Devon Air Ambulance seeks to raise £10,000 in just 3 days

Devon Air Ambulance will be at Devon County Show this July where the charity will seek to raise £10,000 for the service over the show’s three-day duration. 

Off-duty members of Devon Air Ambulance crew will be attending this year’s Devon County Show along with one of their Critical Care Cars this weekend. Over the 3 days, the charity will aim to raise £10,000 to support the service throughout what is on trackto be one of their busiest summers yet.

The show embodies much of what is most loved about Devon and represents many of the communities Devon’s air ambulance service attends; not least those in rural and equestrian communities, but also people who live in, work in and visit Devon’s towns and villages, coast and countryside.

The target of £10,000 will offer a much-needed boost to the charity’s income following a challenging year for fundraising.

Devon Air Ambulance prepares for a busy summer ahead

With two dramatic coastlines, many miles of rugged moorland and a countryside punctuated with hundreds of charming villages and many family attractions – all reached by many miles of winding roads, Devon is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for holidaymakers and those seeking a staycation. 

In 2021, a year in which post-lockdown restrictions limit access to destinations abroad, the southwest is even more attractive to those seeking some long-awaited downtime. 

In a normal year and as a tourist hot-spot, Devon inevitably gets busier in the summer months, but a post-lockdown boom in activity looks set to mean more missions for the Air Ambulance charity that serves the county.

Devon Air Ambulance’s post-lockdown peaks in activity

Following the introduction of the first lockdown in mid-March 2020, activity noticeably dropped during March and April that year. However, as people began to return to the workplace and when schools re-opened in May/June, followed by non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants in July/August, the service experienced a prolonged busy period.  

Demand for the service persisted right through to October in a way that it had not the previous year, as those who had found themselves confined in the early part of the year made the most of their newly regained freedom.  

Later in 2020 as the tiered system followed by a second lockdown came into force for the duration of October/November, crews returned to normal levels of deployment.  

The lift to lockdown 2 in early December resulted in another spike of activity for the service. January and March 2021 have been the busiest January and March in 6 years and February 2021 was the second busiest February in that time, with only February 2018 being busier.   

As the third lockdown eased, the service has seen another significant increase towardsthe summer months. For example, crews were deployed to more road traffic collisions in April 2021 than in any single month during either of the past two summers, which would typically be busy times of year for the crews with more traffic on the roads. April and May 2021 have been the busiest April and May in the last 6 years. 

If the trend for post-lockdown spikes in deployment continues, coupled with the tendency for summer to be a busy time for Devon and its influx of visitors in a ‘normal’ year, the service is expecting and planning for a busy summer 2021 as crews are called to attend road traffic collisions, medical incidents, sports and leisure incidents and accidental injuries.  

And with more of us determined to enjoy the sea, the pubs and restaurants, the outdoor opportunities, unfortunately there is even more occasion for people to fall ill or become injured, whether at home or visiting. 

Falling ill or becoming injured on holiday

It is not just Devon residents that fall ill during the busier times of year. Devon drawsmany visitors from out of county who are looking to enjoy a trip to the southwest, but sometimes those trips can take an unexpected turn.

One such patient was Laura Negus from Gloucestershire, who had been enjoying a holiday to North Devon with her husband when bad luck befell her while she was horse riding along Saunton Sands. Laura was riding at the back of the group when her horse stumbled, and she was thrown into the rising tide. The combination of physical injuries and the time Laura had spent submerged, unconscious in the waves, meant Devon Air Ambulance’s crew had to be swift to act in this time-critical situation. Laura’s journeyof recovery has included intensive physiotherapy, though despite the possible long-term consequences of the accident she is making a remarkable recovery.

Help to keep Devon’s holidays happy 

As a service that is made possible thanks to the incredible support of the communities and visitors to the region whom the charity attends, Devon Air Ambulance welcomesyour continued support.

Devon Air Ambulance is 100% independent of Government funding and every penny donated or raised by supporters helps us to save lives. 

If you are heading to Devon County Show on the weekend of July 2nd, be sure to visit the team at stand 253 on Road 8 opposite the bandstand.

Donate to help Devon Air Ambulance to reach their £10k target during the 3 days they are at Devon County Show here: http://bit.ly/DAAShow

The Exeter Daily