Latest News from WightSAR

Ranger 1.jpg
Charity golf 5.jpg

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.  

 

WIGHTSAR JANUARY 2021 GOOD NEWS...........

Four charity projects that use computer technology to reduce social exclusion on the Island have been boosted by funding from the Isle of Wight Foundation.

 

The Foundation, made up of the partners in Highways PFI company Island Roads, has announced that Mountbatten Hospice, Isle of Wight Search and Rescue (Wight SAR), Aspire Ryde and the 4Ps Training School run by Vectis Radio are the latest groups to receive funding. They will share a total of nearly £30,000.

 

Each year, the foundation – comprising Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam, VINCI UK Foundation and VINCI Concessions – supports projects working to tackle social exclusion on the Island. Since 2014, the foundation has awarded more than £543,000 to such good causes and this year alone over £73,000 has been shared between ten local projects.

WightSAR has been donated £8,000 for new search and rescue equipment and training.

 

IW Foundation chairman Phillip Horton said: “Once again the foundation was truly impressed with the great range of community projects that are tackling social exclusion in so many innovative and effective ways.

 

“The companies behind Island Roads have always had an ethos that they want the Highways PFI to not only deliver improvements to local infrastructure but to make a make a positive impact on the wider Island community as well.

 

“We are delighted to be working with so many inspirational local bodies to help make that impact.”

Dean Terrett, chair of WightSAR said: “We are absolutely thrilled to once again receive the support of the Isle of Wight Foundation. The last months have been somewhat of a challenge with Covid putting a stop to our usual fundraising activities so this is so important to us.

 

“The grant will allow us to provide additional training and equipment to increase our capabilities as a lowland search and rescue organisation working alongside others including Hampshire Police, HM Coast Guard, RNLI, Independent Lifeboats, IW Fire Brigade and the IW Ambulance Service.”

 

Applications for the next round of IW Foundation grant will be sought from February 8 2021.

You can read more about the foundation, its work, how to apply from grants and projects it has previously supported by clicking https://islandroads.com/iw-foundation/

January  2021 news ……….

 

As the COVID - 19 pandemic worsens and the Nation starts Lockdown 3  STAY AT HOME , WightSAR remains operational and on call 24 hrs a day to respond to requests from Hampshire Constabulary.  

 

Due to current restrictions we have had to cease all face to face practical training and move to online training only. This online training programme will ensure we maintain our specialist skills while protecting our members and the general public from any unecessary infection risk.

 

It is vital at this very difficult time that we all ensure we reach out to friends , family & neighbours who might be struggling with increased isolation and COVID related anxiety & stress . A simple friendly contact might make all the difference to someone so please do make the effort while

keeping yourself safe. 

 

More helpful information is available from : 

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips/

 

2021 will continue to bring significant challenges to fundraising activities and WightSAR will continue to seek all opportunities within the current restrictions. 

 

One such opportunity has been offered by David Berridge (Adventurer , Ultra Distance Runner & Author), who is planning to undertake the IOW Ultra Challenge on 1st May 2021 and raise money for WightSAR in the process.

 

See links below :  

 

http://www.daveberridge.co.uk/home.html

 

https://ultrachallenge.com/isle-of-wight-challenge/

 

More details and link to the Donation page to follow soon. 

 

We have also received £101 from Tesco Extra Book Stall that ran during late 2020.  Big thanks at the Tesco Extra Community Champion , Janice Gibson, for her continued support to WightSAR.

Another plea to our supporters to choose WightSAR as your Co Op Member Local Good Cause Charity for 2020 -2021.

Become a Co Op member for £1 and every time you purchase a Co Op product in any Co Op store WightSAR gets a % as your chosen Charity.  

Choose WightSAR using our link below:-

https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/52928

Plus do keep in mind you can always support WightSAR during your online shopping at no extra cost to yourself:

In the meantime , keep safe , be kind to yourself and others and we hope to see you at events later in the year.