1. Say cheese!

    January 30, 2015 by Lara Lucas

    Mike Peters - 1st Place (2)

    There were smiles all round as members of the Bournemouth Electric Camera Club held their Annual Photography Exhibition recently. The camera club, who chose Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance as their charity of the year, received 153 entries which were all judged by Alan Clarke. The event was held at the club and the winning photograph ‘Best of Friends’ was taken by Michael Peters.

    Joy Whittingham, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance volunteer, was invited to speak at the event and to present the prizes. Joy said: “The photographs exhibited were fabulous! It was a great occasion and the group raised £574 which was an excellent achievement”.

  2. Volunteers needed!

    January 29, 2015 by Lara Lucas

    boxesDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance are currently looking for volunteers to help us service our collection boxes in and around the Dorchester
    and Bridport areas.

    If you are able to help us by joining up as a volunteer, please call us on: 01823 669604 or email: info@dsairambulance.org.uk  For more information on volunteering, please click HERE.

  3. Entries closed for Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge

    January 5, 2015 by Tracy

    Cyclists start at Watchet HarbourDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that their 5th annual Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Challenge is now fully booked for 2015.

    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 17th May 2015. 

    With only 600 places available and demand expected to be high, it was no surprise that the event sold out so quickly and all places have now been filled.

    The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge offers two different routes and distances.  With a mixture of quiet back roads, interspersed with some very demanding climbs and equally hairy descents, the event has something to offer for everyone. 

    The brilliant 54 mile cycle which starts in the Somerset port of Watchet and finishes at West Bay near Bridport will not disappoint.  A shorter 11 mile route begins at Drimpton in Dorset and also finishes at West Bay.

    Last year’s event saw cyclists of all ages and abilities take part, raising over £60,000 for the life-saving charity. 

  4. Vobster Santa Dive & Swim Success

    December 18, 2014 by Tracy

    Santa SwimA great day was had by all at this year's Vobster Santa Dive and Swim!

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance attended on the day with volunteers Pauline Collins, Dave Collins and Helen Jefferis.  Pilot, Phil Merritt who is pictured with our volunteers, joined in the fun and dressed accordingly as Santa!  

    Santa Swim

    Our team set up an information and merchandise stall and sold raffle tickets for which Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance will benefit.  

    The sponsor money for the Santa dive/swim will once again go to the RNLI.



  5. Charity of the Year for Bluebird Care

    by Tracy

    Charity of the Year launchBluebird Care Dorset is proud to announce that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has been selected as their Charity of the Year for 2015.

    The Air Ambulance was the winner of a staff vote that saw them not only come out on top overall but also achieve the greatest level of support from each of Bluebird Care Dorset’s individual offices.

    Director of Bluebird Care Dorset, Joanne McMahon said, "We felt that it was important for our Charity of the Year to be chosen by our staff so we invited each of our office teams to nominate two charities to be short-listed and then our Care Workers voted for the charity that they wished to fundraise for in 2015."

    Bex Symes, Care Manager of Bluebird Care Dorset’s Dorchester office said, "The Air Ambulance was one of the charities selected by my Dorchester office to be short-listed.  I am delighted that we will be championing this cause for 2015 as it is a hugely worthwhile cause much in need of public support."

    Co-Director of Bluebird Care Dorset, Chris Scriven said, "We have tasked each of our office teams with holding at least two fund-raising events over the coming year and I will be organising further company-wide events to boost these efforts.  We will also have a collection pot in each office throughout the year.  My understanding is that for each mission flown by the Air Ambulance £2,500 of public support is needed.  We have therefore set ourselves a fund-raising target of £5,000 for the year as it would be great  have covered the cost of two missions.  At Bluebird Care Dorset, our care at home services can often involve helping people to get back onto their feet and regain independence after an accident or operation.  We recognise that the Air Ambulance works at very much the acute end of this type of service and we have a huge amount of respect for what they do."

    Leanne Colverson, DSAA Fundraising Coordinator was delighted and said, "We are thrilled with this announcement. We can only raise the £1.7 million a year it costs to keep flying with the support of the public and businesses like Bluebird Care Dorset.  It’s exciting to hear some of the fundraising ideas already in the pipeline and we are really looking forward to working with the Bluebird Care team over the coming year.”

  6. Grand Christmas Draw Results!

    by Tracy

    Flight for Life LotteryIn addition to our weekly lottery, the Charity holds two GRAND LOTTERY DRAWS every year.  These take place during the Summer and at Christmas.  Our 2014 Christmas Draw took place on Wednesday 17th December.  We were astounded by the amount of support we received this year as a total of 106,291 tickets were sold.  Our congratulations go to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who took part!


    £1,000       Mrs C Greenwood, Bishops Lydeard (Ticket number 130413)

    £250          Mrs C Clauson, Poole (Ticket number 495736)

    £150          Mrs J Rice, Weymouth (Ticket number 549666)

    £125          Mrs J Sexton, Burton Bradstock (Ticket number 397473)

    £100          Mrs J Lane, Melbury Abbas (Ticket number 615384)



  7. Air Ambulance Service of the Year!

    December 15, 2014 by Tracy

    o	Left to right:  Karen Hopps (Publisher Health Business Magazine), Bill Sivewright (DSAA Chief Executive Officer), Tina Viksna (DSAA Fundraising Manager) and Dr. Sarah Jarvis

    o Left to right: Karen Hopps (Publisher Health Business Magazine), Bill Sivewright (DSAA Chief Executive Officer), Tina Viksna (DSAA Fundraising Manager) and Dr. Sarah Jarvis

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has been named as the Health Business Awards Air Ambulance Service of the Year for 2014.

    The awards, which promote examples of excellence and best practice in hospitals, trusts, clinical commissioning groups and other organisations that work inside and alongside the NHS took place on 4 December at the Grange Hotel in London. 

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were shortlisted in the category alongside their colleagues from East Anglian Air Ambulance, Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, Midlands Air Ambulance and Wales Air Ambulance. 

    The Charity’s selection for the award was in recognition of its innovation, commitment and passion for excellence behind the establishment of a post-graduate education programme in Advanced Paramedic Practice for all its paramedics run in association with the University of Hertfordshire.  The programme has drawn together health professionals from across Dorset and Somerset to deliver the training and support required.  This has maintained the local focus, fostered excellent relationships with the regional NHS Trusts and ensured the maximum patient benefit from the outset.

    In its continual drive for clinical excellence, the Charity has also procured a significant array of specialist operational and training equipment and undertaken training with police and fire services for incidents where joint working is an essential element. . 

    Patient receives care from Air Ambulance crewDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said, “We are constantly striving to look for new and innovative ways in which we can enhance the service for the benefit of our patients and we are extremely proud to have received this award. 

    “The focus for our nomination was the post graduate education programme which we established for our paramedics and shows the value we place on their continuous development.  

    “This award recognizes the contribution made by our crew, staff, trustees and volunteers to develop and deliver our life-saving service. It also shows the part played by the general public who support us so generously and we say a big thank you to them.”

    The work of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was also recognised earlier this year when members of their team were shortlisted in three categories at the Association of Air Ambulances Awards of Excellence 2014.

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has attended over 10,000 incidents since its launch in March 2000, saving many lives and aiding recovery with outstanding immediate care and rapid delivery to the hospital best suited to meet the patient’s needs.

  8. Entry form for 2015 Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge now available

    by sws-admin

    We are pleased to announce that online registration for next year's Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge is now available.

    The race will take place on Sunday 17th May 2015.

    Click here to access the entry form

  9. Winners! Air Ambulance Service of the Year

    December 4, 2014 by Tracy

    IMG_0979We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the 2014 Health Business Awards - Air Ambulance Service of the Year.  The awards ceremony took place this afternoon in London.  Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance were shortlisted in the category alongside our colleagues from:  East Anglian Air Ambulance, Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, Midlands Air Ambulance and Wales Air Ambulance.  

    A big congratulations to the whole team!



  10. Potentially 800 more lives a year saved by Chancellor’s Statement

    December 3, 2014 by Tracy

    George OsborneThe Association of Air Ambulances (AAA), which represents the majority of Air Ambulance operations in the UK has welcomed today’s announcement from UK Chancellor, George Osborne which sees the relief of VAT to all charities who work as part of the Emergency Response Service and a further allocation of £7.5 million extra support for air ambulance charities across the UK.

    The announcement gives the air ambulance charities a VAT saving of approximately £10 million over the next five years enabling them to invest further in their life-saving work.

    The Chancellor also announced an allocation of £1 million to Great Western Air Ambulance, £1.5 million to Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance Trust and a potential further £5 million being made available to all air ambulance charities.

    AAA National Director, Clive DickinClive Dickin, AAA National Director said;

    “We are delighted with the Chancellor’s announcement today.  In April’s budget the Chancellor introduced a rebate for VAT and duty charged on aviation fuel where it is used in helicopter emergency medical service missions of which we were extremely grateful.

    “Today’s announcement comes following further lobbying and we have worked closely with our members, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) and the RNLI to deliver the result on VAT.  The saving of £10 million over the next 5 years equates to 800 more patients per year being treated, potentially saving lives and improving patient outcomes.

    The announcement sees not only a financial saving but also a relief of the administrative burden, allowing charities to recover all VAT and being able to treat all expenses equally across its operation. The use of trading companies and complex systems will no longer be required as a result of VAT relief.

    Although the finite detail has not yet been fully provided, the AAA will be working with the Treasury and HMRC to gain a better understanding of this exciting news and advising its members of the resultant changes.

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