Category Archives: Charities


Children of all ages are invited to take their Mums for a Mothering Sunday (March 26, 2017) treat at a boutique Devon hotel to help raise funds for charity close to the owner’s heart.

The Jubilee Inn in West Anstey near South Molton is supporting Cancer Research UK by hosting special ‘Perfectly Pink’ champagne teas for mothers on Saturday 25 March 25 and Sunday 26 March.

Claire Sellar-Elliott, co-owner of the luxury country inn that offers gastropub/fine dining food and designer B&B rooms, who is also a mum-of-four and a cancer survivor herself, explained: “Mums are the unsung heroes of the world, without a pay cheque, or the numerous ‘thank yous’ they deserve, so at least once a year we should remember how amazing a Mum is and how lucky we are to have them, and let them know by a gesture how loved and appreciated they truly are.”

After a divorce and disabling liver cancer diagnosis, Claire left a career as a partner in a law firm in London’s West End in 2012 to follow her dreams of running a country house hotel on Exmoor where she used to spend her childhood holidays riding.

Claire added: “With my four young children and the incredible support of my family, we all set about renovating and rebuilding The Jubilee Inn together while I fought Hepatocellular cancer (HCC), underwent countless operations, received a live donor liver transplant from my brother Barrie Elliott and continued to live with and treat the recurring HCC in my lungs with chemotherapy, radio-frequency ablation and resections as and when necessary and continuing. My family has shown remarkable fortitude throughout and my Mum was a rock, this is why we’ve chosen to support this wonderful charity in this way.

“Bring your Mum for a special Mothering Sunday or Saturday treat with us to show her how much you care, while also raising funds for Cancer Research UK with each booking by donating £5. Also for every Mum booked in to stay with us during the Mothering Sunday weekend, we will donate a further £5 to this amazing charity too.”

The Jubilee Inn is offering its ‘Perfectly Pink’ luxury champagne tea on Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March from 11am until 12 noon and from 2.30pm until 6pm. The tea is priced £24.50 each or £45 for two.

Claire continued: “Enjoy a selection of pink finger sandwiches, homemade pink scones, strawberry clotted cream, homemade ‘pink’ cake, mini ‘pink’ desserts with pot of tea and a glass of Brut Rose Pierre Gobillard Premier Cru. Advance bookings only. £5 will be donated per booking to Cancer Research UK.”

After having spent three years closed, Claire and her family fully refurbished and re-launched The Jubilee Inn in 2015 with the help of Executive Chef and co-owner Sam Salway.

“We’ve created a successful restaurant and boutique B&B with an excellent reputation for ambience, customer service and fabulous food. We’re open throughout the week except Mondays, serving seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced from nearby. We also have six beautiful and individual guest rooms that are all luxurious and inviting. We wanted to create a real home from home atmosphere, with all the little extra luxuries!”

All the bedrooms are ‘uniquely different’ and some have four-poster beds. They have en suite bathrooms with showers and beds with Vi-Spring mattresses and crisp linens.

Claire added: “We provide our guests with luxurious accommodation, fabulous fine dining in our restaurant or classic comfort food in our bar. All our dishes are cooked to perfection, feature local and regional seasonal produce and are accompanied by fine wines and ales.

“We’ve also put together a special one-night stay at the hotel for Mums. If you book your mum and a guest in for a one-night break, either the Friday or Saturday night of the Mothering Sunday weekend, it will cost just £180.

“For every additional generation of mother in any family booking, staying with us, so, for example, where there is a mother and grandmother booked in together, we will donate £5 per mum to Breast Cancer Research.”

For further details about The Jubilee Inn, which is on the B3227 at West Anstey near South Molton, please call 01398 341401 or visit


‘Sing Out Louise’ – a touching and exhilarating event – takes to the stage at the Regal Theatre for two performances on Sunday 12 March.  Internationally acclaimed acts perform alongside talented local groups for one massive ‘sing out’ in honour of friend and fellow entertainer, the late Louise Doolan.

Audiences will be treated to an energetic and uplifting show starring Bucks Fizz and featuring tributes to Take That and Madonna.  Also performing will be vocalist Max Hutton, LA Dancers, Taunton Amateur Operatic Society, Fusion, Dunster First School choir and Dynamix, a close harmony vocal group. What better way to spend a Sunday!

All Acts appearing are linked personally and professionally to Louise and are all giving their services for free. All profits from this event will be donated to the charity Hope for Tomorrow.

Performances on 12 March begin at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.  Tickets costing up to £8 are now available from the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am-3pm Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm Saturday.

PHOTO: Bucks Fizz will be singing at the event.


Somerset Wildlife Trust is pleased to present the return of its successful Somerset Nature Reserves Fund. Launched in 2016, the Fund was established to raise money to safeguard some of Somerset’s most iconic landscapes and precious wildlife, and has already helped achieve some enormous gains for wildlife across the county. The Trust hopes that this year it will be able to do the same with the help and support of wildlife lovers across Somerset who will hopefully kindly donate this year.

Tim Youngs, Director of Land Management, explained, “In Somerset we are incredibly lucky to have some amazing habitats from internationally renowned wetlands and ancient woodland, to species-rich grassland and magnificent meadows, each requiring specific conservation programmes in order for the unique biodiversity to not only survive, but thrive.

“Our nature reserves within these special places are the bedrock upon which we are able to deliver critical conservation work and, to ensure these special places are kept healthy, an incredible amount of planning and resource is involved – our reserves cost nearly £2,000 a day to maintain, which is a significant outlay.  As the seasons and weather change, we have to continually adjust and fine-tune our work and habitat programmes, such as grazing management – with the failure to provide the necessary feeding and breeding grounds at certain times potentially having detrimental consequences for species the following year.

“Having extra funds not only means that we can continue with our practical conservation work on our reserves, but helps us to be prepared for what the future may hold. We will be able to respond faster and provide on the ground solutions when we are faced with unforeseen challenges – such as ash dieback.”

The Fund last year supported some amazing results for wildlife and was critical in conserving habitats for populations of some of Somerset’s most charismatic wildlife, from otters to dormice. The county is now the stronghold for Bittern, with five booming males recorded last year on Somerset Wildlife Trust’s National Nature Reserve Westhay Moor, thanks to the restoration of their reedbed habitat. And the Trust’s Green Down Reserve now holds 36% of the UK population of Large Blue Butterfly.

Katie Arber, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, added, “It is very clear from the response we received last year that Somerset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves are held dear by many people. Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Our members and supporters have been always been generous and we hope that they will give what they can again for what is a very important fundraising initiative for the Trust.  We also hope the wider public and local businesses who value their green spaces, and understand and appreciate their value in their lives, will support the Fund and help us ensure Somerset remains a wildlife rich county.”

For more information on the Fund and some examples of where monies raised will be spent, please visit Somerset Wildlife Trust’s website:

Any gift given to The Somerset Nature Reserves Fund will go directly to wherever the need is greatest on Somerset Wildlife nature reserves, ensuring that they are kept in the best possible condition to support wildlife and our conservation goals.  You can donate securely by card on our website (link above) or by telephoning 01823 652429. Every donation, whatever the size, will make a difference.

PHOTO: Hazel dormouse by James Maben.


At 21.50 on the evening of 20 January in the Tedburn St Mary area, one of Devon’s Air Ambulances was targeted by a green coloured laser. The crew were on their way to Holsworthy to help an elderly lady who had fallen and needed essential medical treatment at the major trauma centre in Plymouth.

The increasing sales of powerful hand held laser pens have always been considered to be a viable threat to all aircraft but this is the first significant incident involving Devon Air Ambulance, which has occurred only a few weeks after the introduction of night operations.

Rob Mackie, DAA’s Safety Manager and a helicopter pilot with 34 years of experience, said: “Thankfully, on this occasion, due to a quick-thinking crew member, the team were able to continue to Holsworthy to help the patient. However, we recognise that should this have not been the case, and had a crewmember received injuries to their eyes or if the crew had been temporarily blinded, it might have meant aborting the mission and us not being able to get to a patient in need.

Rob continued: “Hand-held lasers are not illegal in this country and they are usually quite low powered and suitable as presentation pointers.  However, it is very easy to acquire military strength lasers on the internet at very low prices and it is the misuse of these higher powered lasers that has caused the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and other industry bodies to call for them to be classed as offensive weapons.

“I am sure that most laser attacks are caused by thoughtlessness rather than malicious intent so we would call on anyone with a laser to think of the consequences before they shine them towards an aircraft. Lasers can cause a catastrophic blinding light and can quite easily damage a pilot or crew members eyes or distract the pilot enough to cause an accident.

“It would be better all-round if they were regulated but in the meantime we would certainly also ask any parent who knows their child owns one of these devices to explain the consequences of misuse to them.  This includes the damage they can inflict on themselves or others by shining the laser beam in their eyes.”  

The Charity fully supports moves to get high-powered lasers classed as offensive weapons. The service has submitted a Mandatory Safety Report to the Civil Aviation Authority on this incident.


Braunton-based songwriter Steph Lott (32) will feature on ‘Survive’, a new EP from Charlotte Elizabeth, which will be released by CEI Music in February in aid of cancer support charity The Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

Charlotte (31), a cancer survivor, was inspired to write songs after being diagnosed with Hodgkinson’s Lymphoma as a teenager. Charlotte said, “I wanted to share my story with other cancer patients and let them know life doesn’t stop after cancer and you can achieve if you want to; I was told it would be impossible to get a publishing deal but I have proven them wrong, despite being unable to sing or play an instrument.”

Charlotte, who works as a country music promoter, set out to produce a collection of co-written songs, with each track performed by a different artist.

Steph takes up the story: “Charlotte had heard my song ‘It Wasn’t Meant to Be’, which I released in aid of Cancer Research UK, and approached me to ask if I would co-write a song with her. It’s the first time I’ve ever collaborated with someone I’ve never actually met; I’m looking forward to finally meeting her at the launch event on the 3rd of February.”

Steph and Charlotte’s song ‘Stronger’ is produced by Matt Bishop from Honey Ryder and performed on the EP by up and coming country folk artist Kim Tink, alongside tracks by Ash Cooper (of The Ash Cooper Band), Stanford Road, Emma Moore, Angels with Dirty Faces and Thorne Hill.

The first single from Survive, called ‘Shatter Like Glass’ is performed by Angels With Dirty Faces, co-written by Charlotte and lead singer Stuart Landon, and reached number four in the iTunes country chart in October 2016.  

The EP will be available for Pre-sale on iTunes from Monday 16 January prior to its release on 3 February, with all pr- orders receiving a CD version as well as the digital download.

Steph and Charlotte enjoyed working together so much they are already collaborating on further writing; with three songs now penned and more in progress they are planning to release a full album of their own work later in the year.


Calvert Trust Exmoor is asking residents of North Devon to vote this month to help them receive a grant from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

Voting is open in stores from 2 January to 28 January 2017. Customers cast their vote using a token given to them at the checkout in store each time they shop.

Calvert Trust Exmoor will use the grant to fund accessible play equipment for a new inclusive play area, which will be open to both residential guests and local visitors.

Artist's Impression of the accessible play area
Artist’s Impression of the accessible play area

Fiona Walker, Community Fundraiser at Calvert Trust Exmoor, said,
“We are so pleased to have been chosen by Tesco to be part of Bags for Help; this grant and the accessible play area it supports will make a huge difference to our guests and visitors. Please do visit your local Tesco store and vote for us this month!”

You can vote for Calvert Trust Exmoor in the following North Devon Tesco stores:

Barnstaple Rose Lane (EX32 8PG)
Barnstaple Extra Taw View (EX31 2AS)
Barnstaple High Street (EX31 1EZ)
Westward Ho! (EX39 1LH)
Braunton (EX33 2DU)
Ilfracombe (EX34 9RH)
Bideford (EX39 4AJ)

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £24 million to more than 2,400 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said, “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for January. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said,
“We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.
We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

The Bags of Help scheme is permanently open for applications and anyone can nominate a project at any time. Just ask in store for more information or visit the Bags of Help website, visit


Kate Gliddon is an animal and people portrait photographer based on the edge of Exmoor.

Kate is passionate about horses, having worked with them most of her life. She has teamed up with the Moorland Mousie Trust, which is a small charity working to promote and protect the Exmoor pony. The trust is situated in the heart of the beautiful Exmoor National Park and was founded in 2000. Now more than 500 moorland bred ponies have been taken into their care to be either rehomed or given the job of conservation grazing throughout the country.

A great way to help the work of the Exmoor pony centre is to buy a gift voucher for a friend or loved one for Christmas. Kate is selling gift vouchers up until Christmas, giving you the chance to get a photo shoot for the amazing price of £20 instead of £75. The money will be donated to the Moorland Mousie trust so they can continue with their amazing work. The vouchers are valid until October 2017.

If it’s a horse shoot you’re after, Kate will come to your yard or home to photograph you with your horse or horses. On arrival she will go for a walk with you to scout for places to photograph. Some of these you may never have guessed would make suitable backdrops for amazing images. After the photos have been edited you will be invited to come and view them and buy the ones you like.

They make the perfect gift for any horse lover.

For dogs or other pets, Kate will meet you out at a location of your choice or will suggest some great scenic places. The shoot can be studio based if you’re after something more in the way of fine art. If you would like to combine the two Kate has some great places to photograph where she lives.

With portraits, you have the chance to get your hair and make-up done specially for the shoot. Studio or location based, it’s your choice as all shoots are tailored to suit you.

You will find more information on Kate’s website or use the link below which will take you straight to the donation page.


It was announced in the Autumn Statement by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, last week that further grants were being made from the Libor (Bank Fines) Fund to emergency services charities.  Devon Air Ambulance are delighted to announce that £1 million has been awarded to facilitate night landing sites.

Heléna Holt, CEO of Devon Air Ambulance, explains, “We applied for a £1 million grant on behalf of the Devon community, to assist in funding community landing sites across the county. We were so pleased to hear this morning that we had been awarded the grant.”

Nigel Hare, Operations Director of Devon Air Ambulance, added, “We are now flying into the hours of darkness. We have been working hard with the community since January to build a network of community night landing sites.  These sites are pre surveyed and have state of the art technology with remote switching to turn on and off the lights at scene.

“Communities have very much taken ownership of their own landing site, not only funding them but also undertaking to ensure they are kept in good order.  Even though the communities would still need to raise the funds to buy the equipment, the grant would be available to fund the cost of installing the flood lighting.”

The £1 million grant will help with the installation of up to 300 landing sites.

To find out more about our community landing sites


Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is once again encouraging supporters to sign up early for their Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge 2017 after another overwhelming response last year.

The event, which is not designed as a race, involves cycling through some of Dorset and Somerset’s most beautiful countryside and takes place on Sunday 14 May 2017.

Last year’s event sold out within three days of online registration being open and demand is expected to be even higher this year. The event saw cyclists of all ages and abilities take part raising over £70,000 for the life-saving charity.

Online registration will open at 9.30am on Tuesday 13 December, via the charity’s website: and, with only 600 places available, those wishing to take part will need to be quick to avoid disappointment. So why not set yourself a reminder now. We will also put one on our social media pages the day before. Participants can enter as an individual or as a team.

The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge offers two different routes and distances. For those who like a challenge, the brilliant 54-mile cycle which starts in the Somerset port of Watchet and finishes at West Bay near Bridport will not disappoint.

With a mixture of quiet back roads, interspersed with some very demanding climbs and equally hairy descents, the event has something to offer for everyone! A staggered start will see the stronger cyclists set off first at 11am with the less experienced riders departing at 11.15am. A shorter 11-mile route starts at the Royal Oak public house in Drimpton at 2pm and also finishes at West Bay.

Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled to be able to announce the date for our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge 2017. This will be our seventh year in the saddle and every year the event seems to get better and better. I believe one of the main reasons for this is the feedback we get from those who take part and the stories of courage and determination along the way.

“We always strive to build on the success of the previous year and with this in mind we are once again restricting our numbers to 600 cyclists. We are also continuing with a staggered start time in order to keep the event as safe as possible and to encourage all standards of cyclists to take part without fear of being overcrowded.

“With such a demand, there will undoubtedly be those who are disappointed not to gain a place which is why I cannot stress enough, how important it is to register early! We are really looking forward to this years’ event and hope that everyone that enters will once again encourage their family and friends to sponsor them in a bid to make 2017 the best Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge yet.”

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has flown more than 11,500 missions since its launch in March 2000, saving many lives and aiding recovery with outstanding immediate care and rapid delivery to the hospital best suited to meet the patient’s needs. With no direct Government or National Lottery funding, we rely on the generosity of the public and events like Coast to Coast for support.

To register online, visit the charity’s website: or for more information call: 01823 669604. Alternatively you can email:

Entrance fees are: Adults (£20) & Under 16′s (£10).


Calvert Trust Exmoor are looking for volunteer painters to join their painting party, in the first two weeks of January 2017.

Help is needed any time from Monday 2 to Friday 6 January, and again from Monday 9 to Friday 13 of January.

No previous experience is necessary, and people can join in for any amount of time from a couple of hours to whole days; if you join them for half a day or more they will provide lunch too!

To get involved contact the centre on 01598 763221, or email