Latest News from WightSAR

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October 2022 News …………

 

September saw our new recruits undergo their initial training programme which included Navigation skills, search techniques, radio communication, casualty care and working safely as a team.

 

The intensive training programme concluded with a two day assessment, including a night search, following which all 5 new Search Technician recruits were assessed as “Safe to Search” and could become operational members of WightSAR. They, along with the rest of the operational team will continue to learn and develop their skills on continuous training & live call outs.

 

Congratulations to our new members who bring a wealth of experience to the team.

 

WightSAR are extremely grateful for PGL (Little Canada at Wootton) for “hosting” the assessment weekend once again and providing us with such fantastic facilities and meals.  This is the second assessment weekend PGL have provided for us, and we thank them for their continued support, allowing us to deliver training & assessment on the Island instead of having to send new trainees to the mainland at additional costs. 

 

We will soon have very exciting news regarding our new Incident Control Vehicle, as the delivery date finally arrives. The hard work of converting a basic van to a mobile office, Communication Hub and equipment store will begin!  This includes the transfer and fitting of our 12 metre radio mast.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates!

 

Funding remains a constant challenge for the team, especially with the increased operational costs and the additional vehicle. All members are expected to undertake a minimum of 16 hrs of fundraising per year, as well as regular training & being on call.  Many members give well over & above this amount and we are extremely grateful for their continued commitment & enthusiasm. 

 

We have two exciting fundraising activities taking place during October.

  • Carl Rye is running the 10k Great South Run on 16th October & raising money for us through sponsorship towards the new Control Vehicle re fit.  We are extremely grateful to Carl for supporting us. If you would like to sponsor Carl here is a link for our Local Giving Page: 

https://localgiving.org/Runforwightsar

 

  • We also have a Charity Football taking place on 23rd October at Plessey Ground, Park Rd. Cowes. Kick off at 14:00 between IOW Retail & The Fire Fighters! Please pop in to support the players and raise some money for WightSAR at the same time. There will be a Raffle & some local Craft Stalls. 

 

As the weather changes please stay safe and remember the benefit of using What2words in case of any emergency. 

https://what3words.com/pretty.needed.chill

July 2022 News …………

WightSAR are delighted to be able to support local, community events again after the long break due to COVID-19. We were back at the Royal County Show, held over two days this year on 25th & 26th June & many thanks to the organisers for inviting us to help once more. We had a fantastic two days and raised some vital funds in the process.

 

July itself saw WightSAR back at the popular RhythmTree Festival, held over three days of 8th, 9th & 10th.  This year the family friendly festival was held at its new “home” of Sticelett Farm, Thorness Bay and again we thank the organisers for inviting us back year after year.  We met some lovely folks, returned several “lost” children to their anxious parents, as well as “rescuing” a Hare Leveret. Thanks to Green, Roberts & Butler Vets for taking care of “Harry the Hare”.

 

Alongside these vital fundraising activities, we had several call outs including one during RhythmTree itself.  If we attend any fundraising event, we will always protect our operational cover.

 

Thinking about operational cover, our recent new recruits have been attending some of our taster training sessions and are settling in really well. They will commence their formal in house Search Technician training modules during August.  The wealth of different experiences and skills within those new recruits is really going to benefit & enhance the team and we look forward to welcoming them as full members in the near future.

 

Forthcoming events include a store collection at Asda on 30th July & 13th August so please do stop to say “Hello” to the team and if you have any spare pennies for our Collection Pot, we would be extremely grateful. We do appreciate that everyone is really struggling at present with the rising cost of living, but even a very small donation makes all the difference to us as we receive no statutory funding. 

 

We are also back at Freshwater Independent Lifeboats Open Day on 13th August (12:00 to 18:00), as our emergency partners celebrate their Golden Anniversary. Again, do pop in to say “Hello” and enjoy some of the many activities and demonstrations being laid on over the day. 

 

Lastly, a big thank you to Wight Fire & Security for sorting out our Fire Extinguishers! Great job from a friendly local business  

 

Do stay safe during the extremely hot weather and follow the current advice https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england/beat-the-heat-staying-safe-in-hot-weather

June 2022 News …………

WightSAR had a busy Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend with an ongoing search for a missing gentleman in Yarmouth that sadly did not have the outcome we all hoped for. As ever at these times, the team always think about the deceased persons family & friends. The search underlined the importance of partnership working with our emergency services partners, particularly our close joint working with the Bembridge & Ventnor Coastguard Teams plus the RNLI teams. 

 

On the Bank Holiday Saturday, 10 WightSAR members received recognition for their long and continuous service to Lowland Search & Rescue with 8 receiving a Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal and 2 others a long service certificate, having already received Jubilee medals for their “day job”.  

 

The awards were presented by our Chairperson and Founder, Dean Terrett.”  Dean received a Medal himself, presented by one of our longest serving members. Photos of the medal presentation can be seen on our Gallery tab on this website. 

 

The Medal awards coincided with Volunteers Week 2022, 1st to 7th June. This celebrates the enormous contribution all volunteers make and the commitment & dedication they give.  WightSAR is one of 34 Lowland Rescue Teams across the country, consisting of 2 176 volunteers who gave a total of 102 000 hrs to incidents last year.  This is the equivalent economic cost of search time only of £4 600 000.  An amazing achievement. 

 

WightSAR recently had a recruitment drive, which attracted several new applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds that will complement the team. We are starting the process of their internal training towards becoming a fully trained Search Technician. 

 

Fundraising remains a constant pressure for all charities, including WightSAR, with reduced funding opportunities and increased operational costs. We are constantly looking at ways to generate more income and members volunteer for fundraising duties on top of their training and on call time. See the fundraising tab on this website to see ways you can support WightSAR, some at no extra cost to yourself. 

 

We have several fundraising events coming up as events start up again after the long COVID gap. Pop over to see us at the Royal County Show, 25th & 26th June, hopefully in some glorious sunshine. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for further updates of all our fundraising events.  

 

If you have any questions do contact us via the website and we will be happy to answer any queries. 

 

Take care, stay safe and enjoy the summer.