1. From Lifesavers to Coastbusters!

    February 24, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    CoastbustersCrew of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to cycle 54 miles on triplet and tandem bikes to raise funds for the life-saving charity.

    On Sunday 14th May 2017 the crew of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance will, for the first time, take part as a team in the Charity’s ever popular Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge.

    The event, which is not a race involves cycling through some of Dorset and Somerset’s most beautiful countryside.  With a mixture of quiet back roads, interspersed with some very demanding hill climbs and equally hairy descents, cycling the 54 mile route (from Watchet Harbour to West Bay) on a normal bicycle is certainly a challenge.  However, this inspirational group intend to complete the route on triplet and tandem bikes as part of a team building exercise and in a bid to raise as much as possible for the life-saving charity.

    DSAA Coastbusters with Robin Thorn (Director of Thorn Cycles)The team, who call themselves the ‘COASTBUSTERS’ started training for the event this month at their Henstridge airbase and are being supported by Thorn Cycles in Bridgwater.

    Education isn’t something that these guys find difficult; they are constantly studying for clinical exams, but understanding the workings and mechanics of operating a triplet is something new to them all.  Robin Thorn (Director of Thorn Cycles) kindly spent time with the crew to explain how triplets are built to be strong and safe, but the safety of all three riders ultimately rests with the ‘pilot’ at the front; a similarity that they face every day whilst on the air ambulance!  After a few trial runs, there was simply no stopping the COASTBUSTERS team.


    So, for the 600 cyclists who were fortunaCrew Training on Triplet Bikete in gaining a Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge place this year, they can expect to cycle alongside the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Critical Care Team who deliver such an outstanding service across the two counties.  Members of the public will once again be able to cheer everyone on at the starting point of Watchet Harbour, one of the pit stops along the route and enjoy in the finishing line celebrations at West Bay.

    With less than three months to go before this year’s event, the COASTBUSTERS team are hoping the public will get behind them and show their support by pledging a donation of any size via their JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/dsaa-coastbusters  Mobile phone users can easily donate by texting: CREW54 £5 to 70070 or donations can be received by sending a cheque to the Charity's Head Office. Every penny raised really will make a big difference.

    The Charity will be keeping everyone up to date on the progress of the teaCoastbusters Logom via their website and social media channels using the hashtags #COASTBUSTERS and #dsaac2c

    Ways to pledge a donation in support of the ‘COASTBUSTERS’ Challenge:

    • JUSTGIVING: justgiving.com/dsaa-coastbusters
    • MOBILE PHONE: Simply text: CREW54 £5 to 70070
    • BY CHEQUE: Please make cheques payable to ‘Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’ and write ‘COASTBUSTERS’ on the reverse. Kindly send to: DSAA, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington TA21 9JQ

  2. Chase Star to Co-Present Quiz Night in aid of DSAA

    February 23, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Imark labbettTV’s The Chase star, Mark Labbett, is set to co-present an Interactive Quiz Night being held in aid of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    Following a short refurbishment, The Sydney Arms pub in Dorchester will launch their brand new, fully interactive pub quiz during their opening event on Sunday 5th March.

    Mark (The Beast) will be appearing as a special guest from 7.00pm and will be available to meet and greet contestants and sign autographs. Players will also be able to support Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance on the night by partaking in a raffle being held in aid of the Charity.

    The quiz will start at 8.00pm and enable teams to answer multiple choice questions using Bluetooth technology; not to mention the opportunity to challenge The Chaser!

    This is a ticket only event. Tickets are available from The Sydney Arms, 11 Bridport Road, Dorchester Dorset, DT1 2NG, Tel: 01305 751696. Tickets are free however donations to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance are welcome.

  3. Air Ambulance scoops eggs-cellent £1,500 donation!

    February 7, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    (From left to right) Anne Mitchell, Joint Owner of Rumwell Farm Shop, Lara Battersby, Communications Assistant at Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, and Chris O’Conner, Shop Manager at Rumwell Farm Shop, celebrate the amount raised during 2016.

    The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has recently received a donation of £1,500 from an award-winning farm shop in the area after it hosted a series of fundraisers including one related to the eggs it sells.

    The funds were raised for the charity, which is based in Wellington, by staff and customers at Rumwell Farm Shop & Cafe throughout 2016.

    Anne Mitchell, Joint Owner of the farm shop and cafe, which is located on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington, explained: “We’re thrilled to have raised such a fantastic amount of money for the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, which was one of our chosen charities of the year for 2016.

    “The £1,500 was raised in a number of ways from collection tins and a Charity Carvery & Quiz Evening in June to us also donating 10p from each bag of sherbet lemons and 10p from each sale of our dozen, large, free range eggs.

    “We also held a car wash in aid of Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance in May. The 1st Wellington Scout Group gave a helping hand and we managed to raise £215 for the charity.

    “We would like thank all our staff, customers and the 1st Wellington Scout Group for helping us raise this incredible amount of money for the charity during the past year.”

    The Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance launched in March 2000 and has flown more than 11,000 missions, many of them life-saving.

    Its operational costs are more than £2 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £2,500. With public support it is also able to purchase specialist pieces of equipment that aid its paramedics’ training and help to save lives across the two counties.

    Debbie Birtwisle, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Fundraising Coordinator, said: “We would like to thank the staff and customers at Rumwell Farm Shop for the huge effort they have put in during the past year. The funds raised will help us to continue saving lives.

    Rumwell Farm Shop is an independent, family-run, award-winning business owned by the Mitchell family. It was originally a potato store, when David and Anne Mitchell began selling their potatoes and free range eggs at the gate.

    Due to customer demand, the range of products soon increased and the farm shop grew into the place it is today. David and Anne’s sons, James and Jack, are now also involved in the business.

    Rumwell Farm Shop has a traditional butchery counter selling free range pork and Aberdeen Angus beef reared just four miles away on the family farm. There is also a delicatessen, bakery, jam kitchen and food hall.

    Home grown potatoes are also still available as well as everything from fruit, vegetables and groceries to plants, flowers, gifts and cards.

    The Rumwell Cafe, which opened in May 2015, can seat approximately 80 people. The food prepared in the cafe kitchen is sourced from the farm shop, the Mitchell family farm and regional suppliers.

    Families are welcome to the cafe and there is a menu especially for children. The cafe also serves afternoon teas, carvery on a Sunday and is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. To add to this, it also has a separate gluten free menu.

    For more information, please call Rumwell Farm Shop, which is located in Rumwell between Taunton and Wellington, on 01823 461599, visit www.rumwellfarmshop.com, follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rumwellfarmshop or log on to www.facebook.com/Rumwellfarmshop.

  4. Vacancy for Deputy Lottery Manager

    February 3, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    When you are asked who you work for, do you reply with pride?           You can!

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is seeking to appoint a Deputy Lottery Manager.

    This post is a qualifying position under the terms of the Gambling Commission.

    Reporting directly to the Lottery Manager, the Deputy is required to:

    • Manage administrative and general support to the lottery operation
    • Conduct BACS operations and reports
    • Liaise with the external canvassing team
    • Deal with customer enquiries
    • Prepare miscellaneous reports including personnel, lottery and banking


    The successful candidate will have:

    • Managerial experience
    • Exceptional organisational and administrative skills
    • Outstanding attention to detail
    • Excellent numeracy
    • Experience in a wide variety of IT systems including spreadsheets, databases and word processing
    • First class communication and customer service skills


    This is a permanent, full time position. Salary guide: £22,000 - £25,000.

    This post is mainly based at our Wimborne office, although own transport is essential as there will be some requirement to travel throughout the Charity’s area and further as necessary.

    With no direct Government or National Lottery funding, our ‘Flight for Life’ Lottery provides a major part of the funding necessary to deliver our life-saving service.

    If you feel you have the energy, skills and experience to make a real difference, please send your CV and covering letter explaining how you could be just the person we are looking for to: Caroline Guy, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Lottery Office, Unit 3 Brook Road Industrial Estate, Wimborne, BH21 2BH or by email to: Caroline.Guy@dsairambulance.org.uk

    Applications close 22nd February 2017.  No agencies

  5. Magna party raises money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

    February 1, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Pictured: L to R Diane and Derick Albutt from Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Paul Duncan and Kelvin Walker and Bridie Screen from the social committee at Magna West Somerset Housing Association.

    Magna West Somerset Housing Association’s social committee recently presented Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance with a £300 cheque.

    The money was donated because of savings made on their annual Christmas party.

    Bridie Screen, one of Magna’s housing officers, helped organise the event.  She said: “Paul Duncan, who is one of our staff, kindly offered to provide the disco for our Christmas party for free.

    “He regularly DJs at Northern Soul events in the South West and is well known as a great DJ, so we were really pleased when he offered.

    “Because we didn’t have to pay for someone to provide the disco, the social committee decided to donate the money to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, one of the charities Paul regularly fundraises for.”

    Paul said: “I enjoy raising money for many charities through the events I organise.  I was happy to help with the staff party and I’m very pleased with the donation to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Thank you to all involved.”

    Communications manager for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Tracy Bartram, said:

    “We would like to thank Magna’s social club for their kind donation.

    “The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance receives no direct funding from the Government or the National lottery and relies on the public for support.  Our operational costs are currently over £2m a year and the approximate cost per mission is £2,500.  These costs will most certainly rise in 2017 when we take delivery of our new larger helicopter to replace our existing EC135 which has night flying capabilities and we extend our operating hours from 07.00am to 02.00am.

    “Every donation we receive really does make a difference in helping us to continue saving lives.”