Help Save A Life Today – How running on April 1st helped Search and Rescue

Help Save A Life Today – How running on April 1st helped Search and Rescue

– Written by Andrew Sansom, Edited by Victoria Baker

 

Have you heard the one about a Disney princess and a panda running down a hill?

Actually, this isn’t a joke; it’s something I genuinely witnessed while marshalling the Fun Run on the 1st of April. This is not an April Fools; this is to help the commendable Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue.  These volunteers save lives.  These volunteers are heroes.

This event was one of several organised by the Creative Writing students of Bath Spa University, who have united together, using their collective and creative powers, to aid this worthy cause.  In-between my marshalling duties, which essentially entailed being a cheerleader and hill-pointer-outer, I had the privilege of interviewing, Andreas, a good guy and a member of the Search and Rescue team.  We discussed the importance of fundraising events taking place and, more specifically, why the money raised by this event was so badly needed.

As a registered charity, the Search and Rescue Team rely primarily on donations to continue their existence.  They have a huge area to cover, which includes accident hotspots such as Cheddar Gorge and The Quantox; in fact, their territory is among the largest in the country.  The team also supports the police on their own radio frequency.  They can be called out to anywhere South of the M4, and sometimes beyond when assisting other counties’.  As a result, the team has large running costs that have to be met.  In particular, one of their off-road Land-Rover Defenders, a central feature to their work, recently needed to be repaired to the tune of £1000. In addition, each team member needs a Paramo Jacket to protect them from the extreme environments they often find themselves in. These can cost up to £200 each.

As well as these unavoidable routine costs, the team are currently aiming to replace all their radios with those of police standard.  But they don’t just need the kind of walkie-talkies you have as a child, the Police frequency they use is professional standard, with CallSigns (the team’s personal call sign is Spectre, a climb in Cheddar Gorge).  This will greatly improve communications in the vast landscape and will also aid in receiving callouts from the Police. This is not a cheap project though, and is currently estimated to cost £22,000. But it is important and it is necessary.  Radio communication is crucial to their work as phone signal is often non-existent in these rural areas. Indeed, even here at University campus I feel I would benefit from a radio transmitter, and I’m not saving lives on a regular basis.

Turn-out for the run was passionate, but sadly low — therefore I urge you all to join us in supporting a cause that is paramount to the safety of many living in our regions.  We need to join together in helping these heroes continue their voluntary service that runs 365 days a year.  This service may one day save your life.

Please donate generously by texting SCEP01 and then the amount you would like to give.

 

Written by Andrew Sansom, Edited by Victoria Baker

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