Search and Rescue teams are set up with one single aim: the clue is in the name. They tend to attract people who want to be outside, doing what we train to do. Sadly, whether you are looking at the RNLI, Mountain Rescue or the Lowland teams in between, we are all reliant on fundraising to keep us going. In Lowland Rescue we don’t receive any regular central funding at all. This means that we have to spend a considerable amount of time fundraising, when we could be doing more training and search exercises to build on and practice our skills.
Anyone joining our team is expected to commit to a minimum amount of fundraising activity. Some of what we do helps to raise our profile in the community as well. We’re a new team, so it’s important for us to become better known. Going out to events with our fundraising buckets, in shopping centres or town centres allows us to be seen. Sometimes, especially when we have our trainee search dogs with us, people can be very generous.
We actively look for opportunities to help at events. The Wolf Run has been a great partnership for us. We, being outdoor people, have a great time supporting and helping the runners. We usually come home covered in mud, with big smiles and with a good contribution to our running costs. The Kayak Team also has opportunities to provide safety cover at open water swims and triathlons, sitting on the water, helping to recover the occasional swimmer. Usually they are just tired and in need of a rest; recently one of the team helped a swimmer with a dislocated shoulder.
We recently ratified our charity status. This will make a big difference to us. Now we can develop relationships for corporate and other sponsorship. It’s our aim to cover our running costs from this kind of funding. It isn’t cheap to run a team. We have our insurance costs for training the team; insurance and running costs for our vehicle (fuel is currently kindly provided by Focused Security); and then we still need more equipment including specialist kit. We have been gradually acquiring it but we need more – please see the list on our Sponsor Us page. At present we have to rely on our members’ personal kit in a number of areas, including the Kayak Team.
Our upcoming biggest expense is radios. As we move from being a probationary team to being fully operation at the end of the year we are going to need to upgrade our radios to the Lowland Rescue LRnet digital system. This is going to cost around £12,000 for the necessary infrastructure and handsets. It will allow us to communicate seamlessly and confidentially with our neighbouring teams (who are usually in the field with us) and with the Police and other services. We’re planning to Crowdfund this soon.
If you can help us in any way, whether through a donation, a company connection, a fundraising opportunity or by joining our team of Support (fundraising) Members please get in touch with our Fundraising Officer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org