New Ropes for Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue thanks to Cheddar Parish Council

ASSAR, Cheddar Parish Council donation, Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Parish Council have donated £500 to Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue to help them buy new ropes for their important role in Cheddar Gorge. The gorge has the highest inland cliffs in the country and is a hot-spot for visitors, climbing and sadly suicides.

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue started in Cheddar Gorge in the 1970s. It is now an emergency service staffed by volunteers who are on-call 24/7, 365 days a year. They search for and rescue people from cliffs and floods and other difficult situations in the countryside typically getting called out over 30 times a year.

Sadly Cheddar Gorge and Avon, along with other cliffs and quarries, are often used by people attempting to commit suicide or where people get stuck. Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue operate alongside the other emergency services to help these people and recover bodies when needed.

Peter Colton and Martin Kay (pictured) from Cheddar Parish Council visited the team in Cheddar Gorge to see the new ropes still on the roll. Steve Rumney, team leader, said, ‘By the nature of our work we have to replace ropes on a very regular basis. The kind donation from Cheddar Parish Council has helped us with getting replacements. They will be kept along with our other specialist rescue equipment in a store room kindly donated by Cheddar Caves for instant access when we need them.’

Posted on 19 / 12 / 2017

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue bags £4000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme

ASSAR, cliff rescue

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue bags £4000 from Tesco’s community grant scheme. Image c. Tony McNicol

We are delighted to announce we have bagged £4000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant scheme.

Bags of Help is run in partnership with environmental charity Groundwork, and sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, it’s provided more than £40 million to over 9,700 local community projects.

Millions of shoppers have voted in Tesco stores up and down the country and it can now be revealed ASSAR has been awarded £4000.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life.

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue help people far from help across the area. It is an emergency service staffed by volunteers who are on-call 24/7, 365 days a year. They search for and rescue people from cliffs and floods and other difficult situations in the countryside typically getting called out over 30 times a year. Sadly Avon and Cheddar Gorge, along with other cliffs and quarries, are often used by people attempting to commit suicide or where people get stuck. The grant will be used to purchase specialist cliff-face kits in ‘grab-and-go’ bags that are kept in the team’s technical rescue vehicle.

Chris Thring, Chairmen of ASSAR, said, “Thanks so much to Tesco and all their customers in the Thornbury area. This grant helps us to continue our important work supporting the police with our specialist search and rescue skills. We’re all volunteers and rely entirely on the support of the communities we help to keep us going financially.”

Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:

“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout September and October with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the checkout.

Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

“Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down the UK to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.

Posted on 19 / 12 / 2017

Kier Staff take on Mountain Triathlon Fundraiser

A team from Kier, a leading construction and maintenance company, has just completed a mountain triathlon to help us and raised an amazing £4348 donation.

The format for the event is a 7 mile canoe from Huntsham Bridge near Goodrich to Monmouth, down the Wye Valley, followed by a 20 mile cycle to Abergavenny rising 1050ft, topped off with a 1.5 mile run up Sugar Loaf mountain, rising another 900ft. This will then be done in reverse to Monmouth before canoeing another 3 miles to Redbrook for a well-earned stop at the pub. The challenge was undertaken over one full day on Friday 20th October 2017, with the start at 7.30am.

As a project team, they managed to raise a fantastic £4,348.75 which far exceeds their £2500 target!

Tom Hall, from Kier and organiser of the challenge said, ‘On behalf of Kier I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and donated to the mountain triathlon 2017. It was certainly a physically and mentally challenging day but the event was completed!

Our thanks to Tom and all the team for their huge fundraising efforts.

Posted on 10 / 11 / 2017

Help us to get Flood & Swiftwater Rescue Kit

Please help us raise £4,906 in grant finance from Aviva to provide flood and swift water rescue equipment for 10 of our volunteers.

To help is simple – all you need to do is select the link below and vote for our project:

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-1901%20

Voting is open to everyone who lives in the UK regardless of whether you hold a policy with Aviva.  You’ll get 10 votes which you can use at any time during the voting phase of the competition which runs from 24th October to 21st November 2017.

So, please vote for us, tell your friends and family and help us get this grant to provide essential equipment.

Posted on 26 / 10 / 2017

Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue stay on the road with help from TLT

Thanks to the efforts of the law firm TLT we have upgraded two of our rescue vehicles.

ASSAR has been TLT’s Bristol charity of the year during 2016/2017, raising £8,547.50 which has been put towards the repair of two of their rescue ambulances.

TLT staff members with members of search and rescue team. TLT staff raised over £8500 for the search and rescue charity.

The funds were raised through a series of fundraising events throughout the year, including the sponsored Welsh Three Peaks challenge which a team from TLT and ASSAR took on together, climbing Wales’ three highest mountains in under 24 hours.

Chris Thring, Chairman of ASSAR, said

“These vehicles are essential to our search and rescue operations. We cover 1800square miles across Avon and Somerset, so we have to be as mobile as possible to support the police and community.

Our new Incident Control vehicle is fitted with the latest search management computer systems to help find missing people and our technical rescue vehicle that responds to cliff rescues has had a complete facelift. The whole team is very grateful for the fundraising efforts of TLT and the team members who helped the TLT staff complete the Welsh Three Peaks – we were very impressed at their determination on a difficult challenge.”

Andrew Glynn, Senior Partner at TLT, said: “It’s fantastic to see what our fundraising efforts from the last year have helped to deliver. The volunteers at ASSAR provide essential, life-saving help for those in difficulty in the outdoors and in the search for missing persons. We are proud to help keep them on the road so they can continue to get to those in need.”

Posted on 09 / 10 / 2017