Couple pledges to make CPR training an annual event after near-death drama during fire at their home

Couple pledges to make CPR training an annual event after near-death drama during fire at their home

Winchcombe Farm, defibrillator, CPR training, Gill Cleeve
CPR training day at Tysoe Social Club. Photos by David Fawbert Photography.

A south Warwickshire coupled who became campaigners for CPR following a major fire at their home, have hailed their community first aid training day a huge success.  

In January Steve Taylor, 64, collapsed while trying to contain a blaze at Winchcombe Farm, a holiday retreat he runs with his wife Jo Carroll in Upper Tysoe.

Steve was recently reunited with the firefighter who managed to resuscitate him after administering CPR at the scene for more than 20 minutes while the blaze was still raging.

Now the father of two is continuing his recovery at home after undergoing a triple heart bypass and having a defibrillator fitted in his heart. He’s gone on to become an advocate for the UK Resuscitation Council, helping to raise awareness of the importance of everyone learning life-saving CPR skills.

Some 28 members of the community joined Winchcombe staff for the event, hosted by Gill Cleeve of Brookvale First Aid. It also marked the unveiling of a new defibrillator on the Winchcombe Farm Holidays site, the second in the village. There is also one at the old fire station.

Winchcombe Farm, CPR training, fire, Tysoe, Gill Cleeve
A captive audience

Gill, who also became Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon earlier this month, said: “CPR training is so valuable to a community, it will give people, the knowledge and confidence to step in and help if the worst should happen. This is why I’m always delighted to be asked to train community groups.

“Training doesn’t take long, but it can have a lifelong impact on someone’s life. Without CPR the person will die within minutes and the chances of survival will get lower the longer it takes someone to help.

“Every year in the UK, NHS Ambulance Services attempt resuscitation in approximately 30,000 people. Most of cardiac arrests occur in the home (approx 80%) or in the workplace (approx 15%).

Steve Taylor, owner of Winchcombe Farm Holidays, said: “Gill very kindly offered to run this training course for us, after she heard how CPR saved my life. We threw the invitation open to everyone in our village and are thrilled that so many people wanted to join us.

“Less than 1 in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the UK survive. By training our community in life saving skills, if the worst happens, they’ll be there to give someone the best possible chance of survival.”

Winchcombe Farm, CPR training, Tysoe, Gill Cleeve
Gill Cleeve of Brookvale First Aid demonstrates CPR.

While bystander CPR is attempted in 7 out of 10 cases, using a public access defibrillator is reported as being used in less than 1 in 10.

A cardiac arrest happens when there’s a problem with the heart’s rhythm, meaning it stops oxygenated blood from pumping around the body. This will lead the person to collapse, stop breathing and become unconscious.

The family of four is still counting the cost of the blaze which was started by an ember from their log burner. They are now living in temporary accommodation in one of their guest lodges while the repairs on their home continue.

Jo said: “Gill is just the most fabulous trainer and took all the fear away from administering CPR, if ever you find yourself in the situation where it is needed. She covered everything you could possibly need to know to help save a life of someone in cardiac arrest, including how to use a defibrillator.

“It was such a success, and there is so much demand from the local community to learn these skills, we are hoping to make it an annual event.”

Visit Brookvale First Aid here

Visit Winchcombe Farm Holidays here

Winchcombe Farm, CPR training, Tysoe, Gill Cleeve
Steve Taylor, Gill Cleeve and Jo Carroll with the new defibrillator.

Winchcombe Farm is an idyllic five-star boutique holiday retreat on the Warwickshire and Cotswolds border.

The remote family-run retreat nestles on a private estate in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and beneath the famous battlefield landmark of Edgehill. It’s an oasis of tranquillity with just sheep, chickens, moorhens, ducks, ponies and alpacas for company.

Designed with outdoor living in mind, this unique collection of six beautiful holiday homes – includes Warwickshire’s only treehouse – offering the height of luxury and nestling in four sycamore and ash trees – three of them growing through the outside deck and one even growing through the kitchen!

Luxury features range from private hot tubs, hanging chairs, hammocks and outside shower, to barbecue shed, pizza oven, BBQ hut, firepit for toasting marshmallows and even geodesic domes with king size circular bed plus personal telescopes for a spot of stargazing! Guests even receive a welcome hamper on arrival to start their holiday in style.

Inside, the properties are well equipped with all the latest technology including 55-inch SMART TV and DVD and, in the kitchen, a range on lush josephjoseph and SMEG accessories plus all the mod cons.

Winchcombe Farm, defibrillator, fire, Gill Cleeve, CPR training
Gil Cleeve receives a bouquet from Steve Taylor.
CORONAVIRUS: Joining forces to ward off effects of pandemic

CORONAVIRUS: Joining forces to ward off effects of pandemic

A GROUP of enterprising small business owners in south Warwickshire have joined forces in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Winchcombe Farm glamping retreat in Upper Tysoe, has risen to the challenge of surviving the economic impact of the outbreak by inviting other neighbouring businesses to work together.

Winchcombe Farm, Jo Carroll, Steve Taylor, Coronavirus, Tysoe
Steve Taylor and Jo Carroll.

Owners Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor have teamed up with five other small businesses who will now offer a delivery service directly to the doors of their four holiday lodges – from hot meals through to artisan gin.

Jo said: “Due to our remote rural location, we remain open because the very nature of our business means you can stay in a tranquil private lodge or tree house amongst nature in an isolated location.

“Normally the only deliveries we receive are from the postman, but now other businesses like ourselves, are having to diversify to stay in business, and are offering delivery services”.

The enterprising couple are working around the clock to ensure their guests continue to enjoy safe and enjoyable stays on their farm and don’t miss out on any of the local delicacies on offer – including dry from the Pinnock Distillery  in the nearby village of Kineton.

Dan Beckett, owner Pinnock Distillery, said: “In what is undoubtedly the most challenging of times for small businesses, it is also heartening to see support and collaboration in action in this way and I am delighted to be working with Winchcombe Farm. This luxury holiday retreat is the perfect partner for our brand and we’re proud to be able to do our bit, along with other local businesses, to even further enhance their visitor experience.”

Jo added: “We’ve teamed up with our local gastro pub. Why go out to the pub, when it will come to you! The Peacock at Oxhill is now delivering all their delicious meals directly to guests in our holiday homes.

“Their chef has designed a takeaway menu fit for a king, including lots of lovely comfort food such as homemade steak and ale pie with creamy mash and sticky toffee pudding.

“Guests can give us a call and we will drop down linen tablecloths and napkins, plus a candelabra so you feel like you are really there!”

Winchcombe Farm, Ofishial Foods, Tysoe, Shenington, Coronavirus, Jo Carroll
Susie Medcalf hands over a delivery from Ofishial Foods to Kate Ashfield of Winchcombe Farm.

The local butcher – HC Lewis in Kineton, ( is geared up to make meat deliveries directly to guests and home-cooked frozen meals from Ofishial Foods are also available to pre-order.

Jo said: “This wonderful company is based just up the road from us in Shenington and have a dropped a couple of samples down for us to try so we can highly recommend them to guests. They will take orders and payment over the phone and then deliver your meals to us in time for your arrival. We’ll pop them in the freezer for you so they’ll be ready and waiting for you.”

John Hartley, of Ofishial Foods, said: “We are delighted to supply a wide range of tasty ready meals to Winchcombe Farm Holidays guests. Our meals are hand made in our kitchen just up the hill and we are so local we could deliver them on foot.”

Winchcombe Farm, Jo Carroll, Steve Taylor, Coronavirus, Tysoe
Tommy Hewitt of H C Lewis

Tommy Hewitt, butcher at H.C Lewis Butchers based in Banbury Street, Kineton said: “We sell a huge range of local reared meats, as well as eggs, savouries such as pies and deli treats. We introduced a delivery service in response to the recent situation and it’s proved such a huge hit with customers, we are looking into making it a permanent feature of our service. People clearly want good quality, fresh meat delivered directly to their door.”

Shipston-on-Stour baking company Sweet Heart Bakes are also on hand to deliver their fresh homemade quiches, tarts and puddings directly to the door when pre-ordered.

Winchcombe Farm is home to four bespoke luxury holiday homes, including Warwickshire’s only tree house, nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of The Cotswolds, and lies beneath the famous landmark battleground of Edgehill.

For more information and bookings visit: or call 01295 680190.

Charlie meets his new namesake at holiday retreat

Charlie meets his new namesake at holiday retreat

THE newest arrivals to a glamping retreat in Tysoe are proving to be a big hit with guests – so much so one of them has even taken their identity!

Alpacas Geoff, Charlie and Big Bad Barry are the latest animals to move in at Winchcombe Farm, joining ponies Stan and Queenie on the site, run by Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor.

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Geoff, Charlie and Big Bad Barry. Photos by David Fawbert Photography.

Now guests are being offered the chance to take them on a guided walk as part of their stay in any of the four luxury lodges on site.

Jo said: “Pets fit in with our ethos here as they are proven to help beat stress, reduce blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Plus they are just lovely animals to have around the place and get on well with our ponies.

“We brought them from a local campsite owner so they are used to being around lots of different people and this is a big plus for us. Guests absolutely love them and turn up with bags of apples to chop and feed to them.

Charlie Hiner meets his alpaca namesake.
Charlie Hiner meets his alpaca namesake.

One of the trio has even been named after a regular customer to the farm who took a shine to the animals, eight-year-old Charlie Hiner from Sheffield.

Winchcombe is a favourite destination for Charlie and his family – mum Amy, dad Kyle and four-year-old sister Evie who have visited several times.

Amy said: “We are regulars at Winchcombe Farm and that’s the one place we save up to go on our holidays. It’s our special little place. Jo mentioned she was going to name one of the alpacas after our Charlie and we finally got to meet him at Christmas. He thought it was great and goes around telling everybody. It’s his claim to fame.

“I like the fact that at Winchcombe you know the children are really safe and they can go off and play, getting down and dirty with nature and exploring. They just don’t want to leave.”

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Kate Ashfield, alpaca keeper at Winchcombe.

The alpacas will eventually also be enjoyed by guests indoors as Jo and Steve have arranged for their fleeces to be turned into rugs for the lodges.

Winchcombe Farm signed up for the Karcher Accumulator Challenge to raise funds for the Banbury-based Katharine House Hospice. They were given a £50 ‘seed fund’ and five months to see how much they could make it grow. The total now stands at around £800.

Jo said: “Thank you to our guests, followers on social media and local people who joined us by donating £2 to be entered into a draw to win a beautiful alpaca footstool, a trek out with our three boys, an overnight stay in Will’s Tree House and an alpaca- themed welcome pack on arrival.”

For more information about Katharine House Hospice, visit:

Winchcombe Farm, alpacas
Will’s Tree House, one of the four lodges at Winchcombe Farm.

Winchcombe Farm is home to four bespoke luxury holiday homes nestling in an idyllic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the rolling Warwickshire countryside on the North East tip of The Cotswolds, and lies beneath the famous landmark battleground of Edgehill.

Will’s Tree House (sleeps 4), (Bob’s Lodge (sleeps 8), the Chicken Shed (sleeps 5) and their new George’s Getaway (sleeps 8), all with private hot tubs, barbecues, pizza ovens and hammocks – and three with geodesic domes with circular bed for stargazing.

For more details about Winchcombe Farm visit: or call 01295 680190 for details.

Win a Harrods hamper and two-night luxury glamping stay

Win a Harrods hamper and two-night luxury glamping stay

A WARWICKSHIRE-based luxury boutique glamping retreat has signed up to take part in the Karcher Accumulator Challenge to raise much needed funds for the Banbury-based Katharine House Hospice.

Owners Jo Carroll and Steve Taylor, of Winchcombe Farm Holidays in Upper Tysoe, have signed up to the seed fund project. Jo explained: “The challenge is simple – Karcher give us £50 and 5 months to see how we can make it grow. We’re aiming to raise £500. Every penny raised is donated to the Hospice, which this year is facing a huge funding shortfall.

Steve Taylor

“Each day it costs £11,000 to provide the hospice’s services and they rely on the local community and businesses for three-quarters of that funding,” said Jo.

She added: “We’ve asked our guests, followers on social media and local people to join us by donating £2 to be entered into a draw to win a luxury Harrods hamper. But there’s a twist; you have to come and collect your Harrods hamper and stay for a couple of complimentary weekday nights in one of our lodges of your choice – or the tree house – between now and the end of March 2020.

“It is a bit of a risky strategy to blow our entire £50 seed fund on the hamper, but then we thought it was worth the gamble. We’ve already had donations of over £200 and we’re going flat out to get some more.”

Steve added: “The winner can choose to enjoy their Harrods hamper in our lovely Tree House, the unique Bob’s Lodge, the luxury Chicken Shed Lodge or our brand new lodge for 2019, George’s Getaway. All have private hot tubs and the lodges all have stargazing domes, equipped with super king-sized circular beds and telescopes.”

Entries into the prize draw cost £2 each and people may enter as many times as they like (each £2 donation will be classed as a single entry) by visiting:

The winner will be picked at random on Sunday, 1st December 2019 and announced on Winchcombe Farm’s social media pages, along with the total of how much they’ve raised.

Jo said: “Then watch this space for our next accumulator challenge initiative. We’ve got a great idea up our sleeves to make sure we hit our target.”

For further details about the Karcher Accumulator Challenge visit

For more information about Katharine House Hospice, visit