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West Mercia Search and Rescue team handed £5,725

By Jordan Reynolds | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

West Mercia Search and Rescue is to receive a government grant of more than £5,000 and has won the backing of Shrewsbury's MP.

West Mercia Search and Rescue volunteers in action. Picture: West Mercia Search and Rescue

The search and rescue team will receive £5,725 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his department would be taking to provide financial and "other support" to West Mercia SAR.

Therese Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, replied saying a total of £750,000 grant funding has been made available nationally. She said: "In 2017/18, a total of £750,000 grant funding has been made available to help maintain the assets on the National Flood Rescue Assets Register that are available for use nationally in the event of a flood.

"Teams such as West Mercia Search and Rescue may claim up to £5,725 each."

Mr Kawczynski added that he was pleased funding was being provided and encourages anyone who would like to volunteer to contact the organisation directly.

He said: "I am pleased that the department is providing funding to West Mercia Search and Rescue to assist them in all the excellent work they do.

"The team of volunteers at West Mercia SAR are doing an amazing job week in and week out, whatever the weather or conditions may be, to help save lives.

"I know that they are currently on a recruitment drive and anyone who would like to get involved should contact them directly for more information.”

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Andy MacAuley, chairman of West Mercia SAR, said it is "fantastic" to have Mr Kawczynski's support.

He said: "It's fantastic to have the support of a Member of Parliament like Daniel whose constituency we have done so much work in.

"His concern for the sustainability of voluntary rescue services is one we all share because as a small charity we face enormous competition from the 1.3 per cent of large national charities which reap over 72 per cent of all charitable income.

"However, our team has worked very hard over the last 10 years to develop a national flooding response capability, and that has opened the doors to some funding from DEFRA and the Department for Transport for us to maintain our fleet of rescue boats and the training for their crews.

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"I'm delighted to say that the £5,725 maintenance grant mentioned by Ms Coffey of DEFRA is already in the process of being claimed, and has funded a set of new stretchers and radios for our boat teams (both of which are requirements for our ongoing registration nationally).

"We currently have 24 members, five boats and a small fleet of kayaks on our water-rescue team."

For more information visit westmerciasar.org.uk

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Reporter for the Shropshire Star covering Shrewsbury and the surrounding areas.

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