Latest News from WightSAR

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July 2021 News …………

 

The operational team are enjoying being back at practical training while still taking all the COVID-19 precautions required. The team have been focusing on the knowledge and skills required for  injured casualty evacuation as well as gaining practice with our new evacuation stretchers and accessories. This training was put to very good use during a recent successful search.

 

WightSAR held its very delayed AGM and a new, much expanded Committee was voted in that includes members who bring some incredible knowledge and skills to the team.  Together with our recent 12 newly trained Search Technicians, it feels very much like the start of a new phase in WightSAR’s development and expansion, and we look forward to seeing & sharing with you how this develops.

 

Some of our volunteers undertook Vaccination Training (Theory & Practice) to help deliver COVID-19 Vaccinations at the Riverside Vaccination Centre on behalf of Solent NHS Trust. It was a pleasure to be involved in such a vital community initiative and big thanks to the WightSAR Volunteers for stepping up to this task and to the Riverside Team who made us feel so welcome. 

 

Recent Good News is that Wightlink have offered to support WightSAR training by providing travel assistance to trainees requiring to attend mainland training as well as external trainers delivering training here on the Island.  This support will greatly benefit both new and existing members and we thank Wightlink for their very generous support with this. 

 

On the Fundraising news, we continue to try and raise the 35k required to purchase and build a replacement Incident Control Vehicle. We have applied for various national grants and are awaiting the grant outcomes with everything crossed. 

We are still asking for any donations towards the van appeal , no matter how small,  via our LocalGiving account below:

https://localgiving.org/Wightsar-new-incident-control-vehicle

If anybody wishes to hold any fundraising activity on our behalf towards the new van , please contact us on fundraising@wightsar.org

Otherwise visit our Fundraising Section of this website for other ways you can help raise vital funds for WightSAR.

 

Various fundraising activities are starting again, and you can find us during August at the following venues / dates. 

 

Do pop in & say “Hello” to the team and ask any questions you may have. 

 

7th August (09:00 to 16:00) at Morrisons Lake 

 

14th August at the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat Fun Day (Always a pleasure to “work” with our other emergency services partners

 

28th August (09:00 to 16:00) at Tesco Extra Ryde

May 2021 News ……......

 

The Good News: After a tiring, intense but enjoyable weekend of training & assessment our 12 trainees qualified as Search Technicians and joined the “live” Call Out List. It was not long before they had their first “shout”! Great to have increased numbers on the team. Congratulations and welcome to the operational team. 

 

Lot of  folks to thank for supporting the training weekend , the first time Search Technician Training has ever been delivered on the Island.

Special thanks to PGL for hosting the training, accommodating the external trainers and providing excellent meals throughout the weekend. Thanks to Jan (Community Champion) at Tesco Extra for fruit & snacks plus Carrie (Community Champion) at Morrisons Lake for bottles of water and chocolate bars. Our big thanks to the UKLSI Trainers for coming over from the North Isle and delivering the training. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We have uploaded some photos on our Gallery.

The Bad News: Our Incident Control Vehicle is back at Stag Lane Motors having major repairs, having broken down on the way back from a successful search in Ryde. Luckily, we have the fully search equipped 4 x 4 to see us through until the van is back on the road. 

Having given us many years of good service the time has finally come to start fundraising for a replacement. This is a massive task for a small charity such as ours as we seek to raise the 35k required. This amount includes the purchase of a “new to us” long based vehicle plus the rebuild to make it into a mobile office, equipment store and radio communication hub.  That includes fitting our 12.5 metre  retractable radio mast into the vehicle, which is a specialist fit. We will be applying for various grants with fingers crossed,  holding fundraising events as well as well as seeking donations from our generous supporters across the Island. If you are able to donate, even the smallest amount you can use the Local Giving Link below. Don’t forget to tick the Gift Aid option to give us the extra 25p in every £1 donated without any cost to yourself.

https://localgiving.org/Wightsar-new-incident-control-vehicle

 

We will keep you updated on the new Van Appeal through our Facebook page and here on the website. But if you have any fundraising ideas or offers, please e mail fundraising@wightsar.org

March 2021 news ………

With the nation in continued Lockdown WightSAR remains “on call” 24 hrs a day , 7 days a week and 365 days a year in any weathers to respond to requests from our colleagues in Hampshire Constabulary.  

 

Fundraising activities remain severely restricted, and it is harder & harder to maintain a regular income to cover our monthly operational costs. 

 

In addition, the Committee reached the decision that the time had come to look towards replacing our aging Incident Control Vehicle. This will involve a significant fundraising project over several years in order to raise enough funds to purchase a suitable long based van and fully kit it out as a fully functioning Incident Control Vehicle. This includes office space for the WightSAR Search Planner & Search Operations Manager’s plus the Police Search Liaison Officer. All the required IT technology to run advanced mapping software  & record keeping and access to live Drone Team images. Plus our 12 metre ariel for our secure Digital Radio Communications as well as storage for all our required equipment , charging units etc.  This is a massive undertaking, and we will be announcing further information in the near future. We are hoping the Isle of Wight Community will pull together once more and support WightSAR with this vital fundraising project. 

 

Our new trainee Search Technicians continue to develop their skills and competences in preparation for their formal Search Technician Assessment weekend at the end of April . Once qualified they will be able to join us on “Live call outs” strengthening the team’s numbers significantly and bringing a wealth of varied experiences to the Team.

 

Just a reminder for those living with Dementia themselves or have family or friends living with Dementia,  please do look at the Herbert Protocol Tab on this website.  This vital national initiative, supported by WightSAR in conjunction with Hampshire Constabulary and other agencies,  encourages carers to compile useful information to be used in the event a vulnerable person goes missing. All the details and the forms themselves can be found on our website https://www.wightsar.org/herbert-protocol

February 2021 news ……….

 

January ended with a busy last week with several team call outs and stand by’s.

 

In line with Lowland Rescue procedures,  WightSAR is only deployed at the request of a Senior  Officer, (usually the Police Liaison Search Advisor or PoLSA) , from Hampshire Constabulary for “high risk” missing persons. This is a missing person assessed by the Police in the early or developing stages of the investigation at “high risk of harm or vulnerability”.

 

WightSAR can be called out immediately (day or night / in any weather) or be put on “stand by” to be deployed as soon as the final call out request is given.  For example, when the Police have additional information or a specific search area is confirmed. 

 

While we approach every call out with the aim of “bringing the missing person home” , sometimes the end result is not the one we all want or hope for.  When that happens the teams thoughts are very much with the deceased persons family , friends and colleagues. Every search is different but everyone has the 100% investment , both physically & emotionally,  from the team. 

 

Despite our recent successful grant application to purchase vital equipment, with the continued COVID restrictions our fundraising capacity remains severely limited and it becomes more difficult month on month to just cover our basic operational costs. 

 

Please do visit the Fundraising section on this website to see how you can easily support us , either by: 

 

Or by donating online , either as a one off or monthly donation. (See our Fundraising section for donate ‘buttons”)  

 

Every penny goes towards our operating costs.  We are 100% volunteers with no paid staff so every penny really does count. 

 

Thank you in anticipation of your support , keep safe and we hope to be able to see you out & about soon.