Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (BLSAR) is a local charity that is called out by the police to search for lost, vulnerable people. They may be missing because of their young age, a medical problem, or depressed, or have dementia. Thames Valley Police (and other forces) rely on our ability to locate people, and to bring them to safety.
One recent search in a rainstorm involved 53 volunteers who gave over 350 hours the first evening. Teams were sent out on foot, by bike, by boat, and we were assisted by sniffer dogs. A lot of very wet woodland was minutely searched. The search was only called off the following morning when the missing person was found.
Every search is different, and to be prepared BLSAR trains on Thursday nights whatever the weather. There is a whole raft of courses to gain specialist qualifications, from searching, to drone pilot, to team leading, search planning and search management. The basic role is searching, but each team will have a team leader, a navigator, a medic and communications, and there are specialist boat, bank, bike and drone teams.
BLSAR provide some basic kit, and also some specialist kit, but most of us supplement this, and we also pay our own travel and subsistence. We have a new water response vehicle and boat, but the incident control vehicle is getting old, and the lease on our base is coming to an end...
We receive no statutory funds from Government, the police or local authorities. Funds are raised by applying for grants, by stewarding at events like Bracknell Half Marathon and Wokingham Fireworks, or bucket shakes outside supermarkets. Since Covid we cannot raise funds at events or at supermarkets.
Which is why a small group of BLSAR members will be doing the K&A Challenge around the 22nd August to raise funds for operating costs. In 2019 every callout day cost about £600. How many callouts can we raise funds for! Every donation will be gratefully received!
Good luck Gerry, hope you get a good day for it!
Good luck to you gerry
Good luck, Gerry!
Gerry's fundraising page will be accepting donations for another 42 days.
Rescuing high risk missing persons in Berkshire, such as young children or those with dementia
Find out more about the charity
About Kennet & Avon Challenge 2020
Our challenge is to cycle from one end to the other end of the Kennet and Avon by any passable route available. Thats from the Cumberland Basin in Bristol, to Waterside just downstream of the Horseshoe Bridge in Reading, along the canal where possible, but where the route is blocked or otherwise impassable along the National Cycle Route 4.
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