fundraiser. She has raised £1,589 since 2014 including £792.49 from her recent sponsored walk. She was initially inspired to fundraise for us after our helicopter landed in the playing field near her home when she was just 9 years old.

winter 2018 | JUNIOR CREW


Pupils from Sticklepath Community School in Barnstaple nominated DAA as their Charity of the Year and donated £1,000 when pupils dressed as their heroes

Young supporter, Michael Moss-Crump, aged 5, has decided that he’d like to be an Air Ambulance paramedic when he’s older and his enthusiasm is infectious. We loved the picture he sent in and his mum, Catherine, tells us that he already knows the difference etween a propeller and a rotor lade

Bobby Ashworth, aged 5, was airlifted earlier this year following a medical collapse whilst out on a school trip. Here he is with volunteer Tony Cannon and Headteacher of Sparkwell All Saints Primary, Fran McLoughlin, who has also been airlifted after breaking her ankle, presenting £500 from his school.

Youngsters from Year 6 at Ipplepen School, Katie Simmonds, Hannah Cock, Maya Dunford, Lucy Saunders and their friend Daisy Boxall raised £88.85 by selling some of their pre-loved toys and books and made cookies and bags of sweets at the Ipplepen Flower Show this summer.

Youngsters from 1st Exeter Boys Brigade presented volunteer Mike a n with £100 at a talk to their group after raising the funds by donating all their loose change over several weeks Over 70 students from Teign School Musical Theatre & Drama club raised £419.53 at their Charity Showcase, with entertainment including musical theatre, dance and a live band


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Devon People Real people saving real lives - what could you do to save a life? Community fundraising is an absolute bedrock of income for the charity and, last year, generated a whopping million pounds plus! We are grateful to EVERYONE who organises or takes part in an event and to those who accept and undertake amazing personal challenges. Here are just a few… After Nick Tyler suffered a fall in May this year, his wife Liza tackled the Three Peaks Challenge and raised over £1,400 for DAA.

Paramedic Paul Robinson attended a fun Skittles afternoon in Kingsteignton where almost £1,700 was raised Volunteer Rory Blair collected £820 from the Clarks Leisure Club at the Crownhill Family Centre – they chose DAA as one of their members has had to call the air ambulance three times!

The Taunton-based Rivertones Harmony Group entertained crowds outside DAA Sidmouth shop at this year’s Folk Festival and raised nearly £60

Volunteers Chris and Sara Bellworthy presented a ertificate of han s to a Brooking of Montgomery School in Exeter following their non-uniform day which raised a total of £232.15

winter 2018 | DEVON PEOPLE

Katherine Rooke ran the ardiff alf Marathon and raised £671 in memory of her dad, who was airlifted earlier this year ut sadly passed away a little later

ichard addo of the Honiton Community Theatre Group, presents £200 fro a uc et collection at the heatre roup s production of now hite and the even warfs to volunteers on and uth aterhouse olunteer raha ordon collects £250 fro o in ausley of Torbay’s Young at Heart Group

£1,000 was presented y nita ood an, President of the Lions Club of South Molton, to volunteer i ennis following their annual olf ay earlier this year

Jackie Hamman from Okehampton opened her garden this summer and raised £220 for DAAT



helipad | www.daat.org Club Captains Barbara Nichols and Tony ighfield of Brixham St Mary’s Bowling Club presented our volunteer Graham Gordon with funds of £1,020, raised y perfor ances y a local and, a sponsored hair-cut and a charity pairs bowls match

i e era a n gave a DAA talk at a Millbrook Retirement Village’s coffee orning in July n amazing £883.50 was raised

olunteer avid artley was delighted to receive a che ue for £6,000 fro Kinsgbridge Young Farmers, presented y i on alter y ons and ily uc er

arnstaple shop anager Averil Kingdon organised a harity vening in arnstaple ocial lu on the th June and raised £385 ong the enterainers was s own aul ewter aul lac wing inger

he Twisted Oak in de held their defest vent ac in July and anager eter ollins presented £740 fro the event to our volunteers rian and erry a n Helen Jackson raised a agnificent £1,797.17 y shaving her head in support of who helped her dad, en Jones, after he suffered a heart attac

winter 2018 | DEVON PEOPLE

When the Tour of Britain cycle ride came through Devon, they witnessed this incredible moving work of art, created by tractors, quad bikes and a whole lot of hay bales. Thanks to Alun Sing for donating £200


Anita de ree has now raised around £1,200 with her cake and bread-baking friends!

Taw River Dairy raised £150 at this year’s Open Day, presented to volunteer Mike Date

Volunteer Dennis Bater was presented with £1,172.68 by the Bridgerule Carnival Queen following the Bridgerule Open Gardens in June. The Open Gardens have been supporting DAA since 2007 and, to date, have raised a massive £11,566. Also pictured is Paul Ford for Cornwall Air Ambulance. When Iris Elliott celebrated her 100th birthday, friends and family raised £596.95 to donate to DAA. DAA had come to the aid of Iris’s grandson-in-law following a powerboat accident.



See our GETTING IN TOUCH section on page 3 If you are planning a fundraising activity of any kind, lease do gi e us a call e can o er su ort material such as posters, balloons, collection boxes and e en running ests and e can romote our e ent on our ebsite and social media


helipad | www.daat.org

omm nity an ing ites p ate As we near the launch of the 100th Community Landing Site in Devon, alongside a further 89 in development, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to all our supporters and community partners who are making this possible. Why not check to see if there’s a site being developed near you and if not, please get in touch...


he net ork o omm nity an ing ites contin es to gro y the month, no reaching all corners o evon, altho gh there are still some gaps appearing here e are not yet in contact ith comm nities lease check the online map aat org comm nity lan ing sites map , an i there s no site eing evelope in yo r comm nity, then e love to hear rom yo The actual process of identifying a suitable site is relatively quick and once our Safety Manager, Rob Mackie, has given the ‘thumbs up’ to a site and we have established the lighting solution required, we can then focus on the New community landing site at Accord-UK in Barnstaple evon ir ulance is delighted to announce the first community landing site in Barnstaple, at Accord-UK, a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in Whiddon Valley. ccordfirst contacted in following a dayti e RTC at which several of their security team assisted the casualty. The company’s Facilities Manager, Simon Beer, got in touch to see if their field ight e useful to us and that led to a conversation about establishing a community landing site. As Toby Russell explained, “Simon and the management team at Accord-UK readily supported our approach to landing in communities during the hours of darkness. Simon and I were able to put plans in place for the lighting and the site became operational in September. e are hugely grateful to ccordfor use of their field the site is well located to serve communities in the eastern part of Barnstaple and is close to the A361 link road.” i on added eing a le to identify the first co unity landing site in Barnstaple at Accord-UK, and to work with DAA, has been a great experience. We are so proud to be partnering

Sites already live Sites in development

potentially more time-consuming elements such as getting landowner and other permissions in place whilst local fundraising is kick-started. “Grant funding from the LIBOR banking fines fund is being used throughout Devon to help communities establish lighting solutions, bring in new power supplies and improve access at community landing sites,” said Toby Russell, CLS Development Officer. “However, it’s important to note that this funding is finite and so, if your community is looking at developing a site then we encourage you to make contact soon.” o them and to help the charity to carry out its life saving work.” Sandra Lee, Managing Director of Operations at Accord-UK said very day we are focused on a ing a difference for patients and the landing site is an extension of this. To support the local community through access to a landing site and to also support the life saving work of Devon Air Ambulance is fantastic. We look forward to this collaboration and developing the relationship further.”

COMMUNITY LANDING SITES rofile Toby Russell - Community Landing Sites Development Officer mail t.russell@daat.org o y wor s with local co unities to esta lish a county-wide networ of night landing sites o find out community can get involved visit www.daat.org.

ore a out his wor and how your

winter 2018 | OPERATIONS


or not to


that is the question: or rather one of the many questions that our clinical crew consider when treating the patients we are called to assist


lthough the majority of patients we convey to hospital are o n there in the Air Ambulance, the crew will often decide that the patient’s best interests will be served by transporting them to the hospital in a land ambulance. So far this year, around 1 in 5 patients we have attended to have gone to hospital in a land ambulance. There are various reasons why the crew might decide it is a better option for the patient to be driven to hospital rather than y Sometimes, although the helicopter and crew have been able to reach the patient’s location, the hospital we wish to take the patient to may be shrouded in fog and would be too dangerous for us to y to or

land at, so the safer option of driving is chosen s the clinical capa ilities of our service continue to develop, we are being called to assist an increasing number of patients located quite close to our main

and ly outh hen the incident is a short distance away from the hospital, it is often as quick, if not quicker, for us to convey the patient in a land a ulance ur crew will travel with the patient and continue to deliver care

“ You may have noticed the increased frequency that we are no ying into inci ents locate in the heart of Barnstaple, Torbay, Exeter and Plymouth ” hospitals, as often we still provide the quickest means of the patient having their specialist care initiated which means you may have noticed the increased frequency that we are now ying into incidents located in the heart of Barnstaple, Torbay, Exeter

The Airbus H145 helicopter that will come into service in 2020

alongside the ara edic fro the outh estern ulance ervice nother aspect of our increasing clinical capabilities is the need to maintain good access all around the patient for some of the interventions we provide his is especially important when performing life-saving surgical procedures epending on the nature of the procedure we need to undertake, or indeed have undertaken at the scene but may need to continue to deliver during the ourney to hospital, sometimes the space around the patient in

the helicopter is not su cient for us to safely undertake the tas ith the inside of a land ambulance providing more space around the patient, we will in these circumstances opt for the safest option and travel y road aintaining su cient space around the patient to safely deliver our enhanced lifesaving interventions, not ust those we are currently able to provide - but also those we wish to introduce into our service in the future - is one of the main reasons behind our decision to purchase a larger helicopter to replace in he speed of an ir ulance helicopter will always be essential to enable us to reach patients suffering life-threatening illness or in ury uic ly nce with the patient, whether we opt to convey the patient to the hospital by air or by road, our decision will always be based on the needs of each individual patient and how we can provide them with the best possible chance for a successful outcome and full recovery o

OPERATIONS rofile Nigel Hare - Operations Director mail n hare daat org Nigel is responsible for the provision of our operational service, from the initial procurement of the helicopters and their equipment right through to the care that reaches the patient e oined evon ir ulance in as an ircrew ara edic


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Look at that poor boy... Simon Weston CBE is returning to Devon in 2019 for a series of stage appearances recounting his life story. The army veteran, who is now 57, is known for his charity work and long recovery fro severe urn in uries suffered during the Falklands War in 1982.


love Devon and make any excuse to get down to the county,” he said in a recent interview. “If I could, I would live here.” Born in Caerphilly District Miners Hospital in Wales, Simon was brought up by his mother, Pauline and adoptive father, ‘Lofty’. He lived in Singapore and Lincoln before returning to Nelson at the age of seven. He openly admits that at 14, he was given a police caution when he was caught as a passenger in a car stolen with his older friends. “I joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 at the age of 16 at the insistence of my mother, after I ‘got into bother’ once again. I served in Berlin, where I guarded Rudolf Hess, then Northern Ireland and Kenya before being deployed to the Falkland Islands on the QEII.” Simon was boarded with other members of his regiment on RFA Sir Galahad

were ta ing off ut y arrival back in Britain was perhaps the most dramatic; my own mother did not recognise me. I heard her say…. ‘look at that poor boy’ and when I said Mam it’s me…she collapsed.” Simon has endured years of reconstructive surgery.

in Port Pleasant near Fitzroy, ust off the al land slands On the 8th June 1982, it was o ed and set on fire by the Argentine Skyhawk fighters during the luff Cove air attacks. The ship was carrying ammunition as well as phosphorus bombs

“ Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 were killed. The Welsh Guards lost a total of 48 men killed and 97 wounded aboard the Sir Galahad ” and thousands of gallons of diesel and petrol. Out of his platoon of 30 men, 22 were killed. The Welsh Guards lost a total of 48 men killed and 97 wounded aboard the Sir Galahad. He was the worst injured to survive, with 46% burns, following which his face was barely recognisable. ven the ight ho e was not without incident, the engine fell off the aircraft as we

Skin from his shoulders was used to make eyelids and his nose was grafted on in a later operation. He has just completed yet another period in hospital to work on the skin around his eyes. e suffered psychological trauma, drinking heavily and becoming suicidal, and admits his behaviour during this time was “terrible”. “My mother was my saviour;

without her tough love I wouldn’t have made it. She helped me overcome a very dark time and then I threw myself into raising money for charities and I was astounded to be given a CBE by Her Majesty The Queen for my efforts - it was a great honour Simon met and married ucy, a fitness instructor from Liverpool, another great in uence on his life and he is now a father and grandfather. It has been an incredible journey so far and Simon is happy to be back on stage giving us a glimpse of his life from 1982 to the present day. He will be appearing at Exmouth Pavilion on 11th January and then at Exeter Corn Exchange on 7th September 2019. As he says… “Another two chances to visit Devon.” o

BACKCHAT rofile David FitzGerald - BBC Broadcaster and DAAT Patron avid first egan roadcasting on co ercial radio in the early s, efore still finds ti e for writing as well as en oying a regular round of golf

oving to television

s well as a usy roadcasting career avid


When every second matters, so does your support

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ping I’m hel von’s p De to kee bulances Am ! Air flying


lping I’m he von’s ep De ces lan to ke Ambu ! Air flying




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