Man who suffered anaphylactic shock after being bitten by a snake opens charity shop

The ceremony was led by the charity’s chief executive officer Jane Gurney, and David Cook, a former patient who benefitted from the service by the air ambulance <i>(Image: Paula Day)</i>
The ceremony was led by the charity’s chief executive officer Jane Gurney, and David Cook, a former patient who benefitted from the service by the air ambulance (Image: Paula Day)

A MAN who was bitten by a snake but lived to tell the tale after being airlifted to hospital has helped open a new charity shop.

The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) has officially launched a new store on Mersea Island following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The event at 35 Barfield Road was led by the charity boss Jane Gurney, and David Cook, a former patient who benefitted from the service.

The congregation also included Mr Cook's wife Jill, local dignitaries, EHAAT trustees, volunteers, and staff.

In 2010, Mr Cook was airlifted to hospital after suffering anaphylactic shock from a snake bite while on holiday in Mersea Island.

Since then, he and Jill have supported the charity by volunteering.

Gazette: A congregation, which included Mr Cook's wife Jill, local dignitaries, EHAAT trustees, volunteers,
Gazette: A congregation, which included Mr Cook's wife Jill, local dignitaries, EHAAT trustees, volunteers,

The new shop symbolises the support of the local community and is a crucial step towards the realisation of the charitable organisation's life-saving mission.

Positioned conveniently within reach of the original shop location, the larger facility offers a shopping experience and the opportunity to discover exceptional offers.

The shop also features improved facilities for donations and better parking arrangements for drop-offs.

Ms Gurney said: "This new shop is more than just a place to find a bargain or give your pre-loved items a second chance; it's a testament to the commitment of the Mersea Island community and a significant stride forward in our mission to save lives.

"We're particularly proud to be opening this new charity shop, right where our retail story began over 20 years ago.

Gazette: The new shop symbolises the support of the community and is a crucial step towards the realisation
Gazette: The new shop symbolises the support of the community and is a crucial step towards the realisation

"Now we've moved across the road to this bigger and better location, we are offering more space for you to browse and find amazing bargains.

"The more you shop, the more life-saving missions you’ll make possible."

This year, backed by the support of the community, the Mersea shop team is aiming towards diverting 70 tonnes of pre-loved items away from landfills.

A visually appealing chart in the shop will allow everyone to monitor the progress towards the significant target.

Ms Gurney also presented a 20-year service award to Rosie Bird and encouraged new volunteers to visit the shop for more information.