Happy Father’s Day! We meet three inspirational Devon Dads
PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 June 2019
Copyright Eddie Esdale
As Father’s Day approaches, ROSIE PARSONS meets three inspirational Devon Dads and their families
Brendon Prince, founder - Above Water
"In 2014 I was involved with good friend Jonathan Harry in the attempted rescue of three surfers who tragically lost their lives at Mawgan Porth, Cornwall," says lifeguard Brendon Prince, 46, father to Kitty 14, Roo, 12 and Jonah, nine.
"Since this life-changing event I have been working for Torquay Boys' Grammar School and I am sponsored by Torbay Surf Life Saving Club to visit schools with a drowning prevention message," he explains.
This tragic loss of life out at sea led Brendon to start the charity Above Water - a water education and safety charity that sends qualified lifeguards into schools to teach and promote adventurous water activity, provide water safety education, teach drowning prevention techniques and aquatic first aid.
"He teaches the three of us so much about the sea, and it means we can get out and enjoy it while being safe," says his daughter Kitty, 14.
"It's another world being able to come out onto the sea and have fun," adds his son Roo, 12, "and we can do so much more than the average family because our father knows what he is doing out on the water".
Above Water visits schools for free and 2019 is the charity's first full year. Already they have spoken to over 7000 children, teachers and parents - with a goal to reach over 25,000 children via at least 50 schools by the end of the year.
More info: abovewater.org
Joe Ball, Inspired by Keira
Over in North Devon, a devastating road accident in July 2017 along the A361 link road which involved his wife and children left Joe Ball with the heartbreaking decision to donate his nine-year-old daughter Keira's organs after she was killed in the crash.
"It's not something we had ever really spoken about," says Joe, who is also dad to Keely 14, Katelyn, 13 and Bradley, nine. "It's just not something you discuss with your children. But Keira was such a kind loving girl; it was just her nature to give. And I just thought if she was given the option, she would want to donate".
This selfless act of kindness saved the lives of multiple others, and the family were able to make contact with one of the recipients - a young boy called Max who received Keira's heart.
Via this link with Max, Joe and his family became involved in the Daily Mirror's campaign to change the law on organ donation. Now through their efforts, the law has been successfully changed so that everyone is deemed to be a donor unless they specifically opt out and has even been named after the two children - Max's and Keira's Law.
Joe and his family also set up the charity Inspired by Keira which supports other families going through unexpected loss.
"I'm so proud of my Dad because he has been really strong and brave," says Joe's daughter Keely, 14. "In a really difficult situation, he chose for Keira," adds Katelyn, 13.
More info: www.inspiredbykeira.co.uk
Peter Moore, Forest and Beach
In Kingsbridge, South Devon, Peter Moore, 48, is doing his family proud after having set up Forest and Beach - an outdoor education centre for families and schools to help teach children how to look after their environment.
"As a primary school teacher for the last 18 years, I am passionate about learning, and in particular I'm passionate about learning outdoors", says Peter.
"In today's society, where technology takes centre-stage, children and adults are increasingly losing touch with nature and becoming unsure of how to interact with it. Forest and Beach aims to reconnect people with nature in a way that's creative, engaging and fun."
His son Sam, 16 and daughter Milly, 18, are justifiably inspired by their Dad. "He is not only inspirational to us, but he teaches hundreds of children how to enjoy and have fun in the outdoors and how to look after it," says Milly proudly. "He cares for the outdoors so much that it means I care about the environment too".
"He's followed the path he wants to in life," says Sam, 16, "He hasn't let anything get him down. We are very happy for him that he spends time outdoors doing what he loves".
More info: forestandbeach.co.uk
FATHER'S DAY EVENTS IN DEVON
If you're looking to celebrate an amazing father in your family, head on over to one of these Devon events coming up in June.
16 June BHP Fuel Fest, The Devon Car Show, Westpoint Arena, Exeter
The biggest car show in the South West. Performance and modified cars and motorcycles, live demonstrations, indoor and outdoor vehicle displays, children's entertainment, food village, and trade stands. Drifting, BMX Flatland, Motorcycle Stunts, Freestyle motocross and BMX Ramp make it a fun day for all the family.
15/16 June: Croyde Surf Academy, Croyde Bay
Dad comes free with any surf lesson or coasteering session booked. Or buy it for your Dad and you come free instead.
15/16 June: Bicton Botanical Gardens, Budleigh Salterton
A special vintage weekend with boats, cars and steam engines.
16 June: The Big Sheep, Bideford
Dads go free with one full paying child. Plus Dad can get 20 minutes free play session on the Battlefield Live attraction.
16 June: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, Lynton
Dads travel free and get to drive a diesel too.