Category Archives: Charities

THREE RECENT NEWS RELEASES FROM ILFRACOMBE RNLI

Ilfracombe RNLI has been having a busy time of it recently. Here are three stories which they have released in the last week or so…

Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboat assists exhausted single-handed sailor

Ilfracombe RNLI all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 3.35pm on Thursday 23 August to go to the assistance of an exhausted single-handed sailor.

The lone yachtsman was struggling to make headway towards a safe harbour in the three-metre waves and near gale-force wind. As he was suffering the effects of fatigue, he asked for assistance when the deteriorating weather halted his progress in the area of Copperas Buoy near Combe Martin.

The ALB Stormrider, on relief at Ilfracombe, immediately launched and reached the scene within ten minutes. Crew member Andy Day was placed aboard the vessel to connect a tow line. The yacht was then towed back to the safety of Ilfracombe harbour.

Andrew Bengey, volunteer RNLI coxswain at Ilfracombe, said: “This was an unfortunate position for the casualty to find themselves in. The weather had been deteriorating throughout the day and he had simply become exhausted attempting to fight through it.

“The casualty was carrying a means of calling for help which meant he could contact the Coastguard as soon as he required assistance. The RNLI always advises that you carry a VHF radio and preferably a waterproof one. We also ask that you check the weather and tide conditions before you set off and get regular updates if you’re planning to be out for any length of time.”

PHOTO: The single-handed sailor being towed to safety (courtesy RNLI).

Busy night for Ilfracombe RNLI lifeboats

Just the next evening, on 24 August, the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and inshore lifeboat (ILB) were launched to two separate incidents.

The ALB Stormrider was launched at 10.15pm on Friday evening to a 41ft-motor cruiser which had become overwhelmed by the five-metre seas and very strong wind in the area of Foreland Point near Lynmouth.

The three people on board were exhausted and suffering the effects of seasickness, so volunteer crew member Matt Glubb was placed aboard the vessel to attach a tow line. The vessel was then towed the some 16 miles back to Ilfracombe harbour and secured to a mooring in the outer harbour.

Half an hour after the ALB was launched, the ILB Deborah Brown II was launched to a yacht that had run aground in the outer harbour. Due to the dropping tide, the yacht was beginning to list heavily so a tow line was attached to the vessel to attempt to pull it free from its position.

However, the yacht was too far aground to be towed clear so the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew stayed with the single-handed yachtsman over low water to ensure his safety and that his yacht refloated without damage. As soon as there was enough water, the yacht was then towed clear of the beach and safely anchored.

Chris Wallis, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Ilfracombe, said: “This was a busy night for our volunteer crew at Ilfracombe and they faced some very adverse conditions. The RNLI always advises that you check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off on any venture and always carry a means of calling for help.”

Meet the final #RNLITopDog Louie!

Louie, a collie cross, is reminding dog owners what to do if their dog does get into difficulty at the coast.

The RNLI, with Louie’s help, is asking dog owners to remember never to paddle after their dog if it swims out too far. Instead, move to a place the dog can reach safely and call them – most can and will get to safety on their own. If not, however, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Simon Hannaford, RNLI community safety officer, said: “Often when a dog does get into difficulty, the owners want to help them but, in doing so, put themselves into more danger. We ask that you never enter the water after your furry friend but instead call for help.”

In June, two visitors to Whistand Bay in Cornwall did just that after their dog Barney became cut off by the tide chasing seagulls. Barney’s owners immediately contacted the lifeguards on duty for assistance instead of attempting to reach him themselves.

Due to the weather conditions, the only way to reach Barney was by boat so RNLI lifeguards Charlie Gillett and Joe Saunders immediately launched the inshore rescue boat (IRB) to bring Barney back to safety ashore.

Charlie, RNLI lifeguard supervisor for the area, says: “Barney’s owners here acted exactly as we advise and, instead of going in after Barney, called us for assistance. This incident was a lucky escape for Barney as the tide was coming in very quickly.”

Louie’s fellow #RNLITopDog Buddy advises dog owners to always check the tide times and weather conditions before setting off to save getting caught out. The first #RNLITopDog Dash reminded dog owners to take the lead; when walking near cliff edges always keep your dog on a lead.

Simon continues: “This is the last campaign picture featuring our three #RNLITopDogs so please share their posts across your social media channels to spread these important messages throughout the south west. Please remember that, here at the RNLI, we think you’re a top dog so don’t risk your life.”

 

 

TEAM CALVERT MAKES WAVES AT SUPERHERO TRI

Three teams from Calvert Trust Exmoor participated in the Superhero Tri recently at Dorney Lake in Windsor, rubbing shoulders with the world of Paralympians and raising valuable funds for the North Devon charity that offers outdoor activity breaks for people with disabilities.

The second annual running of the event saw some 2,500 participants take to the water, wheels and heels to compete in this unique competition that focuses on disability. Each team of three must include at least one person with a disability.

Regular Wistlandpound guest Daisy Gregory, 14, who has Down syndrome, completed all parts of the Sprint section with her sidekicks as helpers. She was also chosen to be part of 2012 and 2016 Paralympics gold medalist Jonnie Peacock’s Superhero Team.

“I had an amazing time, made some lovely new friends and loved being in Jonnie Peacock’s celebrity team!” said an extremely happy Daisy following the event.

Jonnie Peacock is a huge advocate of the Superhero Tri: “What sets this event apart is the fact that it is all inclusive, absolutely everyone can take part. It’s not restrictive in any way and there are no real rules or regulations about it either.”

Calvert Trust Exmoor’s Events and Corporate Fundraiser, Daisy Hockin, expressed delight that David Fraser from Truro joined one of the teams: “David has cerebral palsy, and did a marvellous job completing the 10km cycle on a recumbent bike.”

David first visited the centre some 20 years ago on a work placement and recently got involved with the fundraising team.

“I felt thrilled to be part of the team,” David said. “As a guest, I have witnessed first hand the great work that goes on at Calvert Trust Exmoor, so I’m chuffed to be able to help out. Now I’m looking forward to getting involved in other events too, like the Spooky Cycle along the Tarka Trail in October.”

Calvert’s third team came from the Stables, led by supervisor Kerri Marangone, London-based Martin Green, and long-standing Stables volunteer JoJo Charman:

“This was my second time competing for Calvert Trust Exmoor at the Superhero Tri,” JoJo said. “This year’s event was certainly a step up from last year in terms of numbers, and we’re all looking forward to bringing even more Calvert teams to Windsor in 2019.”

After successfully completing the event (some more than once), participants were presented with their Superhero medals and plenty of opportunity for photos to celebrate their achievements.

On top of the £1,000 raised by ‘Team Calvert,’ celebrity team captain and paraplegic adventurer Shaun Gash later dropped by the Calvert Trust Exmoor marquee to present a cheque for £750 following his team’s climb of Ben Nevis in the summer.

You can watch the best of the @SuperheroTri 2018, the UK’s only disability triathlon, on Saturday 1st September on Channel 4 at 11.30am.

PHOTO: Calvert Trust Exmoor Superhero Tri Team Jonnie Peacock including Daisy Gregory supported by Mum Lynn and Dad Paul.

KINGS HALL FAMILY TACKLE THREE PEAKS FOR CANCER

A family from King’s Hall School recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Former King’s Hall pupils Harriet and Tom Kittow, along with their younger sister Anna, a current Year 4 pupil at the school, tackled the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, all in under 12 hours.

Diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012, thirteen-year-old Harriet wished to raise money for those suffering from the disease.

Joined by family and friends, the trio completed the challenge in 11 hours 17 minutes, raising a fantastic £1,700 for the deserving charity.

The family are particularly thankful to the King’s Hall community, who have shown their support over the past six years.

In 2013, a number of King’s Hall parents undertook the National Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for CLIC Sargent, a leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

Victoria Kittow, Harriet’s mother and Year 2 teacher at King’s Hall, said: “Harriet was diagnosed when she was in Year 2. She faced all of her treatment at King’s Hall and everyone was kind and supportive during those years.”

She added: “We are extremely proud of Harriet, Tom and Anna, and hope that their determination and spirit will influence others to get involved in similar life-changing challenges.”

 

EXETER RACE DAY TO HELP DEVON AIR AMBULANCE

Local businesses and racing enthusiasts are being invited to support Devon Air Ambulance by enjoying a premier race day experience.

On Sunday 25 November, The Jockey Club is hosting a Race Day fundraiser, the Clydesdale Devon Day Race, in support of Devon Air Ambulance.

Devon businesses and racing enthusiasts alike are assembling for the prestigious event to enjoy a premier hospitality experience, which includes enjoying the race from the vantage point of the private hospitality box opposite the finish line, prosecco upon arrival, the official race card, courier betting service, and tipster talk, and a two-course sit-down meal comprising delicious, locally sourced ingredients.

“We’re delighted to bring together individuals and teams from some of Devon’s leading businesses for what promises to be a very enjoyable day,” says Caroline Creer, Fundraising and Communications Director at Devon Air Ambulance.

“Our corporate supporters are significant contributors to the charity, and last year’s Devon Day event alone raised an incredible £4,154 to help keep our Air Ambulances flying.”

Although businesses keen to give their staff, clients and partners a great day out are keen to snap up tickets, individual racing enthusiasts are also looking forward to a uniquely rewarding racing experience and are reserving their tickets too.

The event at Exeter Racecourse is one of the highlights on both the corporate and racing calendar, and features the Clydesdale breed; a draft horse derived from the farm horses of the Scottish county. In previous years the race day consisted of up to seven races, of which the celebrated Clydesdale race is the first.

Businesses and individuals interested in booking tickets can secure tables of 10 for £1,000, or individual tickets for £100 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by emailing fundraising@daat.org, or by speaking to Caroline or Tracy on 01392 466666.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN RESCUED OR HAD A NEAR-MISS IN OR BY THE SEA?

As part of a new project aimed at reducing coastal drowning across Devon and Cornwall, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is inviting members of the public who have been rescued from the sea, or anyone who has had a ‘near miss’, to come forward and share their experiences.

Through the Design Out Drowning project, research will be undertaken and new solutions sought to reduce the number of people who drown around the coast.

A key element of the research process will involve exploring and analysing stories from people who have been rescued – or those who have almost come to harm – from the sea around Devon and Cornwall.

Cornwall-based company Made Open Communications Ltd is supporting the project and will be carrying out research to identify any potential new opportunities for products and services that could be introduced to help reduce drowning. This research will include talking to people who have been rescued from the sea, or those who have had a ‘near miss’ or witnessed other people coming to harm around the coastline of Devon and Cornwall.

Will Roberts, RNLI Senior Innovation Manager, said: “The RNLI is committed to reducing coastal drowning. From our prevention and education work, to the vital role of our beach lifeguards and our 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service, we work hard to ensure people stay as safe as possible around the coast.

“Through the Design Out Drowning project, we’re keen to see if there are any new sustainable initiatives, products or services that could be implemented around Devon and Cornwall that could prevent people from coming to harm in the future.

“Our research team is really keen to hear from anyone who has been rescued from the sea or almost come to harm along the coast of Devon and Cornwall. Their insights might help us to identify interventions that could be put in place to reduce the chances of someone else coming to harm.”

To share an experience, members of the public can contact the research team on 01872 862547, or complete a short online survey at designoutdrowning.org/survey.

ASTON MARTIN BRISTOL TO SPONSOR ROYAL MARINES COMMANDO CHALLENGE

This October, intrepid fundraisers from across Devon and beyond will duck, dive and scramble under, over and across eight challenging and very muddy obstacles making up the Royal Marines’ own endurance training course. You can choose to do a 5k Cheerfulness Challenge, or the 10k Courage Challenge, as part of The Royal Marines Commando Challenge.

Having supported the event in the past, Aston Martin Bristol is throwing its weight behind the event this year as headline sponsor, bringing an element of sophistication to an event that’s associated with grit and resilience, which are also qualities that are firmly attached to a brand that’s synonymous with fictional British agent, James Bond.

“We are extremely proud to be supporting such a special local event, raising money for two very worthy charities,” says Head of Business, Aaron Allnutt. “The service provided within the county by the Devon Air Ambulance and its teams is invaluable alongside the amazing work The Royal Marines Charity carries out for Royal Marines, their families, veterans and cadets. As the local Aston Martin dealer in the South West we are proud to be able to contribute and help with much-needed support. We hope to help raise several thousands of pounds through our sponsorship of the Commando Challenge.”

With the obstacles manned by the Royal Marines, the challenge is one of the most high-profile events on the calendars of both The Royal Marines Charity and Devon Air Ambulance.

The course offers entrants an authentic Royal Marines experience, as they take on the very same endurance course that Royal Marine recruits tackle on the way to wearing the coveted Green Beret. Entrants will work hard to overcome obstacles, many of whom are part of teams keen to support both charities.

“We are delighted to have such a well-respected sponsor on board for this event again, this time as a headline sponsor,” says Caroline Creer, on behalf of the Royal Marines Commando Challenge. “Aston Martin Bristol speaks to people of cool-headed courage and capability; certainly, qualities that are required for the successful completion of one of two very challenging courses!”

Aston Martin Bristol will be at the event on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October with a selection of cars, but it’s fair to assume that muddy Commando Challenge entrants won’t be encouraged to try out the plush seats!

“Both The Royal Marines Charity and Devon Air Ambulance are looking forward to working with Aston Martin Bristol,” says Caroline. “The weekend promises to welcome in the region of 1,000 entrants across the finish line, so it’s a big fundraiser for us, which makes an important contribution towards the essential work both charities undertake.”

CALVERT TRUST EXMOOR DELIGHTED TO BE AWARDED GOLD

Calvert Trust Exmoor has achieved the AHOEC Gold Standard for the quality of its outdoor education, and continues to be the only centre in the South West to carry this endorsement.

The AHOEC (Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres) exists to champion high safety and quality standards in the provision of outdoor learning, and does not award its Gold Standard assurance lightly, with just 49 centres across the UK currently brandishing the accolade.

The Gold Standard is the AHOEC’s quality scheme, which recognises exceptional performance in the provision of outdoor education delivery and learning outcomes whilst also taking in to account other operational aspects, including the quality and safety of facilities, staff and customer care. Focusing on nine areas altogether, the standard provides a framework against which the top activity providers are thoroughly assessed.

On receiving the news, Sophie, Activities Manager at Calvert Trust Exmoor, said: “I am delighted to have retained the Gold Standard award, as we continue to strive to provide the best experience possible for our guests.”

Calvert Trust Exmoor strives for excellence in everything it does, and is proud to hold a growing number of awards and accreditations for the services it provides. The centre offers the only 5-star rated activity accommodation in England, and is also accredited to the AALA and CLOtC.

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of Exmoor National Park, a short distance from the North Devon coast, and with everything together on one fully accessible site, the Trust welcomes guests of all ages and levels of ability, enabling people with physical, learning, behavioural and sensory disabilities to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities, together with their families & friends. Highly experienced instructors are qualified by national governing bodies such as  British Canoeing, the RYA and the BHS and are specially trained to work with disabled individuals.

Residential breaks are built around a structured programme of activities led by qualified instructors, all tailored to the specific needs of visitors. Activities include cycling, climbing, abseiling, horse riding, archery, low ropes, and crate stacking. Calvert Trust Exmoor also has exclusive access to Wistlandpound Reservoir for sailing, kayaking and canoeing. With a range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer, and standard and adaptive equipment provided to suit individual needs, the Trust’s aim is to provide each and every guest with the best possible experience so that they leave keen to return and eager to recommend it to others.

To ensure Calvert Trust Exmoor continues to meet the demands of its Gold Standard, the AHOEC carries out inspections every two years.

CAPTURING DEVON’S COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE

Schoolchildren from two rural primary schools, which together form the Exmoor Link Federation, have excelled in a county-wide painting competition held by the Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Bishops Nympton Primary School near South Molton, on the edge of Exmoor National Park, was named Best Overall School in CPRE Devon’s ‘My Outdoors’ competition, winning £200 towards outdoor learning. Partner school East Anstey Primary was highly commended in the same category and won £50 towards outdoor learning.

The competition is a fun way to encourage outdoor learning and help young children engage with and enjoy the countryside.

Penny Mills, Director of CPRE Devon, said, “We received entries from right across the county from girls and boys who had captured their favourite Devon landscape on paper. Pencils, paints and sticking paste were all put to use to create art works which showed the children’s appreciation of Devon’s rich variety of natural landscapes.

“The judges had a hard task choosing between the entries. We would like to thank everyone who supported CPRE Devon by entering and say congratulations to all the winners!”

The individual prizes were won by Amelie Willis Smith (Key Stage 1) from Holbeton Primary School for her delightful collage The Beach, and Ava Perkins (Key Stage 2) from Clyst Heath Nursery and Community Primary School in Exeter for her painting entitled Dartmoor.

Each child who entered won a badge featuring CPRE Devon’s new Countryside Ambassador Barney the Bull, becoming part of Barney’s team helping to promote the Devon countryside to primary school children in KS1 and KS2.

For more information on the competition and the winners, visit www.cpredevon.org.uk

PHOTOS: Highly commended entries from Bishops Nympton (top) and East Anstey (here).

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITY

West Buckland School’s Charities Committee, run by Sixth Form students, have raised £8,318.81 for their nominated local charity ‘Everything Ellie’ – the highest amount ever achieved.

The school ran a Fashion Show, put together a special-edition calendar,  sold beautiful glass ‘Ellie’ beads and even busked in South Molton to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Ellie sadly lost her battle with leukaemia in 2015 and the charity, ‘Everything Ellie’, offers an amazing beach hut at Saunton Sands, North Devon, providing a simple day at the seaside and short breaks away. It is a welcome respite from hospital rooms for young people or parents and guardians with young families undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mum, said: “The charity trustees are so very proud of the students and staff at West Buckland School. The grand total is a testament to how they have got behind the charity’s aims and were touched by Ellie’s story. This amount will make an ever-lasting difference to families having the most difficult time and I hope that the students continue to keep in touch to see the joy of their efforts.”

Staff and students are so pleased to have been able to support ‘Everything Ellie’ this year and will follow the progress of the charity going forward.

HUNDREDS SIGN UP FOR COMMANDO CHALLENGE

Friends, families and colleagues from across the South West are signing up in their hundreds to support the notoriously difficult – and famously muddy – Royal Marines Commando Challenge this October.

To date, 2018 has seen the highest numbers yet of intrepid fundraisers prepared to put themselves through either the 5k ‘Cheerfulness’ or the 10k ‘Endurance’ training circuits in aid of Devon Air Ambulance and The Royal Marines Charity.

The course is the first of a series of tests Royal Marines undertake, and will take fundraisers through moorland and the woodland of Woodbury Common near Lympstone, Devon, which involve tunnels, pipes, wading pools and an underwater culvert.

“This is an event that’s literally and figuratively full of peaks and troughs,” says Caroline Creer, spokesperson for the Royal Marines Commando Challenge. “The course is described by many as physically and emotionally gritty and gruelling, yet the thrill of supporting each other through it and being cheered across the finish line, knowing that you’ve challenged yourself and raised essential funds for charity, is absolutely worth it.”

Individuals or groups can still enter either or both courses for just £5 per person, per challenge, with the option of raising sponsorship for the charities on top. Many teams constitute businesses that see the event as a great team building exercise; certainly colleagues find themselves bonding in the face of such grizzly obstacles as the fully-immersive Sheep Dip and the Crocodile Pit.

There’s still time and space for more participants to sign up and take part in the challenge. Just visit www.commandochallenge.co.uk/signup to sign up for the event on weekend of 13th and / or 14th October, 2018, or keep an eye on the Royal Marines Commando Challenge Facebook page for the latest news and information.