DSAA has received a very special gift in the form of a £15,000 legacy from long-time supporter of the charity, Jeremy Connell. 

Jeremy’s widow, Anna, volunteered for DSAA for 15 years, servicing, banking, and thanking a large number of collection box sites scattered across the villages of Exmoor. Knowing how much pleasure Anna got through her volunteer role, Jeremy joined her in 2017 after he retired. Together they helped to raise over £30,000 and increased awareness of the charity’s work in such a remote area of Somerset.

In March, Anna, alongside Jeremy’s brothers Simon and Bob, and sister-in-law Deborah, visited our team at Henstridge to remember him and the wonderful legacy that he had left.

Sharing some of her memories, Anna said: 

DSAA was so very close to our hearts. Jeremy and I felt proud to be able to do what we could to support them. Whilst servicing the collection boxes, we built up a great rapport with most of the shops and pubs. It got to a stage where even if we were not wearing uniform, people recognised us. I have so many happy memories and we were so pleased to be able to count all that money over the years. 

Jeremy loved driving and used to come out with me whilst he was still working. We would come home and he would continue his work, whilst I counted the money and then he would check it. It was a great team effort. It wasn’t until Jeremy retired that he really learnt how to count. As you can imagine there was an awful lot of pennies in the boxes and many of those little 5ps too. Jeremy would count those up and stack them high, before they fell over, every time. 

Volunteering for DSAA was something special that we could do together, something that we minded about. That’s why I retired when Jeremy passed away, as I could not do it in the same way. However, I still hold my annual village plant sale and a Christmas Fayre in aid of DSAA and have done so for many years. I have just finished putting 600 tiny plants in the greenhouse, waiting for them to grow to sell at this year’s plant sale in May. Let’s hope the weather picks up and helps them to blossom.

Tracy Bartram, DSAA Communications Manager said:

Thank you never seems enough when we receive legacy gifts such as this from Jeremy.
The bequest of £15,045.21 will help our life-saving crew continue their work and be there for patients when they need us the most. Jeremy was a wonderful man and we are extremely grateful for this special gift. Anna remains close to our hearts and her ongoing support is both wonderful and kind.

Note: Jeremy’s legacy also included a generous bequest to the RNLI.