Media Release: 1st February 2022

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA) is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Charity of the Year’ category, at this year’s Somerset Business Awards (SBAs).

This year is the 17th anniversary of the SBAs, which are run annually by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. The judges faced a tough time whittling down a record-breaking number of entries this year, with companies, charities and individuals now vying for the honours to be crowned as winners in their award categories.

DSAA is proud to have been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Charity of the Year’ category, alongside two other charities, bibic and St Margaret’s Hospice Care. The award nomination recognises the exemplary work and achievements of DSAA over the past year, which have significantly improved the charity’s overall service delivery, for the benefit of its patients.

Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Chief Executive Officer said:

“By any measure, this has been an extraordinary year. Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to provide our 19 hour per day critical care service, without interruption. However, we have also made two significant additions to our service this year. 

Firstly, we have added an outreach car, staffed by a critical care practitioner to provide an enhanced care service in Somerset. As well as providing another emergency medical resource that can work alongside the ambulance service, it also provides a liaison link to the critical care team on the helicopter and enables it to be more accurately targeted to those in most need. 

Secondly, we have introduced our helicopter-based paediatric retrieval service, providing time-critical inter-hospital transfers for children across the South West. This initiative has taken some seven years to bring to fruition and we are proud to be the first local air ambulance in the country to do so.

These two initiatives will significantly add to the number of patients we can assist across Somerset and beyond. We are delighted that our life-saving, innovative and collaborative work has been recognised by the judges of the Somerset Business Awards and that we have once again been shortlisted as a finalist.”

Somerset Chamber Executive Director, Emma Rawlings said:

“It was great to see so many entries from both Chamber members and non-members from all corners of the county and representing a wide range of sectors and industries. These awards are the largest in Somerset and are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about our diverse business community and I’m looking forward to the grand final next month.”

This year’s awards ceremony is taking place at the Winter Gardens Pavilion in Weston-Super-Mare on Friday 11th March, hosted by BBC Presenter and Journalist, Claire Carter.