Tuesday 19th April 2016

Debbie was a guest recently at a special visit to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Support Unit (NICU) at Southmead Hospital to see the work that the dedicated team carry out to help the smallest of premature babies in their first crucial days and weeks of life and to see the benefits of her company’s fund raising and voluntary support at first hand.

‘It was an amazing morning,’ said Debbie. ‘I was fully expecting it to be emotional and upsetting...in fact it was quite the opposite. The dedication of the team, their positive attitude and the wonderful atmosphere in the unit was uplifting and truly positive.’

‘I had no idea that tiny babies can flourish in the unit after being delivered as early as 23 weeks gestation. Without this sort of intensive care this would just not be possible ad we are so very honoured to be able to support such a worthy cause.’

‘A crucial part of their recovery,’ adds Debbie ‘is providing these tiny babies with breast milk and I was delighted to also meet Mike Burns, Bloodbikes NICU Support charity founder, who work for  NICU collecting  breast milk from  new mums with spare milk in the locality to feed to these  premature babies. This service hugely improves their chance of survival and just could not exist without fund raising, community and voluntary support.’

One such fund raiser is the Chew Valley 10k and Debbie Fortune Estate Agents are its main sponsor.

She visited the unit with Denise Mellersh who organises this annual event, which this year takes place on Sunday 19th June. If you would like to run, have fun and help this wonderful organisation have a look at  www.chewvalley10k.co.uk


Saturday 16th April 2016

We've had such a busy few weeks with sales up 70% on the same period last year - Chew Magna is proving a popular choice for buyers!


Tuesday 8th March 2016


Mark Hayward, Director of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, an experienced scuba diver, has added a new skill to his diving abilities. He has become the first Free Diver to be trained in the Maldives. 

Free Diving is the ability to dive to great depths on one breath, without the use of external breathing apparatus.  

When Mark commenced his training he could hold his breath for 40 seconds. After two static training sessions he was amazed to discover that he could hold his breath for almost 3 minutes, which was well beyond the requirements to attain a  Level 1 Free Diving Qualification. 

His instructor, Fahud Faiz, was so pleased with his progress that on session 3 he trained Mark in the ocean and gradually Mark attained a depth of 20m on one breath.  However he was a little surprised when, on the ascent from the depths, Mark came up holding his weight belt in his hand! 

Mark explains, “At 20m the pressure on the body is 3 times atmospheric pressure and as my body had therefore been compressed by the extreme pressure,  my weight belt became loose so slipping over  my hips and legs....luckily  I  reacted quickly and caught it before it was lost in the depths!” 

He adds “Free Diving was an interesting challenge for me. This technique is mind over matter, training the diver to condition their body, so that is does not need to breathe. The diver descends much faster than in scuba diving, so equalising ears against the pressure is a constant problem which I had to overcome.” 

“It is a strange sensation”, he said “I descended down a rope and was not allowed to look up or down. I was instructed to simply focus on the rope, it all felt terribly unnatural! The whole experience was tremendous fun and a real challenge, but at 67 years old, I do not think I will be challenging the free diving record!” 

That record is 145 metres and is held by William Winran where he was dragged by a weight to that depth. One of the most famous free divers Natalia Molchanova died on a 35m dive in the Balearics in 2015, so it is regarded as an extreme sport. 

Mark and his partner Debbie Fortune, although both in their 60’s enjoy a number of extreme sports. These include skiing, scuba diving, vintage and classic car trials and racing. Debbie even added skydiving to her achievements in 2015 where she jumped from 15,000 feet raising over £4,300 for charity as a result. 

Debbie said, “I am really proud of Mark. To do this at 67 is awesome...although I do confess that I was really quite nervous for him and found myself holding my breath in sympathy!”


Saturday 20th February 2016
Trudie Harding, whose lovely cottage in Chelwood in the Chew Valley which we sold last year, was the lucky winner of a bottle of champagne, as her customer feedback form was picked at random from over 100 we received from satisfied clients in 2015. Trudie rated our service, our brochure, website and viewings staff all as 'Oustanding' and commented, "Joanna Tiley was very helpful and worked out of hours to help - thanks to all staff for all your hard work and help." Trudie is pictured with Joanna, branch manager at our Chew Magna office.


Friday 15th January 2016


We currently have a vacancy for an assistant manager at our Wrington office. You will have at least 5 years’ agency experience at senior negotiator level or above, be highly motivated, utterly professional, focussed on bespoke customer service and looking to further your career long term with a progressive, innovative, award winning and wholly independent company.

For more details (in confidence) call Ben Fortune, Director on 01934 862370 or email ben@debbiefortune.co.uk


Thursday 7th January 2016
What a wonderful way to start 2016! All of us At Debbie Fortune Estate Agents are so proud to look after the sale and rental of property in Congresbury, this wonderful and vibrant village which Debbie also calls home, having lived there since 1997 . It's 800 random acts of kindness have contributed to a reputation that has even spread to the national press (see today's Times). It is now surely the kindest village around!


Well done to Mr & Mrs Ashley who guessed the correct number of balloons in Wallace's last appearance of the year at the Wrington Dickensian Fair, where we raised £50 for the village Mini Bus. The Ashleys bought a house in the village from us last year and were delighted to be the lucky winners! Mr Ashley is pictured with Debbie.


What a fabulous evening we had last week at Weston College's Business Awards 2015 - especially as we won 6 awards!

This annual Awards evening provides an important opportunity for the College to recognise and honour some of the outstanding work carried out by employers and the achievements of their apprentices. The winners were selected by a panel of judges from Weston College and the business world with the awards being presented at a Gala evening at Cadbury Double Tree Hilt...on by TV and radio presenter, Nicki Chapman.

Debbie said, “We were delighted to be recognised at this prestigious awards event and were, in fact, winners 6 times over, not only winning Employer of the Year but our Negotiator Becky Millard won Apprentice of the Year! Scott Higgins, based in our Chew Magna office, won Intermediate Professional Services Learner of the Year and I was given the Apprenticeship Ambassador Award. A fantastic result for both Becky and Scott and for the wonderful teams at both our offices.”

She adds, “Weston College is the only further education college in the UK to be awarded ‘Outstanding’ status by Ofsted, and.... it is on our doorstep! We should be very proud of its success and the tremendous service it provides to our young people.”


Debbie was interviewed recently for The Times which appeared in July 17th's Bricks and Mortar supplement, where the Chew Valley area was voted one of the top 20 family friendly villages in the UK!


Susan Ferris from Kingswood, Bristol, was one of thousands of people who visited the Above & Beyond marquee at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta this month. Like so many others, she generously donated to this worthy casue and was delighted to discover that she was the lucky winner in the ‘Guess the Balloons’ competition in Wallace the vintage car, kindly provided by Debbie Fortune Estate Agents. She is pictured with her grandson, Kyron, aged 4, (who helped Nanny guess the right number!) receiving her Kindle from Debbie Fortune, with Lorna Clarke of Above & Beyond.

Lorna said she and Debbie were amongst the many visitors and volunteers who helped them raise a final staggering total of £16,000 over the course of the weekend. A big thank you to everyone for their generosity!

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