NFU Mutual has allocated a £2m national fund to support local frontline charities through a newly launched “Agency Giving Fund”. The funds are being distributed across the UK to local agencies who nominate their own charities. The team in Tiverton is donating their monies £6,451.62 direct to Devon Air Ambulance, with the Exeter and Beaworthy teams also both donating the much-needed funds.

Personal experience of the service

Staff members at the NFU Mutual offices have had personal experience of our services; Thalia, NFU Commercial Specialist at Exeter, shares her story here:

‘My baby girl, who was critically ill, almost needed Devon Air Ambulance for an Inter Hospital Transfer to Birmingham...

'In January 1997, our baby girl Holly was just 9 weeks old and very poorly with bronchiolitis. While being treated at Torbay hospital her condition suddenly worsened, she stopped breathing and needed to be resuscitated. I can’t remember much because I think I went into a shock as Holly was rushed into Intensive Care. Torbay didn’t have paediatric intensive care unit then, so she was a tiny little thing placed in an adult’s bed and unit whilst the team tried to find a suitable bed for her in Exeter or Bristol. Neither had a bed available and that’s when a potential transfer to Birmingham Children's Hospital was mentioned.

‘I remember them saying that the Devon Air Ambulance was on standby to assist. It was scary and dramatic, but I recall being comforted by the fact the helicopter was there for us if required. Time seemed so critical but eventually, a bed in Exeter was made free so the helicopter wasn’t required for a trip to Birmingham after all.

‘Holly is now an Interventional Radiographer based in Derriford Hospital in the trauma centre, predominantly treating patients suffering from a stroke, so she encounters the Air Ambulance team regularly. Every minute really counts and their quick intervention could save someone’s life.

‘This is our story, but another main reason for donating to DAA is because we work with a lot of farmers, people and businesses in rural or coastal areas which land ambulances could struggle to attend to in time, and they heavily rely on the speedy access and response that DAA provides. It is a vital service to those in rural areas and we feel honoured to be able to assist in a small way with our NFU Mutual Charitable Donation.'

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Assisting patients in every community

The Tiverton Agency’s story goes back to when the DAA crew attended an Exeter team member’s Grandparent and whose sister-in-law is now a partner at the Tiverton site; they thought Devon Air Ambulance was very worthy of the full donation.

Kerry at the Beaworthy office nominated DAA, as she herself was only airlifted by us a month ago after suffering what was thought to be a stroke. Kerry was so pleased to have received a call from one of our Patient Liaison Clinicians (PLCs) Adrian Parker. Our team of three PLC’s support the patients we treat after their ordeal, allowing them the opportunity to be able to ask questions about their incident and understand a little more about what happened that day. Karen said this really helped her get through her scare.

Hatlia Waller, Exeter Partner said:

We are all very grateful for the wonderful work that Devon Air Ambulance undertakes in supporting our local community at this difficult time, hence why local agencies are so pleased to put forward this worthy charity to receive these funds.

Tracy Owen, Devon Air Ambulances' Business & Lottery Engagement Officer said:

We are so grateful to receive these three very meaningful donations from NFU Mutual that will greatly benefit our service. Our clinical teams continue to respond every day, easing the suffering of the critically ill and injured patients that need our help throughout Devon and the South-West. We are anticipating that this summer will be our busiest ever so the timing of these significant donation is fantastic.

It's thanks to supporters in businesses and communities across Devon that we are able to assist patients like Holly and Kerry. As a charity that is 100% independent of Government funding we continue to welcome  your support. 

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