"Going the extra mile for staff, volunteers and the communities we serve"
Our mission is to support the work of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust in the delivery of exceptional care to the communities we serve, our staff and volunteers.
Our vision is to inspire our supporters to make a lifesaving difference to the work of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Provide enhanced funding to make the difference to the communities we serve, out staff and volunteers.
Treat every person as an individual, giving the personal touch to those we support and those who support us.
Demonstrate professionalism and respect in all of our activities.
Keep an open line of engagement and communication to ensure we are listening as well as informing.
Exhibit honesty and integrity at all times in everything we do.
What we do
The South Western Ambulance Charity uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.
We are funded by donations and legacies received primarily from patients, and their relatives, who wish to say thank you for the care that they, or their loved one, has received from us. In addition, members of the public donate to our charity to show their appreciation for the Trust.
Supporting our communities
More than 3,600 people are resuscitated by ambulance staff every year in the South West following cardiac arrest. Once in cardiac arrest, for every minute that passes a person loses a further 10% chance of survival.
A defibrillator is a device used to give an electric shock to help restart a patient’s heart when they are in cardiac arrest. When someone has a cardiac arrest, the heart stops and blood is no longer being pumped around their body. The longer they go without emergency life-support, the harder it is to restart their heart.
The South Western Ambulance Service Charity is supporting defibrillator placement, maintenance and training across the region. Increased public access to defibrillators results in more people receiving a life-saving shock as quickly as possible, giving them the best possible chance of survival.
Supporting our volunteer heroes
Community First Responders operate within the communities in which they live or work, often providing lifesaving emergency aid early and ahead of ambulance arrival.
Trained and governed by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the Community First Responders are called on any time, day or night, helping to reach those patients most in need across the 10,000 square miles the ambulance service serves.
Attending more than 20,000 incidents each year, their contribution really does save lives, reduce pain and provide reassurance to those requiring emergency care.
£35 buys a Tympanic Thermometer. As part of the critical initial observations, a Tympanic Thermometer can be used as an early warning sign for underlying medical conditions such as sepsis or meningitis.
£50 buys an automatic blood pressure monitor and cuffs. As part of the critical initial observations, an automatic blood pressure monitor is more resilient and robust compared to manual monitoring. Recordings can be scheduled to ensure regular monitoring.
£350 buys a pulse oximeter. As part of the critical initial observations, a pulse oximeter measures oxygen levels in the blood as well as pulse. Monitoring is continuous to ensure that any changes in pulse or oxygen levels are highlighted immediately for appropriate action.
Supporting our exceptional people
The Staying Well Service provides our staff and volunteers with access to sources of help and support with their physical and mental health and wellbeing – just one call or email away.
The importance of having a confidential lifeline for those people who are, by the very nature of the work they do, often exposed to traumatic and disturbing events, cannot be underestimated.
With over 5,500 staff and more than 6,000 volunteers working within the South Western Ambulance Service, it is important that each and every individual has access to a comprehensive range of help and support services, when they need it most.
We are committed to developing the service to ensure it can continue to respond to the welfare needs of our workforce, as they in turn respond to the urgent and emergency healthcare needs of the communities we serve.
Make the difference
We would love to hear from you and welcome your feedback and comments.
So please do get in touch...
South Western Ambulance Charity
If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable gift here are the ways you can donate:
Donations can be made through our Virgin Money Giving website.
Select whether you wish to make a one-off or regular donation to the charity.
Select the amount you wish to give.
You can donate by credit/debit card or via PayPal.
Thank you for your support!
Fundraising can be a fun (and sometimes challenging!) way of raising money for the South Western Ambulance Charity. We are so grateful to all of our supporters who have organised or participated in fundraising events throughout the South West.
If you would like to carry out a fundraising event for the South Western Ambulance Charity we would love to hear from you! You can set up an online sponsorship page linked to our charity through Virgin Money Giving.
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) covers one of the most rural areas of the UK and are committed to providing the population of the South West with the highest standard of out-of-hospital care.
We are extremely grateful to the many Community First Responders (CFRs) who volunteer to help members of their local community in their time of need.
Every day, CFRs from across the South West attend emergencies within their local communities. Sometimes the difference is providing reassurance prior to the arrival of an ambulance; sometimes it is saving someone's life.
If you would like to support your local community and make it a safer place to live, please visit the SWASFT website for more information.
We are looking for corporate partners to support our charity by joining the Pennies from Heaven salary giving scheme.
Staff participating in the scheme will have their salary rounded down to the nearest pound with the penny balances donated to the South Western Ambulance Charity.
So, if net pay was £850.34 then 34p would be donated. The most individuals can ever donate is 99p every time they are paid.
Leave a legacy
Every gift left to the South Western Ambulance Charity in a will, no matter how large or small, makes a lasing difference for our staff, volunteers and the communities we serve.
Leaving a bequest in your will to show your appreciation to our staff and volunteers is easy to arrange. We would recommend that you use a solicitor who will make sure that your wishes are clear and understandable.
If you decide to leave us a gift in your will, we would love for you to let us know so that we can thank you and provide you with an update on how charitable gifts are being used to improve patient care.
News and stories
Big7Tea Party - ASDA Longwell Green
Thank you to ASDA Longwell Green and their community champion, Susan Grant for organising a tea party for NHS staff, ASDA customers and colleagues to celebrate the NHS's 70th anniversary.
Staff from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust joined in the celebrations, enjoying tea and cakes, chatting with customers and helping to raise over £440 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Susan said of the event:
"The NHS is one of the nation's most loved institutions and the money raised through the Big7Tea parties will make a real difference to everyone who uses NHS services.
After the crew left later that afternoon, they were called back for a real emergency as we had a pregnant lady giving birth instore. The NHS ambulance service are all truly amazing"
Big7Tea Party - NHS Shared Business Services
Thank you to NHS Shared Business Services and Head of F&A Client Performance, Sharon Warne for organising a tea party for colleagues and companies who share their office building to celebrate the NHS's 70th anniversary.
Thank you to everyone who joined in the celebrations. The team raised over £440 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Big7Tea Party - Brightsea Print Group
Staff from Exeter-based design and print company Brightsea Print Group – a supplier to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust – held a Big7Tea event on Wednesday 25th July to raise money for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
They wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our staff and volunteers – in February 2018 there was a terrible pile up on the M5 and one of their staff members, Heather, was badly injured and was helped by our fantastic team.
Heather is recovering well from her terrible ordeal and joined the Brightsea team and staff of the South Western Ambulance Service in the celebrations of 70 years of the NHS.
Big7Tea Party - Livewell Southwest
Staff from Livewell Southwest held a Big7Tea event on Wednesday 25th July to raise money for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Livewell Southwest is an independent, award winning social enterprise providing integrated health and social care services for people across Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon, as well as some specialist services for people living in parts of Devon and Cornwall.
A huge thank you to everyone at Livewell Southwest who supported the Big7Tea party which raised almost £50 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
South Hams Triathlon
A huge congratulations to Lewis Bartlett who completed the South Hams Triathlon on Sunday 10th June 2018, raising over £140 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Lewis' mum Wendy, who works as a receptionist for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust says:
"We were all up at 5am as Lewis has to register by 6am. The race started at 7.30am and he was in the elite group first out on the water. He completed the whole thing in 1 hour and 17 minutes, came 16th out of 300 and first in his age group, so won two medals.
He loved it and had a well-deserved massage after the event. He has said he is keen to do it all again!
We are very proud of him and are sure the money raised will be used to help those most in need."
Thank you for your support Lewis!
Yeovil Half Marathon
The South Western Ambulance Charity would like to say a huge congratulations to Sharon Wells for completing a half marathon to raise money for the charity.
Sharon was originally due to be running the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 4th March but unfortunately the event was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.
Not wanting to disappoint any of her sponsors, Sharon signed up for the Yeovil Half Marathon which took place on Sunday 25th March 2018.
Sharon completed the 13.1 mile race in just over 2 hours - a really impressive time, especially considering that Sharon ran in a giraffe costume!
"I really enjoyed the run and finished in two hours five minutes, which is faster than I have run some half marathons in full running kit, so maybe this is the way forward!"
A massive thank you to Sharon who raised over £300 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Race to the King
Dave Partlow is a Consultant Paramedic for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. On the 23rd June 2018 Dave undertook the 'Race to the King', a grueling double marathon along the South Downs Way. The route followed an ancient path along a ridge of chalk hills and passes numerous historical sites, taking Dave through some of the UK's most beautiful countryside.
Before the race Dave spoke of his intention to make the run even more ambitious:
"After 22 years' service and turning 50 this year I really should know better! You can do the run over two days but I hope to run it straight through in around 13 hours."
Unfortunately, the race day fell during one of the longest and hottest spells the UK has seen for many years. Dave says:
"The heat was a real issue. I got to 39 miles and had to pull out due to heat stroke. I had to be sensible so it turned into a marathon and a half rather than two marathons."
We think Dave is an absolute hero and we thank him for raising almost £500 for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
Busy Fingers Plymstock
A massive thank you to the fantastic ladies at Busy Fingers Plymstock at Age UK Plymouth for knitting teddies for the South Western Ambulance Charity.
The knitted teddies have joined the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust's Engagement team at events throughout the South West over the summer months.
So far the sale of the teddies has raised almost £50 for the charity and we'll have more for sale at events over the coming months.
Cheltenham High Street Collection
A huge thank you to Helena Stone who organised a charity collection in Cheltenham High Street on Saturday 21st June 2018.
Helena suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which affects both of her legs and left arm.
Helena is aiming to raise £5,000 for the South Western Ambulance Charity to say thank you for the care and support she recieved when she needed help in May 2018.
On the day of the street collection Helena was joined by her grandma, Jean and Alex Chalk, MP for Cheltenham. Alex has been working with Helena to help raise awareness of CRPS and has invited Helena to speak in Parliament in November.
The fundraising team raised over £100 on the day of the collection.
You can read more about Helena's story on our Virgin Money Giving web page.
West Clinical Hub Quiet Room
The South Western Ambulance Charity is delighted to have supported the opening of the West clinical hub quiet room.
The quiet room, a peaceful sanctuary for our hub staff, was made possible by donations made via the Pennies from Heaven scheme.
Amy Beet (Executive Director of People and Culture) says:
“The Staying Well Service is very grateful to the South Western Ambulance Charity and the staff who have contributed to the Pennies from Heaven scheme for enabling us to provide a quiet room for West Division clinical hub staff. This room is exclusively for hub staff and provides a comfortable environment to take a few minutes after a particularly difficult call when needed.
The North Division clinical hub have reported that their quiet room has been an excellent resource for staff and so we felt that it was important that staff in the West Division hub have the same provision.”
The Staying Well Service enhancement initiatives would not be possible without the generosity of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust staff who choose to donate the spare pennies from their salaries every month through the Pennies from Heaven scheme.
The Trust’s funding for the Staying Well Service remains in place with charitable income used to extend the support and services available to our staff and volunteers.
Ilfracombe Community First Responders
The South Western Ambulance Service Charity has been awarded £2,235 from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which will enable the Ilfracombe Community First Responders (CFRs) to enhance the level of patient care they deliver.
The funding will provide emergency lifting chairs for CFRs to use on patients who have had non-injury falls, but are unable to get up.
It will also be used to purchase other medical equipment, including blood pressure monitors and thermometers.
Ryan Ware, SWASFT Community Responder Officer for Devon, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable us to further support the local community in a robust and safe way. The new equipment we can now purchase will be a great investment for Ilfracombe.
“Our volunteers give their time freely to help support the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and our patients; and this funding will help them to provide more enhanced care for those in need. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.”
The South Western Ambulance Charity is a registered charity in England and Wales (1049230)
Address: South Western Ambulance Charity, Abbey Court, Eagle Way, Exeter, EX2 7HY
Telephone: 0300 3690108
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