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Meet the Team

Aircrew
Leadership Team
Trustees

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I’ve been working on the Wiltshire Air Ambulance since November 2005.

What is your background/training? I joined the Ambulance Service in November 1998, working out of Swindon Ambulance Station and also working at Marlborough and Malmesbury on a road ambulance.  I qualified as a Paramedic in 2001. 

What do you love most about your job?  The opportunity to help people and to make a difference. Every second is different. Also, I have a great view from my ‘office’ window.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself... I have lived and studied in Paris and been run over on the Champs Elysee! I was very lucky not to be seriously injured and I still have one ‘fatter’ shaped ankle!

Critical Care Paramedic
Jo Gilbert

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I completed my training in September 2010 and after working on the unit in relief capacity for four years I am now a full time member of the crew.

What is your background/training?  I have been a Paramedic for 10 years and am also a qualified training officer.  I previously worked as a Team Leader in the SWASFT North HART Unit.

What do you love most about your job?  Working on the Air Ambulance is a privilege, it gives patients the best chance of receiving treatment quickly and then transport to the most appropriate hospital to aid their recovery.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself...  I can play the drums and ride a unicycle (though I've never tried both at the same time).

Critical Care Paramedic
Louise Cox

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? July 2017

What is your background/training? I qualified from UWE in January 2011 with an FDSC in paramedic science. From there I worked in Bath as a paramedic, RRV paramedic, Mentor and finally Practice placement educator. In 2015 I took a secondment as a Learning support officer (LSO) managing the education for all ECAs in the north. However when offered the role I did not want to lose my clinical contact so also took an extra promotion to learning development officer (LDO), responsible for all staff education, annual training and assessments for half of South Wiltshire.As my LSO secondment ended I took a 75% LDO and 25% RRV paramedic role to allow nonmanagerial time. Here I taught ECA initial training courses and maintained clinical and driving training and assessment responsibility for half of south Wiltshire.

What do you love most about your job? I get to meet loads of different people, chat to them, often in their most difficult times and forge relationships that hopefully they will remember for the positive. I do get a sense of satisfaction driving around and passing places I've seen patients. With this role those locations are becoming much more disperse.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself... I have a scar on my head from falling through a glass door when I was 3.

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
Craig Wilkins

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? July 2017

What is your background/training? I qualified as a Paramedic in 2007 after studying Paramedic Science at Coventry University and soon after began working for Great Western Ambulance Service in the Gloucestershire sector on double crewed ambulances and rapid response cars. In 2010 I took up a new position as a Paramedic with the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) based in Bristol. In 2014 I was appointed as an Operations Officer which involved leading a team of HART Paramedics and fulfilling the role of operational commander at the scene of complex or hazardous incidents.

What do you love most about your job? The nature of the incidents we attend often means the work is very dynamic and demanding. I enjoy the challenges of the role and it is very satisfying when you know you have made a difference. Meeting patients again when they visit the base after their recovery is a real privilege.I feel very fortunate to be part of a great team of experienced clinicians and pilots and of course, I’m very lucky to be able to fly around Wiltshire as part of my job!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself...  I’ve camped in the middle of the world's largest lake, in Siberia, in winter.

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
James Hubbard

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I started on the 25th June 2015

What is your background/training? I was a HEMS paramedic from Hampshire

What do you love most about your job? I just love my current role.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I studied ornamental koi in Israel for two years before I joined the fire department/ambulance service in South Africa.

Critical Care Paramedic
Paul Rock

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I joined the team in June 2015 following an extensive selection process a month prior.

What is your background / training? I have been a qualified paramedic since 2004 and spent time overseas with the military before joining the South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust full time in 2012.

What do you love most about your job? I love being part of an incredible team who strive for excellence. Every single person aims to deliver the best possible clinical care and it's an honour to be a member of my new surrogate family.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I was lucky enough to have a two hour flight in a Harrier Jump Jet and the pilot did his best to make me sick....He was successful!!

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
Keith Mills

What is your background / training? I started my ambulance career in 2002 with the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service as a Care Assistant on the Patient Transport Service. Back then you weren't able to work on a frontline A&E ambulance without first "cutting your teeth" on PTS. After two months I was fast-tracked onto frontline and undertook my Ambulance Technician training at the Southern Ambulance College in Chippenham.

In 2005, I moved to old Avon Ambulance Service and worked at Bath Ambulance Station undertaking my Paramedic training shortly after joining. I remained at Bath for the following ten years during which time I qualified as a Paramedic Mentor with the Chartered Management Institute and assisted with the training of student Paramedic's.

What do you love most about your job? To be honest, I love everything about it! I am fortunate to have an exciting and varied job where I get to help some of the most critically ill and injured people in Wiltshire and surrounding counties.....and the flying is awesome of course!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I own a Narrowboat and you will often see me boating up and down the Kennet and Avon canal with my family. What better way is there to unwind after a hard few days of flying around the Wiltshire countryside at 170mph than to cruise along the K&A at 4mph! It's wonderfully relaxing.

Critical Care Paramedic
Dan Tucker

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I started working with WAA in April 2014 in a developmental role and I joined as a full time member of staff in June 2015.

What is your background/training? I joined the London Ambulance Service in March 2009 where I trained as a technician and went on to qualify as a paramedic in 2011. After 3 years in the capital it was time to move back to the countryside where I started working with South Western Ambulance Service. I have worked at a number of stations across the trust and ended up being a mentor paramedic at Bath station before joining Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Since joining the unit I have completed my HEMS training and look forward to doing the PHEM course next year.

What do you love most about your job? Working for the unit is one of the most privileged jobs in the ambulance service. It is a role that challenges my abilities daily and allows us to provide the best care for our patients. Flying in the new aircraft is amazing and I will never get bored of being flown around the county.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: Before joining the ambulance service I was a physiotherapist for a professional rugby club and when I lived in London my next door neighbour was Dame Edna Everage!

Critical Care Paramedic and Operations Officer
Ben Abbott

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? June 2015

What is your background/training: I’m now into my 17th year as a paramedic. I initially started my medical training within the RAMC Corps and became an Airborne Medic. This allowed myself to see and deliver medical care in various countries and harsh environments.

During my medical career, I worked within Fire Service, Urban Search and Rescue teams and within private healthcare. Within the NHS I’ve done a number of operational roles including several managerial positions and now looking forward to my new role within the WAA HEMS team.

What do you love most about your job? I like the fact that every incident is different and no two days are the same. Greatest pleasure is supporting our colleagues and making a positive impact and delivering excellent patient care.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: Well I was considered too small to play rugby, though I've gone on to win some leagues and cups including playing at Brigade level within RAMC.  I also took part in a National Reality TV series several years ago.

Critical Care Paramedic
Fred Thompson

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I started working at WAA in January 2018 on secondment, however that was made substantive in July 2019. Previous to this I worked as a Paramedic in Bournemouth, Dorset.

What is your background/training? I qualified as a Paramedic in 2013 after studying at Bournemouth University. Before I began my role at WAA in 2018, I worked full time at Bournemouth Ambulance Station as a Paramedic and mentoring University students, I then continued this role at the new St Leonards Ambulance Station in 2017 until I moved to WAA.

What do you love most about your job? I feel we are very privileged to do our job. We see patients when they are critically ill or injured and do everything we can to help. Having the opportunity to meet patients again and their relatives following their recovery reinforces how much we can change people’s lives. It’s a rewarding but very humbling job. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself... I have completed three Half Ironman triathlons – with more to come!

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
Sophie Holt

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? November 2019.

What is your background/training? I joined the Avon Ambulance service in 2004 as a technician. In 2010 I completed my Foundation of Paramedic Practice at UWE. I have since gone on to complete BSc Hons in Emergency Care and I am in the process of finishing my Masters in Specialist Practice.

In 2015 I took up the role of Operations Officer in North Bristol. In 2017/18 I undertook a secondment as North Quality Lead for the trust before returning to the Operations Officer role. 

What do you love most about your job? It is a privilege to be working on the Air Ambulance who strive for excellence. It allows for patients who are critically unwell to be provided with the best clinical care. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself... I hold a OceanMasters Licence and have skippered yachts across various oceans. During my time at sea I have been chased by pirates. 

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
Emma Thompson

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I joined Wiltshire Air Ambulance in November 2019

What is your background/training? I joined the Ambulance Service in 2009 as a Student Paramedic where I studied a Foundation Degree at Bournemouth University for 2 years. I qualified in 2011 and worked as a Paramedic and Paramedic Mentor for 5 years, cutting my teeth at Wimborne Ambulance Station in Dorset.

In 2016, I became a Clinical Tutor working across the Dorset region, where I obtained a degree in Paramedic Practice. My responsibilities as a tutor included supporting front line ambulance staff in their education and professional development, providing clinical supervision to staff and delivering high quality educational packages for ambulance service personnel. During this time I have been working towards a Masters in Advanced Practice.

What do you love most about your job? It’s an honour and a privilege to be working for and organisation like Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The vital work carried out by the whole team improves the lives of those who are critically ill and injured every day. To be part of a team that delivers cutting edge pre-hospital care, often in challenging and dynamic environments,  and to see the difference the service makes to the people that need us is inspiring. In my opinion it’s the best job anyone could ask for!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself... I help run a charitable project that provides emergency first aid training, and donations of medical equipment to remote communities in South East Asia. To date I’ve travelled to over 25 islands across 3 Atolls in the Maldives, and helped train over 3000 nurses, doctors, teachers and children in the region.

Trainee Critical Care Paramedic
Adam Khan

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?​ I joined in November 2014

Tell us a little bit about your role: My job as a line pilot is to prepare and fly the helicopter in support of the medical crew.

What do you love about your job? Flying Air Ambulance enables me to combine my passion for flying helicopters with providing a really worthwhile, lifesaving medical service.  For me, it is a huge privilege working with dedicated and immensely talented medical crew who are helping seriously ill or injured patients.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I am being followed around by Prince William, both as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot in North Wales and an Air Ambulance pilot in East Anglian.  Maybe he’ll come to Wiltshire Air Ambulance next!

Line Pilot
Nicky Smith
When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? 
I joined in March 2016.
 
What is your background/training?
I did 10 years in the British Army, flying Lynx in the Army Air Corps and a year up in the North Sea flying to the Rigs.
 
What do you love most about your job?
It's hard to say any one thing but, I love that every time we lift it's for real. In the military to prepare for Operations you do a lot of training which was always compromised with a statement 'if we were doing this for real we would do it this way . . . ' this job there is no caveat. We lift on 'time critical' jobs with crews that are mission focused and an aircraft that is tooled up for all the conditions we get exposed to. Then to top it all off we have great characters throughout the organisation who enjoy a Braai and a beer after work. What's not to love? Seriously???
 
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: 
I have literally caught a fish with my bare hands . . .  True story!!!
Line Pilot
Rob Collingwood

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? 

I returned to Wiltshire Air Ambulance on 1st February 2018.

What is your background/training?

Having obtained a Royal Navy Flying Scholarship from school, I obtained my fixed wing PPL before joining the Royal Navy, and subsequently, the Fleet Air Arm flying the EH101 Merlin all around the world in a multitude of roles embarked in Ships and ashore. Since leaving in 2010 I have flown an Irish Lord around Europe, flown Air Ambulance, Police and Trinity House lighthouse missions (including 3 years out of Devizes in our MD902 Explorer) before 3 1/2 years as a Search and Rescue pilot all around the UK  and in the Falkland Islands. 

What do you love most about your job? 

I love the reactive, challenging nature of the flying and the opportunity to make such a massive difference to people's lives.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: 

I am a keen sportsman and love outdoor challenges including the London Marathon, Welsh 3000s, 24-hour mountain bike relay race and a bike race against the tide!

Line Pilot
Rob Backus
When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? 
I joined Wiltshire Air Ambulance on 01 Sep 2018.
 
What is your background/training?
I have been flying helicopters since 1999 in all types of terrain and weather environments. Most recently I have just finished 11 years of flying to offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.
 
What do you love most about your job?
Compared to my most recent job I love being part of the team that helps people when they need it most. Being surrounded by a group of people that have such passion and expertise and seeing what they do every day is a humbling experience.
 
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: 
I watched the opening of the Athens Olympics from the airship right above the stadium. 
 
Line Pilot
David 'Elvis' Costello

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? 19th January 2015

What is your background/training? Army Air Corps for 17 years.  Gazelle and Apache pilot Flying in 16 Air Assault Brigade.  Flown many different places in the world including Kenya, Cyprus, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland.  Trained as a Test pilot in 2009 and then served as a rotary test pilot for 3 years flying Lynx, Chinook, Apache, Gazelle and A109E.  The last two years before I joined the WAA I was an instructor at the Empire Test Pilots School at Boscombe Down.

What do you love most about your job? The reactive nature of the flying and working with the paramedics.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I have flown over 30 different types of airplanes and helicopters and have gone supersonic.

Unit Chief Pilot
Matt Wilcock

Directors

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?

As CEO since September 2011

Tell us a little bit about your role:

My role as Chief Executive involves working with our unpaid board of trustees to set the strategy of the charity (including the annual budget) and then making sure that our Senior Management Team have all the resources and opportunities they need to deliver the objectives. I work closely with the Chairman and other board members, often being the public face of the charity as far as local media is concerned.

What’s your background?

I’ve had more than a decade of working with Air Ambulance charities.  I started out with Essex in 2001 before moving on to Kent in 2003.  Whilst there I expanded the service into neighbouring Surrey and Sussex where there was no Air Ambulance provision.  I was founding chairman of the Association of Air Ambulances from 2006 for 3 successive years and am a former member of the European HEMS and Air Ambulance Committee.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself:

Before entering the world of pre-hospital care and air ambulances I worked as a missionary in East Africa. 

Chief Executive
David Philpott

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? March 2016.

Tell us a little about your role: As Director of Income Generation & Communications I play a pivotal role in planning, developing and implementing a highly effective fundraising and communications strategy for WAA across a number of key income streams to significantly increase and maintain funding and profile for the Air Ambulance services. This role is also responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive communications strategy for the charity and overseeing all marketing activities.

What is your background/training? Before joint Wiltshire Air Ambulance I worked in local government for eighteen years in communications, event management and marketing. My biggest achievement was in 2012 where I was one of lead members responsible for the Olympic torch coming through Wiltshire County and the Olympic celebration night in Salisbury, which saw over 100,000 residents come out to support the events.

What do you love about your job? Everything, it is great to be part of a team which is helping to saves lives. I get to meet and work with the most amazing and inspirational people who together help raise the funds needed to keep us flying.

My role is incredibly rewarding and I feel that I have helped to make a difference, along with the charity team and crew.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I have met the Queen.

Director of Income Generation & Communications
Barbara Gray

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? I joined in May 2014

Tell us a little about your role: I am responsible for overseeing our flight operations and managing contractual and institutional relationships with a range of stakeholders: our operator (HeliCharter), the British Helicopter Association, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Lessor of our aircraft, Bell Helicopter, to mention a few.

What is your background/training? I have been a pilot in the Italian Navy for many years and have worked for a number of aviation companies. I have also worked in other sectors (boat-building and business consultancy) and still have an active interest in technology and Higher Education.

What do you love most about your job? I have grown and developed professionally in the helicopter sector, in a highly competitive business dimension; the charitable approach is fundamentally different and I have never had the opportunity to work alongside such an inspirational team of hugely committed individuals.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I am a Laser sailor, a prog rock enthusiast and a proud father of four; the interesting fact is that my wife still bears with me.

Director of Aviation and Accountable Manager
Giorgio Bendoni

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? August 2013.

Tell us a little bit about your role

Over the years my role has evolved and I operate in most areas as there are so many crossover points with other departments. I work from entry level right the way through to board reporting and policy writing.

What do you love about your job

That I get to spend time with such amazing people, whether they are paramedics, charity team, trustees or pilots.  They can be volunteers or donors, relatives of someone who has left a legacy or patients that we have helped save.  A finance position isn’t often coupled with the people aspect, it is believed that we deal with process and numbers, but this isn’t true in my case.  I love my job because of the people, they provide the life and soul of the charity and we couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of them.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

I was once on Question Time when it came to my town, I applied to be in the audience, I got through, you have to go on your own and were asked to prepare two questions on your arrival, which I gave in.  We were then funnelled in through the doors to sit in the audience, which we dutifully did and then they chose the questions.  At this point I was starting to panic, this was national TV, what if I was put on national TV….?!  The rational side of me started to kick-in – it said ‘there are at least 200 people here, all of which have put in two questions, that is 400 questions, your question won’t be picked, what are the odds and least of all, what are the odds of them picking yours first?’ I was running the ratios, it was fine, I won’t be picked……  The warm up question will be from……..Danielle Friend….It was a good question, very topical at the time, even got a little giggle from the panel, can’t say the rest of the show was as light hearted!!

Director of Finance and Compliance
Danielle Friend

Management

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? Two months ago, I was previously the Operational Officer – Critical Care Paramedic for six years before with Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Tell us a little bit about your roleManaging the day to day business of the clinical and base for WAA.

What do you love about your job? Being able to help people and know we all make a difference.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I love baking cakes!

Clinical Service and Ground Base Manager
Richard Miller

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?  I had worked as a Police Observer on the joint role Wiltshire Air Ambulance since 2002 and in October 2014 I decided to leave the police service in order pursue an exciting and challenging new career with Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Tell us a little bit about your role: I am responsible for the day-to-day control and management of the airbase and the safe and effective operation of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance aircraft.

What do you love about your job? I feel extremely lucky to be working for such a great charity.  I love the fact that I am part of a small team of great people who all work tirelessly in order to enable the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to continue with its life saving missions.  It is also a great privilege to work alongside our selfless volunteers who continue to put themselves out for the benefit of us all.  I also take great satisfaction from meeting and sharing experiences with many of our generous donors, community groups, patients and their families.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I was awarded my Private Pilots Licence at the age of 17 (9 months before I passed my driving test!)

Head of Facilities and Security
Kevin Reed

Tell us a little bit about your role: My role encompasses all the people connected to the charity, to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of our staff, supporters, volunteers and patients. Ensuring our vision and values impact on everything we do in all areas.

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?  3 October 2010

What do you love about your job? I have the best job in the world, dynamic and poignant; it’s so easy to stay passionate and focused when your part of this great team that really makes a difference in people’s lives.  I’m very proud of what we all do for the public in Wiltshire and every one of us has a part to play in making sure we continue to have this life saving helicopter service in Wiltshire.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I lived and worked in Spain in the financial sector for 3 and a half years and used to be fluent in Spanish. 

People and Wellbeing Manager
Claire Kelly

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?

I joined the charity in November 2018. I had spent the previous 17 years in sports communications with Bristol City Football Club, as well as working for the BBC nationally. I also spent three years as an ambassador for the charity Children’s Hospice South West in Bristol.

Tell us a little bit about your role

I manage the charity’s marketing and communications team. My key role to develop, manage and implement marketing and communications strategy and plans to support a number of key income streams, new and existing fundraising initiatives, products and campaigns. Additionally we deal with regional and national media contacts, responding to enquiries and acting as a spokesperson when necessary.

What do you love about your job?

My family experienced the expertise and lifesaving skills of an air ambulance many years ago, so I understand the importance of the work that is done at the charity. To play a part in getting positive coverage for the charity’s work and subsequently help raise vital funds for its lifesaving work is very fulfilling. It’s a fantastic charity to work for and there’s a very dedicated and hard-working team behind the scenes, one that I’m privileged to be a part of.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: 

Back in 1999 I took part in the 18th annual Fazer a Festa (International Theatre Festival) in Oporto, Portugal. We were the only English representatives and I portrayed a character loosely based on Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers!

Marketing and Communications Manager
Adam Baker

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance?

I joined WAA in August 2014.

Tell us a little bit about your role

My role is looking after all of the lovely people of Wiltshire who fundraise for us by holding community events. I look after visits to the base, organise the Charity Shift where our wonderful crew spend time meeting with visitors for cheque presentations etc. I look after our amazing GroundCrew (volunteers), I also liaise with patients who we have airlifted, arranging for them to meet with the crew who helped them.

What do you love about your job?

Regular contact with the public, volunteers, patients – it’s nice to build a relationship with them, everything they do in support of WAA is phenomenal.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: 

Can’t think of one! Honest – I can’t! Hang on – I play the piano! Or, met Richard Gere in Harrods – phwor!

Community Relationship Manager
Cas Loudon

When did you join WAA?
I joined the charity in November 2018.

Tell us a little about your role:

I’m the fundraising manager and I aim to deliver workable ideas using a range of promotional methods and campaigns to achieve our targets for the year. Raising money for our charity’s lifesaving work can be both satisfying and fun. The role demands a lot of versatility, one day you could be hosting a Ball, the next you’re encouraging supporters to jump out of a plane!

What is your background/training?
I have managed teams and budgets for many years in the sports and leisure industry. I aim to bring strong business acumen and a focus on sales to the charity to help us continue to raise the funds required to keep the helicopter flying and saving lives.

What do you love most about your job?
Working in a team of like-minded individuals all striving for the common cause. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself:
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie and happiest when I’m testing myself with new activities. So putting this into context with my role, if you need me to jump out it, jump into it, walk it, cook it, hang from it… I'll do it.

Fundraising Manager
Des Regan

When did you join Wiltshire Air Ambulance? 19th January 2015

What is your background/training? Army Air Corps for 17 years.  Gazelle and Apache pilot Flying in 16 Air Assault Brigade.  Flown many different places in the world including Kenya, Cyprus, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland.  Trained as a Test pilot in 2009 and then served as a rotary test pilot for 3 years flying Lynx, Chinook, Apache, Gazelle and A109E.  The last two years before I joined the WAA I was an instructor at the Empire Test Pilots School at Boscombe Down.

What do you love most about your job? The reactive nature of the flying and working with the paramedics.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself: I have flown over 30 different types of airplanes and helicopters and have gone supersonic.

Unit Chief Pilot
Matt Wilcock

How long have you been a Trustee for Wiltshire Air Ambulance? Since the new charity was formed.

What’s your background? With a BSc in Biochemistry and an MPhil in Immunology, I worked in medical research for a number of years.  I then founded and ran my own Biotechnology company for over 20 years before selling to a PLC.  I am currently working in business - mentoring for start-up and pre-profit companies.

What was your motivation to step forward to be a Trustee? Apart from the altruistic motivation of giving back to my local community, I have long had an interest in aviation and medicine.

What skills do you bring to the role? My background in running my own successful company, strategic planning and general business acumen equip me to analyse and focus the charity’s attention on critical areas such as optimum use of resources.

I’ve been a pilot for over 20 years and have flown helicopters for 6 years so have in depth knowledge of helicopters and the aviation industry.

Chairman
Chris Lear

How long have you been a Trustee for Wiltshire Air Ambulance? Since the creation of WAACT.

What’s your background? It’s in the legal profession - I work for Withy King LLP Solicitors and before that I was with Townsends Solicitors.  I also did a stint with the Royal Navy.

What was your motivation to step forward to be a Trustee? A desire to give something back to Wiltshire – it’s the county in which I’ve worked for over twenty years.  Additionally an air ambulance, in a neighbouring county, saved the life of a friend who had a heart attack whilst out riding.

What skills do you bring to the role? Commercial legal knowledge and also a personal knowledge of charity commission rules and requirements.

Trustee
Peter Foskett

When did you join the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Board of Trustees? I joined Wiltshire Air Ambulance as a Trustee in January 2014.

What is your background? I have worked in the legal profession for over twenty years and am currently a Solicitor and Partner at Novum Law.  I am also a Director, Chairman and Trustee for Headway Swindon and District; a charity that assists adults with brain injuries and helps to support their families.  I live near Royal Wootton Bassett, am married and have two sons.

What was your motivation to become a Trustee? It’s the ability to work with others to develop the services for Wiltshire Air Ambulance. I feel a great sense of reward by helping the community.

I fully support the development of the charity as it is critical that they continue to deliver an excellent service that can help, save and improve the quality of people’s lives.

What skills do you bring to the role? I have been involved in the expansion of Headway Swindon and District and recognise that strong leadership and organisation skills help to achieve this. I feel that having both the legal knowledge and experience in working with charities enables me to contribute effectively to organisations such as Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Trustee
Anna Cole

When did you join the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Board of Trustees? I joined as a Trustee in March 2018

What is your background? I have worked in the oil industry and then the motor industry in a variety of sales, marketing and senior management roles. I live near Chippenham and I am married with two children.

What was your motivation to become a Trustee? I live and work in Wiltshire and have been a supporter of WAA for many years and believe the charity offers an amazing service to people in our county. I have joined at an exciting time as we move to the new Airbase at Semington with the whole team in one state of the art facility.

What skills do you bring to the role? Commercial skills with a strong focus on people and processes

Trustee
Mike Fellows

When did you join the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Board of Trustees?

 October 2018

What is your background?

I have been in aviation for over 30 years, as an operator and more recently, in various managerial appointments. As a Navigator in the RAF the majority of my career was spent at RAF Lyneham, flying the C-130K Hercules. After 23 years’ service I left the RAF, and have been with QinetiQ since 2012, recently being appointed a Ground Operations Manager, working closely with the Empire Test Pilot School.  I am married with a son.

What was your motivation to become a Trustee?

Having lived in Wiltshire for nearly 30 years, I very much appreciate what a great asset the Air Ambulance brings to the community and the role it plays in saving lives. To be able to contribute to such a worthwhile charity is a privilege.

What skills do you bring to the role?

An understanding of aircraft operations and general aviation management.

Trustee
Rob Kevan

When did you join the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Board of Trustees?

April 2019.

What is your background?

I was born and raised in Swindon, growing up on a council estate. I have been involved in businesses for the last 20 years, the main one being Excalibur Group which I took over in 2010 and was the chief executive until 2017. I am still involved as executive chairman but I spend most of my time involved in several charities in Swindon and Wiltshire, including for young people. I also mentor businesses, mainly start-ups. I am married with two daughters.

What was your motivation to become a Trustee?

I have supported Wiltshire Air Ambulance for several years and have seen the great work the charity does. With Excalibur we were one of the founding members of the charity’s business networking group The 100 Club, which was initially set up to support the fundraising for the new airbase at Semington. I’m excited about bringing my skills and experience to help the charity.

What skills do you bring to the role?

I’m very strategic and I have experience in growing organisations (charities and businesses). I have been a trustee of other charities for several years and I can bring my skills in governance, sales and marketing.

Trustee
James Phipps

When did you join the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Board of Trustees?
April 2019

What is your background?
I was educated at St George’s College Weybridge and London School of Economics (Bsc Econ) and Inns of Court School of Law. I am a barrister specialising in aviation law. I am also a Recorder of the Crown Court (part time Judge) and in 2003 was appointed Queens counsel. I am married to Francesca(a solicitor) and we have 3 sons.

What was your motivation to become a Trustee?
To do all I can to help WAA continue to bring its life saving service to the people of Wiltshire.

What skills do you bring to the role?
I have spent my career in aviation law including regulatory, finance and leasing, product liability, fixed wing and helicopter operations and accidents both civil and military and I hope that I can now apply those skills for the benefit of the community.

Trustee
Philip Shepherd
Our Ambassadors
  • Shelley Rudman
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Shelley Rudman, Olympic silver medalist and World Champion in Skeleton Bobsleigh who lives in the Pewsey Vale, says:

    "Wiltshire Air Ambulance is very much needed in such a rural area. The plans for the new airbase are great. I particularly think the idea that schools can visit as part of an education programme is brilliant and enables everyone to feel more connected to the charity."

  • Lauren Booth
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Lauren Booth, British Champion Para-cyclist from Chippenham, says:

    “Wiltshire Air Ambulance covers such a large area and is able to get to incidents within minutes, with highly trained medics and specialist medical equipment on board, to save lives. A modern airbase with everyone based at the same place can only make the charity better.”

  • Alan Dedicoat
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Alan Dedicoat, broadcaster and who is known as the ‘Voice of the Balls’ on the National Lottery draw TV programme and is the voice of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One, says:

    “Wiltshire Air Ambulance can mean the difference between life or death due to the speed of its helicopter and the highly trained crew on board. The new airbase will have improved operation and training facilities, enabling the team’s paramedics to provide the best possible care to critically injured and ill patients.”

  • Paul Martin
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Paul Martin, presenter of BBC TV’s antiques programme Flog It! and who lives in Seend, says:

    “In a rural community like Wiltshire, the air ambulance is vital – it saves lives. We need it. It’s an extremely well supported charity with people fundraising for it day in and day out enabling the helicopter and crew to fly and save lives. The new airbase is very exciting and will enable the air ambulance to save future generations.”

  • Nick and Annette Mason
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassadors Nick Mason CBE, musician and founding member of Pink Floyd, and his wife Annette Mason, an actress and aviation correspondent, say:

    “We have lived in Corsham for over 20 years and we are enormously keen supporters of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, both from the point of view of knowing people who have benefitted from the service but also because both of us are enthusiastic pilots ourselves. The new airbase will be a brilliant facility, enabling this wonderful charity to carry on its vital, lifesaving work.”

  • Suzanna Hext
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Suzanna Hext, para-dressage rider with the goal of competing for Great Britain in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

    "Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a vital service that we couldn't do without, especially in rural locations such as where I had my horse riding accident in 2012. If they hadn't airlifted me to hospital quickly, the outcome could have been different. The new airbase is crucial to Wiltshire Air Ambulance's future and the charity needs the public's support to raise the remaining funds to make it a reality." 

  • Stephanie Millward MBE
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Stephanie Millward MBE, multiple Paralympic medalist in swimming who lives in Box, Wiltshire.

    "Stephanie Millward was close to a place in the British international able-bodied team and, having broken the British record for the 100-metre backstroke at the age of 15, hoped to qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney before she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  She qualified for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, competed in London 2012 and Rio 2016." 

  • Matt Perry
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Matt Perry, ex-professional rugby union player, says:

    “Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a fantastic charity. Not many people know Wiltshire Air Ambulance is self-funded and I’m honoured to come on board as an Ambassador to help support it. The professionalism of the team is outstanding. The pilots and paramedics attend so many different accidents and traumas, from road traffic collisions to sporting injuries and catastrophic medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests, and give the best possible care.”

  • Tom Dunn
    Wiltshire Air Ambulance Ambassador Tom Dunn, professional rugby player for Bath Rugby Club, says:

    “Being a Wiltshire boy I know how important Wiltshire Air Ambulance is and that it relies on donations, as it is not funded directly by the Government. The charity airlifted a friend of mine several years ago and it is a vital service. It can mean the difference between life and death if you are critically injured or ill.“

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