Alex Tapp of Awliscombe, near Honiton, needed the Devon Air Ambulance nearly 20 years ago. He now runs a farm machinery sales business and decided to mark the 20-year anniversary of the incident with a generous donation. Alex tells the story (Summer 2020)…

'I work in the agricultural industry and 20 years ago this December I had an accident whilst working on a dairy farm near Cullompton. I was 16 years old at the time when a large stack of straw bales toppled over, falling on me, which resulted in me breaking my femur, requiring surgery for a metal rod to be fitted, and also damaging my shoulder. Fortunately, Devon Air Ambulance came to the rescue and airlifted me to hospital. I am forever grateful for the service they provided that day.

'I am still working in agriculture, but have since started my own business selling used farm machinery, based in Awliscombe just outside Honiton, Devon. With it being Farm Safety Week at the time of writing, I was wondering how I could raise some funds to donate to the service that helped me, I realised that even with social distancing, an event would not be allowed and that their fundraising income would have been severely impacted this year.

'So, instead, I decided I would donate £1,000 from the sale of my next Tractor to DAA. Local farmer, Martin Greenslade, from Cullompton, came to view our CASE IH CX90 and upon discussing price I stated my intention to donate to DAA. I couldn’t believe it when he said that he, too, had been airlifted by DAA. His accident was six years ago – again, due to a farming accident, in which he fell from a stack of bales. Not surprisingly, we were both delighted to know that DAA would benefit from the donation; this way, everyone’s a winner.”

'Handing over the keys of his new tractor to Martin, and the cheque to Brian Chapman, Community Fundraiser at Devon Air Ambulance, Brian promoted another fundraising initiative for the farming community: VPlough’20. In the absence of live events and matches, due to Covid-19, the event is a virtual competition, featuring a range of classes and for a range of agricultural vehicles, complete with cash prizes! Read more about it!

Do you have a fundraising story you would like to share? Whether you are a former patient or not we would love to hear from you and potentially celebrate your very welcome fundraising efforts.