SEARCH & RESCUE CHARITY SEEKS NEW RECRUITS TO HELP SAVE LIVES IN BERKSHIRE

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collectionpotFund-raising in these times is always a challenging subject, however we are constantly amazed and gratified how local people and businesses are happy to put their hands in their pockets to support our vital service.

This has never been more evident in these early months of 2014 when we have not only fullfilled our core purpose - to search for vulnerable high risk missing people, but also working with Thames Valley Police, Berkshire and Surrey Fire Services and local Councils with the terrible flooding in our County. From rescuing people from their homes to filling sandbags, our volunteers have been there.

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Andy YoungMy name is Andy Young and I am currently the acting Training Officer. I have been a member of BLSAR since October 2012 and am currently qualified as a search technician and on my way to qualifying as a first aider. I am also part of the Flood First Responders team which will support RBFRS.

I am an ex- Police Inspector having worked for Thames Valley Police for 30 years. During this time I spent several years as a Reactive Inspector who has responsibility for managing enquiries and searches for high risk missing people from the police perspective. On several occasions in this role I have co-ordinated with the Police Search Adviser (POLSA) and called upon the services of BLSAR< and worked with them. As I approached retirement I recognised that I would need to occupy some of the time that I spent at work, and wishing to do something useful for the community I decided to join BLSAR. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member of BLSAR. They are a very sociable and dedicated group of individuals who are prepared to give up their time, often a lot of it, to help others.

I have also found that my policing and interpersonal skills have been useful in attending events which help to raise the profile of BLSAR, an actually run the events. Such events as the Bracknell half-marathon, Twyford Christmas show and the Thames Valley Police open days are good examples of this.

Since retiring I have also completed, like several other members of BLSAR, a teaching qualification so that the delivery of training to other BLSAR members, and those from other teams, can be as professional and effective as we can make it.

In late 2013 BLSAR/SEBEV won the Emergency Planning Society’s Voluntary Sector Award. This was the first time the Emergency Planning Society had presented a award for voluntary agencies.
 
Shortlisted down to one of four nominees; Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue was put forward and had supporting nomination by Berkshires Local Authorities, the award was sponsored by Community Resilience UK and Chairman Mike Granatt had the difficult task of picking an overall winner. He  said “It wasn’t easy to make the choice - all the nominations provide evidence of excellent and selfless community service. But the one that stands out is Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (SEBEV),” he said, “their long record of service, their many, flexible capabilities and the sheer volume of callouts and responses point to the value placed on SEBEV by Berkshire’s statutory responders and the community. They are fitting winners of this award.”
 

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Well, it's the morning after the AGM. A great night showcasing our successes throughout the year and highlighting the contribution made by our members.

43 callouts, 1 live find, 86 training sessions (thats 7 per month)

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