FIFTEEN-year-old Ben Kilminster has been announced as winner of a special fund-raising trophy in support of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance’s ‘Race from the Base’ cycling event.

The life-saving charity has paid thanks and congratulated Ben, who lives in Dorset, on receiving this year’s Hugo Yaxley Trophy.

Ben took part in the air ambulance’s ‘Race from the Base’ cycling event in June and raised the most amount in sponsorship, £933.75.

The trophy was created in memory of Hugo Yaxley, who was a keen cyclist and died in a road traffic incident in November, 2020.

The air ambulance’s critical care team cared for Hugo at the scene and then airlifted him to University Hospital Southampton to receive further treatment.

Tragically, Hugo died in hospital later that night because of his injuries, which were catastrophic.

Amanda Yaxley, Hugo’s mum, congratulated Ben on his effort this year and said: “Hugo would have been so thrilled to see you get the award in his name, Ben.

“Your drive and determination in raising such a fantastic amount is amazing.

“Hugo started his fund-raising at around your age and on a bike, so it just seems to fit so perfectly.

“Clearly, you are good at this, so please keep on doing it.

“The crews, support staff, and volunteers for air ambulance services across the country are just incredible in their hard work, skill sets, and the fact that they are always there for us all.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance chief executive Charles Hackett presenting the Hugo Yaxley Trophy to Ben Kilminster.
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance chief executive Charles Hackett presenting the Hugo Yaxley Trophy to Ben Kilminster. (DSAA)

“However, our favourite is definitely Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for many reasons.

“The most important being that they took such good care of Hugo when they arrived at the awful car crash he was involved in, so that we, his parents, were able to say goodbye to him at Southampton Hospital.

“It is only over time that we have learnt what the crew did that day, not just for Hugo, but also his girlfriend and two friends who were with him.

“They worked closely with three other air ambulance crews, all of whom were amazing.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed developing close ties with Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and this award in Hugo’s name is such an honour and means so much to us and his brothers.

“We want to say a huge thank you on behalf of Hugo and all the others before and after him, for your fund-raising and all that it does to enable Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance to continue their hard, dedicated, and essential work for us all.”

Ben, who was thrilled to receive the trophy when he visited the charity’s Henstridge airbase at the weekend, said: “What an amazing opportunity to visit the airbase to meet the crew, learn life-saving CPR and see all aspects of the charity that so many people work hard to keep running.

“It was a privilege to receive the Hugo Yaxley Trophy and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated to my fund-raiser.

“It is amazing to know the that funds raised will help so many people when they really need it the most.

“Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance are an amazing charity and I cannot wait to take part in ‘Race from the Base’ again next year.”

Air ambulance fund-raising manager Emma Jones said: “What an incredible amount raised by Ben.

“This was a huge contribution to the overall money raised, with over £10,000 being received so far and Ben raising a tenth of that.

“Thank you, Ben, for your wonderful efforts and to everyone who supported him on his quest.

“Our thanks also go to the Yaxley family for their continued support of the charity.

“Not only did they take part in the event, but Hugo’s brother Tom designed all three of the fantastic routes.

“We are already looking forward to next year, when our ‘Race from the Base’ event takes place on Saturday, September 7.”

The charity’s next fund-raising event, a 5K Twilight Shift, takes place on Saturday, September 23. Participants can turn up on the day to register and take part.

More information and timings can be found here.