The Steel Charitable Trust has generously donated two Draeger Evita V500 ventilators to North Devon District Hospital for use on its Intensive Care Unit.

The ventilators, which were donated before the COVID-19 outbreak and are already in use, were given in memory of Steel Charitable Trust trustee Jim Hawkins.

The Steel Charitable Trust Manager, Isla Stanger said “The Steel Charitable Trust is pleased to honour the memory of its late Trustee, Anthony ‘Jim’ Hawkins – who died just over a year ago – by enabling the hospital to purchase these ICU ventilators.

“Jim was involved with The Steel Charitable Trust for over 35 years and was a keen supporter of many projects in the South West, particularly Devon where he lived with his wife, Maureen, for many years. It is thanks to Maureen, working with the hospital to identify the most beneficial and suitable use for Jim’s memorial grant, that the ventilators were chosen, and we hope they prove successful in aiding the recovery of many patients.”

Over and Above fundraiser Julie Whitton said “I knew Jim – he was a remarkable and inspirational man.  He was very kind, supportive and an active member of his local community.  He attended many live events and performances that I organised in the village where I live. His sudden passing was a great shock, and he is much missed by us all.

“We are overwhelmed by the kind generosity of The Steel Charitable Trust and Jim’s wife Maureen on the donation of these state-of-the-art ventilators, which will help our patients who need support with their breathing.”

The Steel Charitable Trust donated a total of £54,167 for the ventilators, which will offer a combined fully-featured, high performance ventilation system with the Infinity Acute Care System.

North Devon District Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit provides specialist care for those who need close monitoring and more intensive treatments.

ICU Clinical Matron Juliet Parkin said: “The majority of those patients admitted to ICU will require some level of support for their respiratory system, from receiving oxygen through a mask for a few hours to those who require full support of their respiratory system.

“These state-of-the-art new ventilators will be of great value. The multiple modes available mean that we can maximise the benefits to our patients by assisting their breathing in a way that supports their natural breathing pattern. We truly cannot thank The Steel Charitable Trust enough for their generous donation.”

To find out more about the hospital charity please visit; and the charity’s Facebook page or contact the North Devon District Hospital Fundraising Team on 01271 311772 or email

 For further information about The Steel Charitable Trust or email

Draeger Ventilator


(L-R):   Over and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton and ICU Clinical Educator Jackie West


For more information about this press release, call the Fundraising Team in the fundraising office on 01271 311772 or e-mail

Additional information:

North Devon’s ICU unit has a long history of providing an excellent standard of nursing and medical care to the people of North Devon as well as visitors to the area.  The staff are constantly receiving up-to-date training using the best, research based practice.  It is therefore important to us that we offer the best state of the art equipment.  The new ventilators will enable the Intensive Care Unit team to continue their excellent care and enhance their work.

North Devon District Hospital is the most remote acute hospital in mainland England and offers an excellent high dependency service and intensive care unit to the local community.