Unsung hero’s from Devon and Cornwall have spent almost 48 hours straight driving NHS staff and patients all over Cornwall and Devon free of charge during the red weather warning.
Neil Bradford and Claire Bryant are well known for their charity work among the Land Rover community, they run Facebook groups ‘Charity Mania 4×4‘ and Land Rover Charity Events along with Polly Bryant using Land Rover based events to raise money for charity, so it was only natural that they would respond to the NHS appeal for 4×4 owners to help staff get to and from work.
As ever we are extremely grateful to all our staff for their ongoing incredible work during the severe weather and we sincerely thank anyone who is able to donate some extra time and skill to keep our patients safe and well this weekend.
Finally I’d like to add that we are hugely grateful to all those 4×4 drivers who have helped us so far. If any other 4×4 drivers can help this weekend please contact the Exeter Transport Hub on 01392 403913 as soon as possible.
Claire BryantGroup “If anyone is able to help please do. I know it’s started thawing but still need 4×4 to access most areas”
Thursday 1st March:
As soon as the bad weather started pushing in, the Land Rover Charity team got to work helping out where needed. Thursday as the snow began to settle Neil Bradford started helping those in need.
Using his Land Rover 110 to aid South West Water Workers in Kingsteignton, Neil collected their manager before going to the Totnes to collect safety equipment and supplies for workers who were stranded at work on Dartmoor nr Holne.
After dropping off safety equipment in Holne he then drove the manager back to Kingsteignton and workers home to Dawlish.
The day was by no means over, after leaving Dawlish Neil rescued two elderly women along who had become stranded whilst looking after their granddaughter. The elderly women had got stuck in a dangerous position, after the stranded vehicle was pushed to the side of road he then dropped the ladies home in Langston Cliff.
Not only was there chaos on the roads, but trains had also stopped running leaving people stranded and in need of a lift home in the snow. Some people had began to walk the 3.5 miles from Dawlish to Teignmouth in the treacherous conditions. Neil began ferrying stranded rail passengers up until 10.30pm.
Friday 2nd March:
Land Rover owner, Malcolm Pelmear was busy ferrying nurses during storm Emma and asked Neil to help out the next day. The pair were up at 6 am Friday morning and spent the day taking nurses to and from Newton Abbot hospital and picking up other walkers along the way.
One of the walkers that was picked up was a young dad who had to get essential food to his kids.
Saturday 3rd March:
Today the volunteers were up at 5.30 am to do it all again. The 4×4 community has really pulled together during some of the worst weather conditions in almost 50 years. Neil Bradford, Claire Bryant, Malcolm Pelmear, Ben Walker, Dave Horswell, Mathew Taylor, Rowan Lawson Sutton…. These are just a few of the local heroes that risked going out in the blizzards and treacherous driving conditions to help out others in need.
Blizzards driven by strong winds, causing drifting snow and bitter cold have caused death and disruption as the weather system nicknamed the “Beast from the East” clashes with Storm Emma to create some of the worst weather in almost 50 years.
The Met Office issued a red warning on Thursday across Devon and Cornwall and declared a ‘Major Incident’ as temperatures plummeted and snow fell up to 50cm in some areas.
Schools closed, hospital appointments were cancelled people were left stranded. Drivers, that ignored warnings not to go out, or had no choice but to travel in the snow and ice, were left stranded on roads right across the UK in freezing temperatures.
Emergency services struggled to clear heavy snow and abandoned vehicles that had broken down or crashed. Many rail and air travelers also endured found themselves stranded.
There were 4×4’s out in force, not only in Devon and Cornwall, but all over the country helping people out, recovering vehicles, delivering supplies, offering lifts, helping the emergency services. It is fantastic to see how the 4×4 community pull together in a time of crisis and put themselves and their vehicles at risk for the good of others. Of course we would love to name you all, but obviously that’s impossible. Everyone that has helped has been truly amazing and need a huge thank you.
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