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Devon Stepfather takes on challenges to help charity close to his heart

Devon Stepfather takes on challenges to help charity close to his heart

Aaron East from Bideford has raised nearly £2,000 by pushing himself to the limits for the lifesaving Children’s Air Ambulance – a charity close to his heart.

The Children’s Air Ambulance is a national service, changing the face of paediatric and neonatal care through the high-speed transfer of critically ill babies and children – flying them from one hospital to another for specialist care via the clinically designed helicopters which provide a flying intensive care unit for babies and children.

At four weeks old, Aaron’s stepdaughter Elsie was flown from Barnstaple Hospital to Bristol Children’s Hospital when she needed open heart surgery due to her congenital heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries.

The flight dramatically increased her chances of survival, which inspired Aaron to support the vital charity.

In 2021 Aaron took part in his fourth Tough Mudder event alongside two friends, raising £630 for the worthy cause.

“I always look forward to the challenge and to any new obstacles which are put forward, and I will be participating in more Tough Mudders for the Children’s Air Ambulance to raise money for such an important charity,” explained Aaron.

Aaron didn’t stop there, this year he joined TCAA’s Team Mission and decided to take on a 15,000ft Children’s Air Ambulance Charity Tandem Skydive at Dunkeswell Airfield Nr Honiton.

“I jumped at the chance to take part when I found out the Children’s Air Ambulance was doing a charity skydive locally- it’s always something I’ve wanted to experience,” he said.

“The only time I can honestly say I was nervous was just the initial roll out of the plane, other than that I was buzzing the whole way up and the whole way down. The part that I enjoyed the most was definitely the free fall, as you can’t beat the thrill of the speed you can achieve when plummeting down to ground level,” he added.

Next year Aaron is hoping to either take part in another Tough Mudder, skydive, or take on a wing walk to raise even more funds as he managed to raise an amazing £1,265 from the skydive.

“Myself and Elsie’s family are forever grateful and will continue to support this charity,” he concluded.

Commenting on Aaron’s incredible feats, TCAA Community Fundraising Executive, Fiona Franklin said: “I am in awe of how brave Aaron is for taking on these challenges, and I want to thank him for his continued support of our vital charity”.

“The total of £1,895 Aaron has raised will go towards keeping the Children’s Air Ambulance flying and the specialist equipment needed to do this”.

If this sounds like something you’d love to take part in why not check out other ways to get involved by visiting:

For more information about the charity, call 0300 3045 999 or visit

To read Elsie’s full story, visit: