HELP part-funds Devon community helipad

East Prawle will have a helipad for the Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) to use thanks to the HELP appeal and local fundraising.

The Appeal donated £5,600 towards the East Prawle site, contributing to the £8,000 raised by the local community.

This donation means that more of the money raised by the Prowl Fair, private donations and Chivelstone Parish Council can by used for community services, such as local charities, community bus routes and events for the elderly.

Sean Jeffer, chair of Chivelstone Parish Council, said: “The helicopter night-landing site is of great important to the parish of Chivelstone and will help locals and tourists alike receive urgent medical treatment, especially at night.

“The generous donation from the HELP Appeal has allowed us to reallocate funds raised back to the local community and charities.”

Toby Russell, community helipads development officer for DAA, who is working closely with the community at East Prawle, said: “East Prawle, and indeed much of the South Hams, is an isolated part of our beautiful county: therefore, having community landing sites available to the service is essneitla.

“One of the first landing sites to go live was at nearby Kingsbridge Rugby Club, which has already been used at night.

“Just three days after we started night flying an elderly lady had a nasty fall and needed essential medical treatment at Derriford in Plymouth. 

“We’ve received such an amazing response from the community of East Prawle, and in particular we would like to thank the landowners Roger and Vicky Tucker, who are enabling DAA to land in their field and provide a valuable resource to the whole community.

“People don’t stop getting ill just because it’s dark, and these landing sites mean that we’re still able to get to the heart of the community and to anyone who should need us, be that a medical cause of a trauma-related injury, whether its dark or light.”

There are currently 23 fully operational landing sites up and running, with more than 100 further night-landing sites in development.

DAA has been awarded a grant of £1m from Libor Banking Fund, which puts the charity in a position to offer grants to help towards the cost of installing floodlighting.

Since 2009 the HELP Appeal has identified and helped to fund state-of-the-art helipads or upgrade existing infrastructure at 14 major trauma centres and A&E hospitals across the UK.