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15-year-old wins prize in aid of air ambulance

Filed under: Air Ambulance Costs and Fundraising — Posted by: Andrew on February 20, 2012

A generous radio listener from Devon gave his granddaughter a gift for her to cherish for the rest of her life with a day spent with exotic animals and tuition from Richard Austin, an award-winning photographer. 15-year-old Rachel Johnson was over the moon when she heard of her grandfather’s win of the experience on a radio show auction to raise money for the local Air Ambulance.

Rachel attends South Dartmoor Community College where she studies GCSE Photography. The prize enabled her to pursue her main passion which is taking photographs of animals. She got up, close and personal with giant tortoises and meerkats at Paignton Zoo. The Western Morning News funded Mr. Auston’s tuition fee for which he taught her to take the best photographs using high-tech photography equipment.

She enjoyed not just the experience but the time she spent being taught be someone with so much experience from whom she says she learned a great deal. In turn, he praised her concentration and enthusiasm, saying that they are necessary qualities in the business.

Phil Knowling, spokesman for Paignton Zoo, was also clearly impressed.

“Rachel was a keen student and clearly has a good eye. The day gave her a great opportunity to work with an old master and to get her hands on some top quality camera equipment”.

The fundraising director for the air ambulance service said that they managed to achieve their target of £60,000 and that total has now climbed to over £742,000 as things stood last Friday.

The funds will enable the local Air Ambulance to buy a second air ambulance, which will arrive in 2013.

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