Here at Pennies we love hearing about charities and businesses with a shared passion teaming up. So we were delighted when GO Outdoors nominated Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) to be the main charity to benefit from donations made at their online checkout. Since November customers picking up their walking or climbing gear have had the chance to help rescue teams get the vital equipment they need.
A rescue often requires a collaborative effort and MREW work in partnership with many other emergency organisations such as RAF Search and Rescue or air ambulances. But there are occasions where the volunteer Mountain Rescue teams are the only group who can reach someone trapped in bad weather or who has had a serious accident halfway up a mountain.
For example, the rescue of one woman who fell 18 to 20ft and had multiple fractures in her back and skull needed the specialist skills of the local Mountain Rescue team to reach her. Luckily she made a successful recovery but there are thousands of rescue missions like these each year, that rely heavily on public donations to ensure teams have the vital up to date equipment they need.
And the rescue service, which is free of charge to the casualty, doesn’t come cheap. Each team is made up of around 30 volunteers and should have a minimum of two £35,000 vehicles, two or three stretchers costing £2,500 a pop, a first aid kit at £300, a set of rescue hardware at £250 and that’s just half the equipment needed for a single team!
The costs of buying and maintaining this equipment quickly add up but the cost of not having these items to rescue people trapped on mountainsides is higher. Each of the 56 rescue teams must raise sufficient funds each year simply to maintain this service which is why your pennies are so important to ensure the teams can focus on what they do best. Instead of being on the pavement rattling cans, they can be on the hillsides saving lives.
So far, £1789 has been raised from customers at GO Outdoors choosing to add a 50p donation to their purchase at the online checkout. That could cover the cost of five first aid kits or 25 rescue harnesses. So next time you’re browsing the walking boots or climbing gear remember that a donation at the checkout will help supply Mountain Rescue teams across England and Wales with the vital equipment they need.