1. Pegasus announced as name for air ambulance helicopter

    November 6, 2017 by Tracy

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce ‘Pegasus’ as the name for our AW169 helicopter.

    In August, we announced a competition to find a name for our aircraft and entries immediately began flooding in. By the time the closing date arrived, nearly one thousand entries had been received.

    The judging panel scoring the naming competitionA panel of judges which included the Charity’s patrons; Annie Maw (Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and former patient), Angus Campbell (Lord Lieutenant of Dorset), Bill Sivewright (DSAA Chief Executive Officer), Anna Philipps (DSAA Trustee), Paul Jelley and Jennifer Molloy (former patients), Paul Owen (DSAA Operational Lead) and Phil Merritt (Pilot) met on 24th October and spent a number of hours going through the nominations.

    Three entries were shortlisted after receiving the same number of votes, before a final deliberation saw ‘Pegasus’ come out the winner.

    Four members of the public submitted the name as their preferred choice: Mrs Fear (Glastonbury), Poppy Holt (St. Dunstan’s School, Glastonbury), Mark Williams (Frome) and Angela Andrews (Wincanton). All were extremely thrilled when they received a call from the Charity informing them of the decision.  Each will be invited to attend a formal naming ceremony in January where the name will be unveiled on the aircraft.

    Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Annie Maw said: “It was my absolute pleasure to be part of the judging panel which selected the name for our air ambulance. Nearly 16 years ago, I was rescued from a fog bound Mendip and on that day the air ambulance team found me by locating the Cathedral in Wells, then following St. Thomas street out of town and up to the top of the hills where they hovered very low in search for me.

    Pegasus“We were miles away, in the middle of inaccessible fields; Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance seemed to descend down in a shaft of sunshine. It was miraculous and something which I will never forget. It’s very possible that the team that day saved my life as I was getting pretty ill. Even if they didn’t prevent me from actually dying, they certainly protected me from having a higher level of paralysis by the way they moved me onto the stretcher and into the helicopter.

    “If it hadn’t been done by someone as experienced and capable as they were, more of my spinal cord would have been damaged and I might have ended up unable to use my arms and hands. I will always be undyingly grateful and it is my absolute pleasure to be one of the Charity’s Patrons. ‘Pegasus’ is a remarkable aircraft, which I know will help the team to do remarkable things.”

    Running alongside the naming competition was an art competition aimed at our younger audience and entries once again came flooding in. Many local schools used the opportunity for pupils to be creative during lessons, whilst others promoted the initiative and encouraged youngsters to take part. The judges were enormously impressed by the quality and detail of the entries and found it extremely difficult to single out the winners.

    A selection of entries in the art competitionLord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell commented: “I knew that judging both the naming and art competitions was not going to be easy, but it was even harder than I anticipated. There were a huge number of entries for the name of our splendid new helicopter and a large number of them were excellent. It was such a difficult and time consuming task to pick the best of the best.

    “Judging the art competition with its different categories was also a terrific challenge with such a huge amount of young talent on display. The artistic quality was excellent and we had to look long and hard to come to our decisions. I found it such a privilege to be involved and to be able to appreciate the work and imagination that had gone into the entries.”

    The result of the art competition was as follows. Well done to all!

    Under 5’s:

    • Winner: Lola Kwan, (Hindhayes Infant School, Street)
    • Runners Up: Brandon West, Keira Allen

    Ages 6-11

    • Winner: Rebekah Joy Fairweather, (Bishop Henderson School, Coleford)
    • Runners Up: Clementine Sophie Smith, Roxanna Bateman

    Ages 12-17

    • Winner: Ho Him Xu (St. Mary’s C.E Middle School, Puddletown)
    • Runners Up: Emily Payne, Olivia Elvy

  2. Air Ambulance praises long standing volunteer Jim Burrows as he steps down

    October 16, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has paid tribute to one of their longest serving volunteers, Jim Burrows after he retired from his duties this month.

    Jim has been a stalwart member of the Charity’s volunteering team for over 13 years and during that time has been a key figure in helping to develop and maintain links with individuals and groups in the Yeovil area.

    Over the years, Jim has given countless talks to a wide variety of groups and helped to spread the word about the Charity and its work.  He also took on responsibility for servicing over a hundred collection boxes, located in and around the local community; quite a physical task that also requires great attention to detail.  Throughout, he has been ably supported by his wife and in a brief ceremony, Charity staff thanked Jim and his wife Wyn for all they have done to help make Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance a household name, particularly in the Yeovil area.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said: “Volunteers like Jim do not come along everyday and he will certainly be missed.  He has helped us to establish a firm foothold in the Yeovil community and a body of support that we are very proud of.  Of course, we could not possibly say goodbye to Jim without also recognising the huge part that Wyn has played in helping Jim to fulfil his role as a volunteer.  We wish them both a very happy retirement.”

    With a small team of staff, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance relies on volunteers to help them in a variety of ways.  These include servicing collection boxes, giving talks, attending events or representing the Charity at cheque presentations to name a few.  If you would like to find out how you can support us in this way, please call: 01823 669604 or email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk


  3. Statement

    October 6, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    In light of further publicity regarding the use of personal data, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can once again reassure the public that we do not share or transfer their personal information to other charities. Any data held by ourselves is for our own use and enables us to respond to requests for merchandise or fundraising items, pay thanks to those who support us and communicate key information about the Charity to those that request it. We do not communicate with any person who has asked us not to and personal details are kept confidential at all times.

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is registered under the Data Protection Act which defines UK law and ensures that a person’s rights, freedoms and privacy with respect to the processing of their personal data is respected and adhered to at all times.

  4. Employee at Dorchester Business raises £1,643 for Air Ambulance

    September 29, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    A cheque for £1,643.63 was presented to Leanne Colverson, Fundraising Co-ordinator for Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance by Blueberry Mortgages Paul Butterworth, Sales Director & Chris Moyse, Compliance Director

    Margaret Crabb, Administrator at Blueberry Mortgages in Poundbury was touched personally by the life-saving service that the Air Ambulance provides. Her son suffered life-threatening head injuries as a result of a serious farming accident which triggered the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance flying in and taking him to Southmead Hospital, Bristol.

    Margaret said when questioned about why she was so generous with her time: “My son made an excellent recovery, all thanks to the speedy reactions of the Air Ambulance. It could have been a very solemn story without them.

    “They are such a vital service, I did what I could to help them in return for what they did for my son, and so many people we know locally.”

    Margaret has spent the last 12 months fundraising in the company with raffles, donations and giving her catering services for free to the many trainees who come for 5-day Mortgage Advisor training courses at the Widombe street HQ. She has spent hours making glorious buffets for the attendees and all the money raised has now gone towards the phenomenal work that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance continue to do.

    For more information about Blueberry Mortgages, please visit: www.blueberrymortgages.co.uk

  5. Bring a Pound to Work with Wessex FM

    September 22, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    On 1st September, Wessex FM launched ‘Bring a Pound to Work’ live on Carl Ashwin’s breakfast show. The fundraising initiative is asking people to bring a pound to work or school on Thursday 28th September to help raise funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    A big thank you to those who have already registered, this initiative is a great way to support our cause. If your workplace or school have not yet registered but would like to, don’t worry there is still time! All you need to do is register on the Wessex FM website and spread the word on social media using hashtag #bringapound.

  6. Show us your talent – Art Competition!

    by Lara Lucas

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has announced an Art competition for children under the age of 18. The Charity is asking for local schools and colleges to get involved by encouraging the children to take part and show off their artistic talent.

    The competition criteria is very simple and asks for either a painting or drawing which incorporates the Charity’s AW169 helicopter in some way, whilst making clear that it is Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    There are three age categories:

    • Under 5
    • Ages 6-11
    • Ages 12-17


    Why not enter and be in with a chance of being our special guest at an event later in the year and having your artwork appear in the next edition of our Beeline magazine.

    TO ENTER: Post your drawing or painting to:

    ‘DSAA Art Competition’ Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9JQ Please include your full name, postal address, telephone and/or email address on the reverse of your artwork.

    Closing date: Friday 20 October 2017.

    A judging panel will decide on the winning entry. The winner will be notified by Friday 27 October 2017.

  7. Buckham Fair Raise £99,000 for DSAA!

    by Lara Lucas

    Earlier this week, Buckham Fair, an annual vintage Fair comprising of Horse and Dog Shows as well as Food, Craft and Artisan exhibitors, held in Beaminster, Dorset, announced that the results of 2017’s fundraising efforts have again broken the record for the highest-ever funds raised since the began in 2008, totalling £99,000.

    Of 2017’s success, Martin Clunes said, “Our intention, through Buckham Fair, was to support local charities in our area who are changing lives daily. Following the huge success we saw in 2016, we were hoping to be able to better the funds raised this year, and we did it. Buckham Fair, which has been running for 9 years now, keeps getting bigger and better and sees support from all over the world.

    We are extremely proud of the continued support we receive from sponsors, exhibitors, suppliers, volunteers and visitors who give up so much of their time, and money, to join our cause. We are also especially thankful to the continued support from the Barclays volunteer team that contributed to this day being such a success.”

    Despite challenging weather conditions later in the day, Buckham Fair 2017 provided visitors to the event with an array of wonderful spectacles such as the Quack Pack and the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, including an appearance by Neil Morrissey and the Welsh Corgi League and their 30-strong corgi team.

    This year’s nominated charity to benefit from Buckham Fair’s fundraising effort is the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said: “Once again, as well as giving the dog and horse fans a real treat, Buckham Fair provided something for everyone and we saw nothing but smiling faces throughout the day. Of course, by the end of the day, they were wet smiling faces but that didn’t seem to matter.

    Given that the average cost of a mission is £3,000, we are incredibly grateful, on their behalf, that this amazing donation will help our Critical Care Team to reach 22 patients. That’s potentially 22 lives saved. What a gift!

    Next year’s event will be held on Sunday 19 August 2018 and will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary with all who attend.

    For more information about Buckham Fair please visit www.buckhamfair.co.uk or contact Event Secretary, Katy Roberts on info@buckhamfair.co.uk or 07732 697075.


  8. It’s National Air Ambulance Week!

    September 13, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    This week Air Ambulance charities across the UK are once again coming together to celebrate National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) in this the 30th year of helicopter emergency air ambulances (HEMS) in the UK.

    NAAW is an initiative created by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) and celebrates the work of local air ambulance charities, giving them a national voice and an opportunity to promote the work they do at a local level.

    Tracy Bartram, Communications Manager said: “This year, we are using National Air Ambulance Week to raise awareness of the work of our Charity and Clinical Team. We will be sharing some incredible stories from patients who have needed our service via our social media channels and asking the public to show their support by donating via text from their mobile phone: NAAW01 £5 to 70070.

    “Many supporters are holding events on our behalf, others are dressing down and going to school and work in mufti, all with an aim to raise funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance during National Air Ambulance Week. For this, we are extremely grateful.”

    To visit Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s social media channels visit:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DSAIRAMBULANCE

    Twitter:  @dsairambulance




  9. Help Us Name our 169

    August 18, 2017 by Tracy


    We are delighted to announce a competition to help find a name for our new AgustaWestland 169 helicopter.

    The aircraft became operational on 12 June 2017 and has already flown a number of life-saving missions.  Within hours of being on-line, our Critical Care Team were tasked to their very first incident which involved an adult male who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

    The Charity is now giving members of the public an exciting opportunity to help find the aircraft a name.  The selected name will be displayed upon the aircraft for all to see, for years to come.

    Suggested entries should sum up what the helicopter is all about and the important part it plays in the delivery of the service. Entries should be no more than 25 characters long (including spaces) and they should be submitted by email or post only.  The closing date is Friday 20th October 2017.  Entries via telephone or social media will not be accepted.

    A panel of judges, which will include both the Charity’s Patrons, Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell and Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Annie Maw, together with other representatives from the Charity will decide on the winning name when they meet on Tuesday 24th October 2017.  The winner will be notified on Friday 27th October and invited to an official event later in the year where the name will be unveiled.

    How to enter:

    Entries should be titled: ‘AW169 Naming Competition’ and include full contact details of the sender.  They should be submitted by email to: communications@dsairambulance.org.uk or via post to: DSAA, Landacre House, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9JQ.

    Click on our competition poster to find out more.  We look forward to receiving you ideas!

  10. Get ready for Buckham Fair

    August 15, 2017 by Tracy

    We are thrilled to have been nominated as Buckham Fair’s Charity of the Year for 2017. The event is truly spectacular and takes place on this coming Sunday (20th August).  Martin and Philippa Clunes, together with their organising committee, hold the Fair on an annual basis supporting local charities.  We were fortunate to be beneficiaries in 2011 and 2014 where £35,000 and £76,000 was raised which is absolutely incredible.

    Buckham Fair is a great, old-fashioned, vintage fair that takes place in Beaminster, Dorset. This family day out offers all visitors a wide variety of things to see and do, whether you enjoy the funfair, or browsing through some of the best local artisan creations, indulging in some of the finest local foods from the area, taking part in some of our many horse and dog show activities, or simply watching enjoying the spectacles in the main display ring – it has something to offer for everyone.

    This year’s event looks set to be the best yet with more incredible displays than ever.  One surprise recently announced is that there will be a very special guest attending this year.  Featuring in one of the dog show contests is the one and only, other Man-behaving-badly, Neil Morrissey.  For many who know Neil, you will be familiar with his antics as character Tony, sharing a flat with his best mate Gary (Martin Clunes).  Neil will be the special guest featured in the ‘Dog that looks most like Neil Morrissey’ class.  Definitely one not to be missed!

    A very big thank you goes to Buckham Fair for all their hard work and we simply can’t wait for this weekend!  No matter the weather, it’s going to be incredible!

    Gates open at 09.00 Tickets: £7 Adults, children under 16 go free! (Tickets are only available from the gate on the day.  No tickets sold in advance).

    To find out more about everything going on this year, visit: www.buckhamfair.co.uk

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