Devon Air Ambulance now has 17 (update: 19 by February 2018) charity shops across the county, and each one plays an essential part in saving lives. 

We pride ourselves in only selling donated stock in all of our shops, except for a few branded items, namely Christmas Cards, pin badges and reuseable shopping bags.

Raising funds to keep the helicopters flying is of course the shops’ first role but there’s so much more to our shops. It’s essential that we are at the heart of the community that we serve.  Our shops also act as local DAA Lottery agents, as outlets for our fundraising team to drop off items to those raising funds locally (and picking up afterwards), as well as taking in monetary donations from our amazing supporters.

By supporting our charity shops you are truly helping to save lives. Lives like eight year old Harry, who was out for a ride on his scooter just before Christmas when, for no known reason, he lost his balance and fell, with the handlebar catching his throat as he toppled. The effect was immediate.  Harry had a tear in his windpipe causing air to form under his skin with every breath he took. Despite Harry’s face, chest and stomach swelling rapidly, he and his dad remained calm and Harry was able to answer the DAA paramedic’s questions. 

It took just 30 minutes by air to get Harry and his dadto Bristol Children’s Hospital for essential treatment. He was put into an induced coma, which allowed for his windpipe to heal. Thankfully, due to the quick thinking of all involved, no surgery was required. We’re delighted to say that Harry was released from hospital on the afternoon of Christmas Day, after a visit from Santa.

Mum Justine said “We are just so grateful to everyone who helped Harry. Without the skills of all the paramedics and Dr Reed on board the helicopter, and the pilot flying him to Bristol so quickly, things could have been so different. We can’t thank everyone enough.”

On behalf of Harry and his family, and all our patients, thank you for your support. Without you we wouldn’t be able to help them. Thank you for being our lifesavers!

Would you like to help in one of our shops? Our volunteers are amazing people who donate their time and energy to our charity. Find out more about volunteering or register your interest with us in becoming part of our volunteers team.