Friday, 25 January 2013

Our 2013 charity: the Devon Air Ambulance Trust

We live and work in Devon, so when the time came to choose our charity of the year for 2013, the Devon Air Ambulance Trust seemed a natural choice. 

Each year, the Trust raises £4.5 million in funds to keep 2 helicopters flying to relieve sickness and injury across the county of Devon. The result is an outstanding, independent and efficient Air Ambulance service, available to all, 24 hours a day.

The Trust’s story starts in 1986, when 18 year old Ceri Thomas was involved in a collision whilst out on his push bike. A road ambulance took him to hospital, but sadly he died later of his injuries. Ceri’s mother Ann asked the doctors at hospital if there was anything that might have been done to save her son. She was told the quicker a patient receives emergency medical treatment, the better chance there is of survival – so, on 27th August 1992 the Devon Air Ambulance Service went into operation.

We've first hand experience of the Trust’s excellent work. We're based on Dartmoor and no less than three of our members of staff have been airlifted so it is a charity that is very close to our hearts. You never think you will need the Air Ambulances yourself but, when you do, it is so reassuring to know that they are there. We live and work in a beautiful but remote part of the county and the speed with which the helicopters and medical crew can reach us really does make a difference.

The pilots are highly experienced, usually with a military or service background. Paramedics are employed by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and seconded to the Air Ambulance. They undergo extensive training on navigation and safety skills prior to becoming aircrew, with regular refresher courses as well as continuing professional and clinical development.  This training is supported by the charity.

A small team works behind the scenes at the charity's office in Exeter and its network of charity shops across the county. Volunteers are also essential to the Trust through their contribution to fundraising, community involvement, public relations, administration, practical support and campaigning.

We hope you'll help us spread the word about this wonderful charity and the excellent work it does. We'll keep you updated on our fundraising efforts during 2013.

If you’d like to make a donation, visit at any time or you can also make a contribution when you book a holiday through Helpful Holidays.