Air ambulance to use Beer Albion FC ground as night landing site
PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 October 2018
A community landing site for Devon Air Ambulance has been installed at Beer Albion Football Club - meaning patients can now be reached until midnight every day.
The Beer base will be an addition to an existing network of community landing sites the air ambulance uses.
The venture has happened so promptly thanks to residents, who launched a fundraising campaign to secure the life-saving service for the community.
Devon Air Ambulance are working with communities across the county to develop the network, which enables the charity to bring a life-saving service into the heart of communities when it is dark.
The football pitch at Beer Albion Football Club was highlighted as a potential site for the air ambulance to land near the village at night.
However, the site needed a new lighting column with LED lights and a remote switching system to enable the lighting to be operated without the need to disturb anyone. DAA were able to offer a grant from the Bank LIBOR Fines to cover part of the associated labour costs for the lighting installation, but the community were tasked with raising the balance of funds required to purchase the lighting equipment.
Residents embraced the campaign and the fundraising target was met in a few months.
Donations were received from Beer Horticultural Society, Beer Bag Project, Beer WI and Beer Albion Football Club as well as donations from local businesses and some personal donations.
A number of local fundraising events were also organised including a bingo evening and a quiz night. The official launch of the community landing site will take place today (Wednesday) at Beer Albion Football Club, when community representatives and donors will gather to celebrate this life saving service in the heart of the community.
Toby Russell from Devon Air Ambulance, said “The Beer community landing site has become operational very quickly which is a true testament to the fantastic support this project.
“After initial meetings with resident Natalie Puddicombe, Beer Albion Football Club immediately offered their ground and full support of the landing site project. Wider support for the project snowballed we are delighted with the huge backing it has received from community groups, Beer Parish Council and the numerous volunteers who have helped secure the local funding. Our grateful thanks to everyone involved.”