Young people at Devon County Show 2023 trying out the VR headsetsDevon Air Ambulance has teamed up with local business, View It 360, to offer virtual tours of the aircraft and 360 experiences to the people of Devon.  

The experience is a chance for local people to climb aboard the charity’s GDAAS helicopter and sit in the pilot’s seat, while learning more about the technology that keeps the crew flying.  

Charlotte Leventis, Head of Communications at DAA, said: 

“The VR experience that we have introduced gives us an amazing opportunity to engage with younger supporters in a new and exciting way. We are particularly pleased to offer this tour to those with restricted access who might not normally get to sit in the pilot’s seat, which is something we can now offer to everyone! We’re incredibly grateful to Noel and the team at View It 360 for their generous donation of two VR headsets so that we can continue to roll out these experiences across Devon”. 

With public events, school visits and talks planned throughout the summer, View It 360 supported DAA in the production of a full 360 tour of one of the charity’s lifesaving helicopters, providing incredible insight and access to the cockpit and other areas which would normally be out of bounds to the public. 

Noel Sexton, Director of View It 360 Ltd, said: 

We were delighted to work with DAA on this project, giving the public an opportunity to truly engage with the charity and its incredible, life-saving technology. Grounding the helicopters for fundraising events isn’t an option, so our VR headsets will allow the fundraising team to take the helicopters along with them! The facility to view spaces ‘virtually’ empowers everyone to feel included, regardless of physical ability or their location.

The partnership between these two local organisations offers virtually limitless potential as they continue to work together on more exciting projects, now and into the future.  

But the bond between both organisations runs much deeper than just your usual working relationship after Noel and his family wereThe parents of Noel of ViewIt360 directly impacted by DAA’s time-critical work: 

In 2005 my wife Nikki and I had a home birth of our son, Callum. After about an hour from birth, whilst feeding, he turned blue and stopped breathing. 

'DAAT took Callum and my wife Nikki to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where, thankfully, Callum was given the all clear and came home later that day. It is from this point we have had a connection with DAAT and support whenever we can, including my parents who have volunteered at events and collect the donation boxes for many years now.'

Tracy Owen looks after businesses that generously lend their time, money and resource toDevon Air Ambulance and promotes opportunities for organisations from across Devon to collaborate with the Trust. She said: 

“We’re always on the lookout for new ways to engage with local businesses, so when the opportunity to work with View It 360 presented itself we were thrilled!” 

Keep an eye out at future DAA events for the immersive 360 VR experiences but in the meantime enjoy a preview online.

 Young people explore the virtual tour of our aircraft