Meet The Team

Devon Freewheelers is a registered charity.  It legal structure is described as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registered No: 1180246.  Up until 2017/2018 financial year Devon Freewheelers was previously registered as a Charity under registration number 1138889.  As a matter of course and progression the Charity has developed to such a point where it now employs five members of staff.  In addition to the volunteers who are our most valuable asset, there are other industry experts on board who also offer their time free of charge.  You can learn more about these people here.

Daniel Lavery - Founder & CEO

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The charity was founded in 2009 by Mr Daniel Lavery.  The need for the service became apparent to him after a similar charity in Northern Ireland was instrumental in the saving of his wife and son’s lives during a traumatic event in 2005.  This event is widely recorded in media and publications and can easily be researched on the internet by a simple search.

In 2009 it was discovered that four previous attempts to launch a similar service over 2 decades in the county of Devon had all failed. Daniel was not prepared to be the fifth attempt.  Since then Devon Freewheelers has affected thousands of lives, all over the country; lives that surely would have been lost.  To this day Daniel is still found out on the road or in the office and is currently the appointed Chief Executive Officer of the charity.

“As much as I steer; it is the volunteers who deliver my dream.  Devon Freewheelers is not me, it’s a team effort, and we would not be able to achieve anything without the dedication and support of the volunteers.  More precious than gold, the volunteers in Devon Freewheelers are your true ‘Hidden Hero’s’; them and my wife, without Shelley I’m nothing.  Her support allows me to do what I do every day.

Caroline Retter - Fundraising Manager

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Former volunteer Caroline Retter is employed as our Fundraising Manager.  Caroline is the first point of contact for every member of public who needs help or assistance with resources or equipment for their event when fundraising for the charity.  Another jewel of the Devon Freewheelers crown; Caroline has grown into the fundraising world amazingly, battling daily challenges in managing our events calendar and so much more.


Caroline’s role regularly changes and can occasionally be found driving an Air Ambulance Blood Car or Duty Controller or stood under a gazebo at an event.  “They are my volunteer hours,” say Caroline.  “I love my job and I’m happy doing a little extra”


The problem for the rest of us is Caroline’s interpretation of ‘a little’.  She doesn’t know the meaning of the word!  When she’s not fundraising, or applying for grants and funds; in her spare time she’s doing a Degree – on fundraising; with a great big smile on her face.

John Conway - Operations Manager

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John Conway is employed as our Operations Manager and joined the charity in 2015 as a volunteer until he was offered an employed position with the CIO in 2018.  Having worked several managerial positions within the motor trade John started off with managing our fleet.

The six foot giant that’s strong as an ox, has the patience of a saint and the widest set of shoulders known to man is built for the task and regardless of the pressure he can be found with a smile on his face that brings karma and order to any stressful situation.

Even with his job role John is never off duty topping up his volunteer hours by being the transplant co-ordinator and first on call for response through the night.

Russell Roe - Accounts

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Russell volunteered for Devon Freewheelers for 9 years as a fundraiser and fleet manager before being appointed to the accounts office.  Russell’s disability unfortunately prohibits his lifelong love of motorcycling and the world of blood biking as his condition regularly leaves him wheelchair bound.

Russ is employed part-time as an accounts clerk, updating the book-keeping on a daily basis for our accountants.  The rest of the time he’ll never be far away.  With an annual turnover of £250,000 to keep the charity running his job is far from easy, and he fills us all with dread when we have to take a purchase order to his office!

Trevor Rule - Fundraising Assistant

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Another former volunteer, Trevor is employed as a fundraising assistant.  Trevor can be found mostly out on the road, visiting venues, shops and events in the van or on a bike and also assists in driving our response cars delivering human organs for transplant all over the country.

Trevor is an engineer by trade and was unfortunately hit by a redundancy cull last year.  All we can say is their loss was certainly our gain.  A hard working individual that has Devon Freewheelers flowing through his veins, Trevor is another one that volunteers in all roles after his work day is over.
 

Paramedic Melvyn Baldock - Clinical Lead

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State registered paramedic Melvyn Baldock is the Clinical Lead for Devon Freewheelers.  Melvyn joined the charity in April 2019 as a volunteer, assisting in some exciting bold new projects that are in the final stages of going live.  As part of our development we have some stunning training facilities available to us and we want our volunteers to be able to access the best free training available.  We are proud and honoured to have Melvyn on board and he is dedicating his time to his passion as a volunteer.

"I joined Kent Ambulance in January 1987 and became a paramedic in 1991. An officer in 1995 eventually being responsible for a ¼ of Kent and ambulance control. I became project lead for Y2K and designed a sickness absence system which gave the trust more control and better conditions for the staff.

Since leaving the Trust I worked as a repatriation Paramedic and have completed over 2000 repats. Operationally managed and directed private ambulance companies and became heavily involved in training. I have been self employed for 4 years and now teach from first aid to every ambulance course going and mentor paramedics. I also write and develop courses. My main project at this time is to improve blue light driving for the NHS and private sector. 

By joining DFW it is my intention to support all staff and volunteers in everything they do or wish to do for the benefit of all concerned, not least the customer, patient, or end user of this amazing life saving service. I very much am looking forward to this new venture. My parents have lived in Devon for 30 years so I have strong ties with the area."
 

Paramedic Neil Eaton IQA - CQC Governance & Compliance Lead

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State registered paramedic Neil Eaton is a certified IQA and is the CQC Governance and Compliance Lead for Devon Freewheelers.   Neil  joined the charity in May 2019 as a volunteer CQC Governance & Compliance Lead, assisting in some exciting bold new projects that are in the final stages of going live.  As part of our ongoing development we are heavily involved in working within Government with regards to legislation changes, implementations, advisory groups and discussions.

We are proud and honoured to have Neil on board and he is dedicating his time to his passion in Legal Governance and Compliance as a volunteer.

More information to follow shortly