Former patient and long-standing supporter Alan Gill and his wife Jennifer raised over £2,000 for Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) with an Open Day in the Barn as a joint celebration of Alan’s 75th birthday and Alan and Jennifer’s 5th wedding anniversary.

On Saturday 30th July 2016, Alan and Jennifer opened their barn to friends and family and raised an incredible £1,961.89. The event saw a terrific turn out with over 200 guests, including from as far as Doncaster and Essex. DAA are also awaiting the Gift Aid donation from HMRC which was made on some of the day’s donations which will bring the total to in excess of £2,000. Jennifer said,“we are thrilled with the amount we have raised; it is such a worthy cause as they saved Alan's life some 12 years ago, so we are, understandably, truly indebted.”

The welcome sound of the chopper

Alan Gill was airlifted on the 2nd September 2004 after crashing from 100 feet in a Microlight aircraft in North Devon; he landed upside down with fuel pouring over him. Alan was pulled from the wreckage by a local farmer and a white van driver who had witnessed the accident. Land ambulances and fire engines arrived at the scene before the Air Ambulance was called to attend. “I was going in and out of consciousness and apart from having to keep giving my name and date of birth I clearly remember hearing the blades of the chopper arriving,” Alan says.

Alan had damaged his right shoulder and underwent surgery on his right leg, after 28 days in hospital Alan went home to make a full recovery. Jennifer says, “That is why we will always remain indebted to Devon Air Ambulance because without them Alan would definitely not be alive today.”

A classic occasion

The Open day in the Barn included a display of 37 classic cars from the  Devon Vintage Car Club (DVCC) and the  Exeter MG Club, a raffle with nearly 60 prizes, clay pigeon and rifle shooting, ferret racing and food provided by local caterers including birthday and anniversary cakes which were enjoyed by all. There was also live entertainment which included the Hatherleigh Handbell Ringers as well as performances from friends and family, including violinists.

Fundraising Director, Caroline Creer, says,“We are so pleased that Alan went on to make a full recovery and so grateful that he has chosen to support us over the years. We would like to thank Alan and Jennifer for the incredible amount of funds raised from their Open Day in the Barn. To have our patients continue supporting and fundraising for us 12 years after an airlift demonstrates the value of our service.”

Alan and Jennifer would like to offer their sincere thanks to all who attended and supported Devon Air Ambulance and we would like to thank both of them for their many successful fundraisers, which they've held for Devon Air Ambulance over the past 12 years.

Do you have a patient story you'd like to share with us? We'd love to hear from you as our patients' stories help our messages to be heard.

Are you interested in setting up a fundraiser in aid of our service? We've plenty of fundraising ideas, or you can share your idea with us and we'd be happy to help you get set up.

Alan and Jennifer Gill at their special fundraiser