Latest News from WightSAR
October 2023 News …………
WightSAR have had a busy summer with several call outs and an extensive Fundraising calendar.
We had two very successful call outs when thanks to the acute observation skills of our team members, two people reported missing were found on route to our search planning rendezvous point. This just underlines the importance of our team having a good early description of the missing person and knowing that the search starts as soon as they get into their car.
We were also recently involved in a large multi-agency incident in the West Wight involving Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary, mainland Police Officers, The National Crime Agency, Border Force Teams and our Coastguard & RNLI partners.
As ever fundraising is a constant requirement for the Team, and we were delighted to “win” the top prize of £1 500 from Tesco Community Grant (Blue Tokens). A BIG THANK you for everyone who popped a blue token into our slot in the various Tesco Stores involved. This Grant has allowed us to finalise the internal build of the brand new Control Vehicle which will see its first deployment in the coming weeks.
It has been a long 2 year journey from receiving the three grants (IOW Foundation/ Scottish and Southern Electric Resilience Fund and the National Lottery), ordering the base vehicle, the long wait for delivery, through to the planning and installation to a modern purpose built Incident Control Hub. A further BIG Thanks to Indigo Graphics in Newport for their amazing work on the external Lowland Rescue branding and Northstar Conversions Ltd in Cowes for their high standard internal build. Northstar went over and above to support us with this project and we owe them a very big thank you.
Our temporary Incident Control Vehicle will revert back to its proposed use as a Support Vehicle, with a focus on team welfare and use at fundraising events. This vehicle was donated to us by BAE systems and has been well used while the new vehicle was being commissioned.
Now we have 3 vehicles in the WightSAR “fleet”, the next project is to find them a new “home” as we have outgrown our current base. If any business has available secure space to house 3 search vehicles that require 24 hr access, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep an eye on our social media posts to see the new Control Vehicle on its first deployment and look out for it on the road. It’s hard to miss!
We have also just complied a WightSAR Amazon Wish List. This is an easy way to support WightSAR by purchasing an item from the list. There is something for everyones purse. This helps us reduce our operational costs and is really appreciated by the team. Have a look using the link below.
We are also delighted to announce we have been chosen as one of the Co Op Local Community Fund Charities from now until October 2024.
You can now support us when shopping at any Co Op.
Every time a Co-op member buys a selected Co-op branded product, 2p for every pound spent goes to your chosen charity.
To find out more and choose WightSAR as your cause please click on this link: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/75215
Every penny will go towards vital equipment for our new Incident Control Vehicle and will help us save more lives.
July 2023 News …………
The summer months continue to see an increase in WightSAR fundraise & replacement equipment. We are also raising vital funds to complete the internal build of our brand new Incident Control Vehicle, currently being undertaken by Northstar Conversions in Cowes.
We anticipate the "grand reveal" of our new vehicle during August so watch our Facebook page for news and photos.
Our “new to us” Incident Support Vehicle / Temporary Incident Control Vehicle had its first deployments during July with three call outs in quick succession. Including one on the Saturday evening of the Country Show! Our kind “expert volunteer” continues to give up their free time to work on this van making it even more useful.
We were delighted to once again be invited to support The Royal Isle of Wight County Show, running the Main Arena events. The team met some lovely participants and we were pleased to receive some really positive feedback & thanks after the event. Big thanks to Graham Bliss and his team for giving us this opportunity.
Stores collections in Tesco & Asda continue and we are nervously awaiting the outcome of the recent Tesco Blue Tokens collection. Fingers crossed for the 1st prize of 1.5k.
We are looking forward to attending & helping out at the forthcoming Chale Show in August. Follow us on our Facebook page to see the other events we are attending.
The WightSAR Team would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to Al’s Bikes in Sandown. Alan & Zahra saw a photo of our two search bikes on one of our Fb post and have kindly offered to service & upgrade them free of charge. Thank you Al & Zahra.
We would also like to say THANK YOU to Scott at Raven Prints in Cowes for supporting us with printed fundraising promotional material. Thank you Scott & team.
Community Support such as these are so much appreciated and allows us divert funds to operational and improvement projects.
We have recently opened trainee Search Technician recruitment again and expect to run the training course during the Autumn. For further information please see the “Volunteering” tab on this website or email Luke at email@example.com
Just a quick reminder that we promote the Herbert Protocol in conjunction with the Police and NHS.
The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the police in partnership with other agencies which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.
Carers, family members and friends can complete in advance, a form recording all vital details, such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph etc. In the event of your family member or friend going missing, the form can be easily handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.
You can download the form & guidance notes from this website from the Herbert Protocol tab.
In the meantime stay safe & enjoy the sunshine ............ when it arrives again!
May 2023 News .................
WightSAR has a lot to celebrate this spring. We recently took delivery of a “new to us”, 2005, very low mileage Mercedes Sprinter kindly donated by BAE. This has been transformed by a small team of very skilled volunteers into an operational Incident Support Vehicle, which will provide much needed welfare facilities to the search teams on call outs as well as use at fundraising & training events. For a short period of time it will become our temporary Incident Control Vehicle as our brand new Mercedes Sprinter undergoes it’s internal conversion by Northstar Ltd in Cowes. This vehicle was purchased with grants from The Isle of Wight Foundation (Island Roads), Scottish & Southern Electric (SSEN) & The National Lottery. Both these vehicles are now proudly finished with Lowland Rescue branding thanks to Indigo Graphics in Newport. We would also like to thank Chris at Tyres of Wight, for continuing to generously look after our vehicles when required. The generosity of the Island Community is amazing and the team are extremely grateful for such support.
Please see our Gallery for photos of recent events.
During April we held the latest new Search Technicians final assessment weekend at PGL (Little Canada). Again, we are extremely grateful to PGL for their continued support to WightSAR. 5 new Search Technicians were assessed as “Safe to Search” against the required Lowland Rescue competences and joined the operational call out list. The same weekend, two team members attended Lowland Rescue Team Lead training on the mainland. Having attended the two day course, a period of further practice & assessment will see them progress to fully qualified Team Leads.
Spring also sees an increase in WightSAR fundraising activities, all which are vital to ensure adequate income to meet our operational & development costs. Do follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see our latest events. We are luckily enough to have been chosen as one of the three Tesco Community Grant (Blue Token) charities. Until the 30th June please pop a blue token into our slot at Tesco stores in Ryde, Wootton, Lake & Ventnor. We are hoping for a first place & £1 500 towards the build of our new Incident Control Vehicle.
We are also extremely grateful to Leslies Motors at Northwood for nominating us for a Oomph Community Loyalty award and a much needed 1k towards the new van build.
As the country celebrates the Coronation of King Charles III, WightSAR, alongside all the other Lowland Rescue Teams across the country, are proud to be part of the volunteer family that the new King promotes and holds so dear.