Renovated family room unveiled

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has given the Family Room at its airbase an incredible makeover, with support from Furniture Box and SXW Carpentry.

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

A group of people, some sitting on sofas, unveiling a new comfortable room

The Family Room can be found on the ground floor of the airbase, and it forms an integral part of the building when visitors come to Semington.

Patients often want to re-engage with the pilots, critical care paramedics and doctors who came to treat them at the scene of emergencies, and this is done in the Family Room.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the crew room, it is a safe space for patients to relive or learn more about their treatment, which can often be a difficult or traumatic experience.

Likewise, the Family Room is also used for in-memory visits, when the relatives and friends of people we attended who sadly passed away come to engage with the charity.

Furniture Box colleagues sat on a sofa, with paramedics dressed in orange standing behind them

Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Katy Burke said: “The Family Room is such an important part of the airbase and needed updating to make it a warmer, more welcoming space.

“We are ever so grateful to two local companies, Furniture Box and SXW Carpentry, for the donations they have made, both in terms of products but also their time and effort. Our own volunteers also kindly gave time to help with painting, alongside Furniture Box staff.

“We were even able to utilise donations kindly made to our Devizes charity shop to build out an area in the Family Room for youngsters, including toys and games to keep them entertained

“Everyone at Wiltshire Air Ambulance is so proud of the finished Family Room and it was great to be able to welcome back some former patients for the official opening."

This included Peter Vooght, who suffered a life-threatening episode of sleep apnoea in March 2016. Peter, from Semington, was anaesthetised and intubated on scene to manage his airway, before being airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

“The new Family Room is lovely, really nice. The colour scheme is great and if I were making a first visit, it would be the perfect setting a returning patient or family member.”

Peter Vooght, former patient

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Two male paramedics, wearing orange flight suits, standing in front of a yellow and green helicopter, holding a large novelty cheque