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Latest News from WightSAR

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March 2024 News …………

 

We have had a lot to celebrate since our last news update.

 

We were delighted when Dean Terrett, our Chair and Founder, received the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List. Dean received this for his outstanding services to Search & Rescue across the Isle of Wight. Humble as ever, Dean was keen to recognise the WightSAR team in his acknowledgment. Hopefully the sun will shine for the Garden Party in May and Dean will be presented with his award by the Lord Lieutenant later in the year.

 

We completed the commissioning of our new Incident Control Vehicle during November, and the vehicle had its first deployment in December. The Search Planning Team were very pleased with the onboard internal heating system during a cold, wet & windy deployment on Culver Downs at the end of December. Again, we are indebted to Northstar Conversions Ltd and Indigo Graphics for bringing this project to its conclusion.  

 

The Incident Control Vehicle was also front & foremost in December, proudly leading out the Newport Christmas Illuminated Carnival. 

 

There was no rest for the Fundraising Team with lots of store collections taking place.  We are always grateful to the staff & customers who make the team feel so welcome and generously donate. We visited Tesco (Extra) over 3 days in Dec as well as Asda (Newport) and raised vital operational funds as well as raising our profile.

 

M & S (Newport) announced that they had chosen WightSAR as their Charity of the Year, and we had a record breaking store collection during Dec which included a visit from WightSAR Ted!

 

Ryde Golf Club also kindly chose WightSAR as one of its charities of the year alongside Alzheimer’s IOW.

 

We also visited Tesco Extra (Ryde) to show them the finished Incident Control Vehicle that was partly funded by the Groundworks / Tesco Blue Token scheme which granted WightSAR £1 500 when we secured the most “votes”. 

 

We were also delighted when Shane & his Team at Bannock Rd Christmas Lights chose WightSAR as their Christmas Lights charity for 2023. The Team enjoyed a Christmas visit to see the lights and those visiting the amazing display. WightSAR Ted was particularly impressed and enjoyed greeting some of the younger visitors and the local pub!  Shane & his team have been building these amazing displays since 2013 and raising money for local charities since 2017. They have raised a grand total to date of £5 686.231. Their 2023 display raised a grand total of £1 250 towards a casualty evacuation stretcher. Thank you, Bannock Road Christmas Lights. We recently took delivery of the stretcher, a huge asset to the team. 

 

We had a further surprise donation of 1k from Northwood Garage Gulf Oomph Customer Loyalty Award, making a grand total of 3k.  Many thanks to the Northwood Garage team & customers. 

 

We would also like to thank some of our sponsors who provide ongoing support the team in so many different ways.  These include Stag Lane Motors for continuing to look after our search vehicles & Raven Print & Design for providing us with such professional promotional material. 

 

In the coming months we are visiting every Alzheimer’s Café across the Island with our Police colleagues to promote the Herbert Protocol – Safe & Found. This is a national scheme which encourages carers/ family & neighbours to compile useful information which can be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing, providing the Police and search teams rapid information to inform immediate search planning. 

 

Details and the form can be downloaded from the WightSAR website. https://www.wightsar.org/herbert-protocol

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 info@wightsar.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. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/2RHJIBTZ9X0B3/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1#

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.  

 

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