1. Entry Date announced for Air Ambulance Cycle Challenge

    November 21, 2016 by Tracy

    Starting point at Watchet HarbourWe are once again encouraging supporters to sign up early for our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge 2017 after another overwhelming response last year.

    The event, which is not designed as a race involves cycling through some of Dorset and Somerset’s most beautiful countryside and takes place on Sunday 14th May 2017.

    Last year’s event sold out within three days of on-line registration being open and demand is expected to be even higher this year.  The event saw cyclists of all ages and abilities take part raising over £70,000 for the life-saving charity.

    Online registration will open at 09.30am on Tuesday 13th December and with only 600 places available, those wishing to take part will need to be quick to avoid disappointment. Participants can enter as an individual or as a team.

    The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge offers two different routes and distances.  For those who like a challenge, the brilliant 54 mile cycle which starts in the Somerset port of Watchet and finishes at West Bay near Bridport will not disappoint.

    Family shows their supportWith a mixture of quiet back roads, interspersed with some very demanding climbs and equally hairy descents, the event has something to offer for everyone! A staggered start will see the stronger cyclists set off first at 11.00am with the less experienced riders departing at 11.15am. A shorter 11 mile route starts at the Royal Oak public house in Drimpton at 2.00pm and also finishes at West Bay.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “We are thrilled to be able to announce the date for our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge 2017.  This will be our seventh year in the saddle and every year the event seems to get better and better.  I believe one of the main reasons for this is the feedback we get from those who take part and the stories of courage and determination along the way.

    “We always strive to build on the success of the previous year and with this in mind we are once again restricting our numbers to 600 cyclists. We are also continuing with a staggered start time in order to keep the event as safe as possible and to encourage all standards of cyclists to take part without fear of being overcrowded. Team o' Tumblers

    “With such a demand, there will undoubtedly be those who are disappointed not to gain a place which is why I cannot stress enough, how important it is to register early!  We are really looking forward to this years’ event and hope that everyone that enters will once again encourage their family and friends to sponsor them in a bid to make 2017 the best Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge yet.”

    Entrance fees are:  Adults (£20) & Under 16′s (£10).

  2. Lottery Results!

    November 18, 2016 by Lara Lucas

    LotteryCongratulations to the winners of this week's Flight for Life Lottery!

    Our Lottery draw takes place every Friday. The results get posted to our website automatically once the draw is made. You can check whether you are one of the lucky winners by visiting our lottery pages or by clicking HERE.

    You can also find all the information you need to know on how to join the Lottery by clicking HERE. It only costs £1 a week and by joining you could be in with a chance of winning one of our cash or consolations prizes every week!

  3. Events Supporting Our Charity!

    by Lara Lucas

    Don’t forget to check out our online events calendar for events taking place over the next couple of weeks that are either in aid of the charity, or that we are attending with a stall!

    • St Mary's Church Concert in Beaminster
    • Saffron's Skydive
    • Exford Christmas Fayre
    • Co-op Bookstall Rummage Sale
    • Yuletide Celebration


    There are more than likely to be events taking place across Dorset and Somerset which we are unaware of. If you are organising an event in aid of us, please contact the office on 01823 669604 and we will be happy to help you promote this.

    To view all events on our online events calendar, click here.

  4. Order your Charity Christmas Tree

    November 17, 2016 by Tracy

    Charity Christmas TreeIs your business or workplace looking for a new way of saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to friends and colleagues?  Would you like to support the Charity instead of sending Christmas Cards this year?  Well we might just have the perfect answer!

    Our ‘Charity Christmas Tree’ is the ideal way to save on the costs of sending cards and at the same time give a donation to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    Each tree has slots for little cards which you can write and place on the tree.  In return for every message, a donation can be collected and once your tree is complete the donation can be sent to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    The Charity Christmas Tree is free and comes with a number of message cards and a donation envelope.  If you would like to receive one, please call: 01823 669604 or email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk

  5. Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2016

    November 16, 2016 by Tracy

    AAAE LogoOver 250 guests celebrated the best and brightest from the air ambulance community on Monday evening at the national Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2016.

    Awards hosts, BBC News reporter and presenter Sophie Long and Helicopter Heroes presenter Rav Wilding handed out 11 Awards to outstanding individuals and teams, whose stories were inspirational, astonishing and humbling.

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was represented as finalists in two categories; Paramedic of the Year (Neil Bizzell) and Air Ambulance Special Incident Award (Dr. Jeremy Reid, CCP Leonie German, CCP Paul Owen and pilot Mario Carretta) however missed out narrowly on the top prize.

    Bill Sivewright receives the highly acclaimed Chairman's Award for 2016Each year, a special award is presented by the current Chairman of the Association who personally selects an individual whose activities and work within the air ambulance community has been of such value that it deserves recognition.

    We are delighted to announce that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright was chosen to receive the 2016 Chairman’s Award by Hanna Sebright (pictured).

    We are extremely proud of the whole team and a very big congratulations goes to them all.

    A full list of winners can be found by clicking here.

  6. New Clinical Training Facility Officially Opened

    November 11, 2016 by Tracy

    Neil Bizzell, Owen Hammett, Bill Sivewright, Ken Wenman, Roger Morgan, Phil Hyde, Ian Mew and Paul OwenA new Clinical Training Facility, situated at the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s airbase has been officially opened by Ken Wenman, Chief Executive Officer of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

    The full facility, includes a modern clinical training facility, a day/night aviation planning room, improved clinical storage and crew rest facilities.  The whole project reflects the Charity’s drive for clinical excellence and effectiveness and is designed to further build on the success of its award-winning education and training programme.

    Funding for the project was provided last year by the Association of Air Ambulances Charity (AAAC) after £5 million was allocated from the Banking Fines Fund (LIBOR) by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne in support of UK’s air ambulances.   After securing funding for the project, work began on August 15th 2016 and took approximately eight weeks to complete.

    Ken Wenman cuts the ribbon opening the new Clinical Training FacilityAt the official opening, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright thanked all those who had help make the project a reality.

    “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to so many people.   To our landlords Geoff Jarvis and Losan Ltd for giving us the opportunity to further enhance the hangar that they so generously provide to the Charity.  To Babcock International, who, as well as supporting our flying operations brought their wider industry expertise to bear and manage the build project.  To the AAAC for helping to secure and distribute the funds and to SWASFT for their enduring support to the Charity’s operations, especially during a significant period of change.  Finally, to the air ambulance crew who have lived through a great deal of disruption with patience and flexibility and have done so without any drop in the life-saving service provided to the people of Dorset and Somerset.”

    Ken Wenman, Chief Executive Officer of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust was then invited to cut a yellow ribbon which officially opened the new training facility.

  7. Thank you to our Trustees

    November 9, 2016 by Tracy

    Trustees Week 7-13 October 2017It’s Trustees Week and we wanted to take the opportunity to thank our Trustees for their inspiration, dedication and contribution to the Charity. Trustees are the people who are in charge of a charity; they help to make the UK the sixth most giving country in the world and play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions.

    Our Trustees are appointed in accordance with the DSAA constitution and fulfil their responsibilities within clearly defined Terms of Reference.  They embrace a balanced spectrum of skills and experience which benefit the Charity immensely.  From all our staff, volunteers and critical care team, Happy Trustees Week and thank you!

    You can view more background information on our Board of Trustees by clicking HERE

  8. Kingston Country Fair raise £8,500

    by Tracy
    Barry Audley, Ann Fry, Bill Sivewright , Deidre Selwyn, Alan Fry, Ann Tiller, Robin Tiller, Jean Thompson, Ron Thompson

    Barry Audley, Ann Fry, Bill Sivewright , Deidre Selwyn, Alan Fry, Ann Tiller, Robin Tiller, Jean Thompson, Ron Thompson

    Kingston Country Fair is an event that is firmly established in the Purbeck summer calendar.  It is the result of the efforts of a number of local people who are passionate about the local area and raising money for worthy causes. Today’s Fair is the brainchild of Alan and Ann Fry who initially organised a cream tea afternoon to raise funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  It was a roaring success and exceeded all expectations. Since then, the event has steadily grown, breaking out of the confines of their own county garden into the expanse of the adjoining fields

    This year’s event saw a fantastic day of family entertainment, the sun shone and crowds flocked in.  Attractions included a wide variety of stalls, steam engines, farm vehicles, vintage lorries, classic cars, children's rides, dog show and model aircraft flying displays to name a few.  This was complemented by ample refreshments, live music and local cider and beer.

    Bill Sivewright (DSAA CEO) was delighted to be asked to attend a ‘Thank You Party’ for the many helpers and sponsors who made this year’s event so successful.  This took place at Kingston Country Courtyard where Bill received a cheque for an incredible £8,500! Wow!

    Plans are already underway for next year’s event which is set to be bigger and better than ever and takes place on Sunday 9th July 2017 from 11.00am.   More details can be found by visiting: www.kingstoncountryfair.co.uk

    Pictured: (left to right): Barry Audley, Ann Fry, Bill Sivewright , Deidre Selwyn, Alan Fry, Ann Tiller, Robin Tiller, Jean Thompson, Ron Thompson