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Air ambulance 5K Twilight Shift fundraiser a flying success

More than 100 people took part in Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s first fundraising 5K Twilight Shift event.

Participants either ran, walked or jogged the 5km route around Henstridge Airfield, which is the home of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance team, setting off at 5pm for the Twilight Shift, just as the air ambulance’s crew geared up for it’s night-time shift.

A colourful array of fancy dress costumes were worn by many participants, while some of the more experienced 5K challengers carried extra weight on their back, just as the air ambulance team need to do, when they are attending an incident.

Those who took part included off-duty crew members, former patients who had experienced the work of the air ambulance first-hand, while others ran, jogged or walked in memory of loved ones, as a personal challenge, or as a team.

Although the event was not a race, the first male and female to cross the finish line were husband and wife, Owen and Rachel Astington from Montacute. At 73, Alan Hardy from Wellington was the oldest participant completing the challenge. Alan (pictured) is also a volunteer for the charity. Grace Hetherington and Isabel Parsons, both aged six, were the youngest to individually complete the 5km route.

One story of determination and triumph was from Issy Jarrett, who was a passenger in a head-on road traffic incident in October last year. Issy was flown to Southmead Hospital in Bristol after breaking both of her feet and arm in the accident, along with sustaining substantial bruising and swelling as a result of her injuries.

After undergoing surgery to her abdomen due to a seatbelt wound, Issy has since made a fantastic recovery and wanted to give something back to the team who helped her.

Emma Jones, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “We were over the moon that so many people came to support the event; thank you to all of you. It was our first year and we know that the 5K Twilight Shift will now become an annual event and we are already planning the next one in 2023.”

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance gave special thanks to event sponsors Zoll and Irwin Mitchell and to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for providing onsite CPR advice to participants as part of their ‘Saving Lives Together’ campaign.

Photographs that were taken on the day can be viewed and downloaded by visiting:

More information about the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can be found by visiting: or by calling: 01823 669604.

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