1. Exmoor Flag Supports DSAA

    July 24, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Edward and Julie Christian presented £100 on behalf of the Exmoor Flag to Samantha Smith, Fundraising Support Administrator at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    The Exmoor Flag was selected from five shortlisted designs following an open to all competition, and is an official United Kingdom flag registered by The Flag Institute. The flag has no copyright so it is free to fly and use by anyone across the globe to celebrate the county of Exmoor.

    Following the flag’s launch three years ago with the support of the Exmoor National Park Authority, Edward and Julie now promote the Flag and run its retail operation. After its launch, Julie and Edward pledged that for each product sold, a small contribution would be made to both air ambulance services who cover the Exmoor region.

    Donations are made possible from a contribution of sales via the Exmoor Flag official online shop and wholesale orders from stockists around the region. Last year Devon Air Ambulance received a donation and now this is the first pledge to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

    Edward commented: “We are delighted once again to be able to give a small contribution from the sale of Exmoor Flag merchandise, this time to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Exmoor is a beautiful stunning area but its nature of being a remote rural location makes it harder to access in an emergency, so the services of the air ambulance are invaluable to its residents and visitors alike.”

    Julie added: “We are constantly looking at adding new lines to our existing range and have had some interesting ideas from our stockist and customers, including our latest product - Exmoor Flag bunting.  Most importantly, the more we sell the more we can give back and support the air ambulance.”

    For more information about the Exmoor Flag or to visit their online shop, visit: http://exmoorflag.co.uk/

  2. Events Supporting our Charity!

    July 21, 2017 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 in aid of the Charity!

    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.


    July 7, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    In addition to our weekly lottery, the Charity holds two GRAND LOTTERY DRAWS every year. These take place during the Summer and at Christmas. Our 2017 Summer Draw took place on Thursday 6th July. We were once again astounded by the amount of support we received as a total of £92,212 tickets were sold. Our congratulations go to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who took part!


    £1,000   Mr B Sharracks, Chard (Ticket number 53790)

    £250      Ms A Gale, Dorchester (Ticket number 395165)

    £150      Mr S Read, Shillingstone (Ticket number 383966) 

    £125      Mrs M Mortimer, Wimborne (Ticket number 605666)

    £100      Mr T Stennard, Bath (Ticket number 254969)

    To find out more about joining our Weekly Lottery Draw, please click HERE.

  4. WAGS show support for local charities

    June 23, 2017 by Lara Lucas
    Picture credit: Michael Streeter

    Picture credit: Michael Streeter

    Wyke Amateur Golf Society (WAGS) recently held a presentation event and handed over cheques for £1,000 to Ducks and Drakes Cancer Trust and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA).

    The event took place at Henstridge Golf and Leisure Club and both charities were presented with cheques by Dan Faulkner, Society Captain for WAGS.

    Trustees Carol Eavis and Liz Tite attended the presentation and received a cheque on behalf of Ducks and Drakes Cancer Trust.

    Liz said: “We would like to thank WAGS for their generous donation, we could not do all the things that we do without people raising money for us.”

    Volunteer Doug Wiggins was delighted to attend the presentation and to receive the cheque on behalf of DSAA. The Charity’s Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright wrote to WAGS to thank them for their donation saying: “What a fantastic gift, thank you and best wishes from everyone at DSAA.”

    WAGS have been running since 1988 and raise funds for various local charities and good causes. Since their inception, they have donated over £17,000. The society is made up of golfers of varying abilities from across North Dorset and the Blackmore Vale.

  5. Emergency Services Family Fun Day comes to Bournemouth this summer!

    June 19, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service will be bringing its Emergency Services Family Fun Day to Kings Park, Bournemouth on Saturday 22 July from 11am to 4pm.

    Following two very successful years at Poole Park, the free family event is making the move to Kings Park, Bournemouth to help the emergency services engage with new families and communities.

    Kings Park is situated just north of Boscombe town centre, next to AFC Bournemouth, where there is plenty of parking available.

    As in previous years, the Family Fun Day will be presented with Dorset Police, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and local education charity SafeWise.

    The Emergency Services Family Fun Day provides a platform for all of the ‘blue light’ services to demonstrate their appliances, equipment and skills in a safe and controlled environment.

    You and your family will be able to meet some of the great people who help to keep your community safe, with many activities and demonstrations for everybody to enjoy.

    See how Dorset Police use their highly trained police dogs, their specialist Marine Unit and their new drone fleet to tackle crime across Dorset. Meet paramedics and find out more about the local Air Ambulance. Learn how the Fire and Rescue Service rescues animals large and small. Experience how dangerous putting water onto a chip pan can be and see why installing sprinklers is the best way to stop a house fire in its tracks and so much more.

    Since its inception in 2010, the Emergency Services Family Fun Day has raised over £12,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity and SafeWise and promises to get the school summer holidays off to the perfect start.

    For further information, visit: https://www.dwfire.org.uk/

  6. Three new AW169 Air Ambulance helicopters take to the sky

    by Tracy

    It was a spectacular sight as three brand-new AW169 helicopters took to the skies for the very first time last week. This rare occurrence took place in the skies above Gloucester Airport, home of Specialist Aviation Services, where the three aircraft had been undergoing medical fit-outs to become the UK’s first AW169 Air Ambulances.

    The aircraft then flew to their new homes at three separate Air Ambulance charities - Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, and Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance.

    As the first of their kind to enter the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the UK – they are top-of-the-range when it comes to advancements in Medical Aviation. The state-of-the-art helicopters have advanced avionics and are the fastest response helicopter currently in the HEMS arena. The AW169 also has great endurance, allowing the pilots to fly for longer without the need to refuel.

    In addition, the new helicopters will provide many enhanced benefits to patient care; allowing medical crews 360 degree unobstructed access to their patients, greatly increasing the specialist critical care that can be delivered in flight and positively impacting upon a patients’ chance of survival and recovery. These outstanding characteristics, superior capabilities and first-class safety standards will ensure unprecedented levels of mission effectiveness and provide an enhanced life-saving service for patients.

    Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance CEO Bill Sivewright, said: “It has always been the charity’s aim and clear vision to pursue clinical excellence. Pairing Critical Care Teams with the outstanding capabilities of the AW169 is a natural development of that vision.”

    Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance CEO Adrian Bell, explained: “The enhanced capabilities of the AW169 will allow us to further improve the life-saving service we deliver to the community, and offers us the exciting potential to reconfigure how these services are delivered for maximum effect in the future.”

    Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance CEO Karen Jobling, added: “The AW169 will put our charities at the forefront of medical aviation as we strive to provide the very best critical care possible, giving some of the most critically ill and injured patients their very best chance of survival.”

    The AW169s with Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance are now operational and ready to be dispatched to some of the most serious, life-threatening or time-critical 999 calls every single day, 365 days a year, while Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance crews are undergoing a further period of training with their AW169, prior to it coming into service.

    As these charities receive no direct Government funding, this is only possible thanks to the people in the communities in which the Charities serve who help to raise the funds needed to keep their local Air Ambulance operational and saving lives.

    Photos kindly provided by Ed Hicks

  7. Dairy Dawdlers Charity Challenge

    June 15, 2017 by Lara Lucas

    Dairy DawdlersBV Dairy in Shaftesbury are taking on a huge sporting challenge for the very first time – all in the name of charity.

    On Saturday 17 June, a team of 4 (including BV Dairy’s Managing Director, Jim Highnam) are competing in a triathlon type event in the glorious but very rugged terrain near Keswick in the Lake District. The event includes an 8km cross country hike, a 10km canoe row and a 30km bike ride plus an obstacle course – just for good measure. Teams have to navigate their way around the gruelling course collecting points and avoiding time faults and could be out for in excess of 7 or 8 hours. This is truly not for the faint hearted!

    BV Dairy’s team, The Dairy Dawdlers, are one of over 100 teams taking part, including some with professional athletes, and have entered the basic level of ‘Tough’! To take on this challenge, the team and colleagues wishing to support them, have been training hard since the beginning of the year. This has included regular lunchtime runs that are open to all staff at the Dairy; a team of 10 entered the Rocket Race at Toomer Farm in April where everyone completed the course and made it back for a well-earned picnic; and one manager entered the ‘Jurassic 100’ – a 100km run/walk along the coast in just 24 hours!

    The other important part of the challenge is the charity element and all Staff at BV Dairy have been involved with fundraising for two great charities; Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and Greatwood.

    Fundraising has taken the form of lunchtime barbeques and serving breakfast rolls (both extended so colleagues on the night shift had a chance to enjoy some hot food either before or after their shift), cake and doughnut sales, chilli lunches (with the chilli made by one of the directors) and ice cream sales.  All have proved popular with employees and some elements will certainly be carried on even after the fundraising for this event is complete.

    Harry Cowan, Commercial Director at BV Dairy was keen to thank all those who have donated products to make the fundraising events possible and more importantly, far more profitable.

    “Working toward this event over the last few months has generated a very positive atmosphere here at the Dairy.

    “We are also grateful to all staff who have bought a burger or a cake.  As the directors here have supported the team and the event by paying for all entry fees, accommodation and transport costs and, where necessary, for equipment too, we are pleased that every penny raised goes to the charities selected by our staff.”

    Fundraising continues and anyone wishing to donate should visit BV Dairy’s Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/teams/bvdairy 


  8. New Era For Air Ambulance Patients In Dorset and Somerset

    June 12, 2017 by Tracy

    Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that its new AgustaWestland 169 (AW169) helicopter entered into service this afternoon.

    This becomes the first AW169 to enter air ambulance operational service in the UK and is the culmination of years of planning and development.   The aircraft was selected following an extensive evaluation process.  Its outstanding characteristics, superior capabilities and safety standards will ensure unprecedented levels of mission effectiveness and provide an enhanced life-saving service for the people of Dorset and Somerset.

    Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said:

    “It has always been the Charity’s aim and clear vision to pursue clinical excellence; pairing Critical Care Teams with the outstanding capabilities of the AW169 s is a natural development of that vision.  Patient benefit remains our top priority and this was the single biggest criteria in selecting the new aircraft.

    “Our ambitions and clinical aspirations determined a particular requirement from whichever aircraft we selected.  The capabilities and flexibility offered by the AW169 made it a clear winner and in our view it was the only aircraft which fully met our criteria.  Another major plus in selecting a new mark of aircraft is that you are taking advantage of the latest advances in technology.  That means that it is safer and easier to maintain and operate.

    The medical equipment in the AW169 will not be hugely different to that which was carried on the Charity’s previous aircraft, however, the biggest difference is the space inside the cabin.  This allows the Critical Care Team to have complete access to a patient, head to toe; a significant benefit if a patient needs further intervention or treatment on-route to hospital.

    Over the past few months, the life-saving service has increased its operating hours from 12 to 19 hours a day (07.00am – 02.00am).   During this time and in the hours of darkness, the crews have been deployed using a Critical Care Car.

    Bill continues:

    “We are most grateful to Specialist Aviation Services who operate the AW169 helicopter on our behalf.  They have worked closely with our clinical team to develop a medical interior that will enable them to more fully meet the needs of our patients than ever before.

    “The AW169’s night flying capabilities mean that we can now move forward into providing full night HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) missions.  Our team will have the ability to fly directly to the patient without the need of any fixed or pre-established lighting which is a significant advantage.  We are now looking forward to completing night HEMS training and subsequently operating the new aircraft for 19 hours a day.

    “Our approach has been truly innovative and as a result the AW169 has had to undergo very intense scrutiny by the European Aviation Safety Agency.  This is why it has taken a little longer than we had hoped for the aircraft to become operational, however it has certainly been worth the wait and we are delighted to now have clearance to fly.

    “The standard of clinical provision delivered by our Critical Care Team is arguably the best available anywhere.  That is a bold claim but one that I make quite confidently.  In the past year we have enhanced our team clinically, enhanced the service with the carriage of blood products increased our operational hours and can now ensure that these are all delivered in one of the most advanced helicopters available.

    This however, does not mean that we can rest on our laurels; our crews strive continuously to develop their knowledge and skills to ensure that the patients they attend receive the best treatment possible.  Their challenge to the Charity is to provide them with the right tools for the job.  I am proud to say that we can meet that challenge head on because of the incredible support of the people of Dorset and Somerset. Through their support, as members of our Flight for Life Lottery, individual or group donations from events and even by remembering us in their wills, they enable us to be everything that they want from their air ambulance.”

  9. Events Supporting our Charity!

    June 8, 2017 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 in aid of the charity!

    • Piddlehinton Open Gardens
    • Beachside Classic Vehicle Show
    • RISCA Choir in White
    • Companion Dog Show
    • VDub at the Pub


    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.

  10. Wyke Dorset Cottages show their support!

    June 2, 2017 by Tracy

    Adrian Culley with Tina Viksna and Leanne Colverson from Dorset and Somerset Air AmbulanceHolidaymakers to Dorset will get the chance to donate money to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance thanks to a new initiative set up by Wyke Dorset Cottages.

    The family-owned company, which has an office in Swanage, has chosen the Air Ambulance as its nominated charity and is asking all its holidaymakers to donate just £2 when they book their next break.

    Manager of Wyke Dorset Cottages, Adrian Culley said:

    “We are in complete awe of the amazing work carried out by the charity and are mindful of the amount of money it needs to keep the service going. Since its launch in March 2000, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has flown nearly 12,000 lifesaving missions – and during the busier, summer months can attend a jaw-dropping eight or nine incidents a day!  Their amazing response time means they can be at any place in the two counties in less than 20 minutes of receiving an emergency call – and more importantly can take a patient to any one of the Major Trauma Centres in the South West within a further 20 minutes. These extra minutes can make the difference between life and death.  With no direct Government or National Lottery funding, they rely entirely on the generosity of the public for support. We’ve set what we think is a fairly modest target of £2,000 in the first year and we hope, with your support, to raise even more to help keep them flying.”

    Tracy Bartram, Communications Manager at Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance said:

    “We are absolutely delighted that Wyke Dorset Cottages will be supporting the Charity this year.  It is with thanks to initiatives like this that we are able to continue our life-saving work.  Over the past year we have continued to strive for clinical excellence with patient benefit being our number one priority at all times.  Our operational costs are over £2 million a year, however this is likely to rise over the coming year due to the fact that our clinical team has almost doubled in size due to an increase in our operating hours, our new AW169 helicopter is due to enter service very soon and we have invested in a great deal of new clinical equipment and training activities. We are really looking forward to working with Wyke Dorset Cottages and thank everyone for their generous support.”

    To find out more information about the partnership, click HERE.


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