A COUNTY organisation has marked its move to a new home by completing its fund-raising drive.
The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) has recently taken delivery of a new Land Rover.
The vehicle cost £24,000 to buy and a further £23,000 to adapt it for the volunteers’ specific mountain rescue needs as a general purpose off-road ambulance.
NNPMRT is now based at Pegswood Community Fire Station following the closure of some buildings at the Northumbria Police headquarters site in Ponteland.
Team Leader Pete Roberts said: “The state-of-the-art Land Rover will improve our service and add to the professional commitment that the team gives to provide mountain rescue to the area of the Northumbria Police Authority and also a support service to the outdoor community through their on-going help in providing cover to a variety of outdoor events.
“As we are a registered charity, the costs were met through fund-raising activities and a variety of local charitable trusts.
“We’re very grateful to Pegswood Community Fire Station for allowing us to use its premises. It has spacious rooms which we can use for training purposes.
“The location will improve our access to the north of the county, particularly when the Morpeth Northern Bypass is complete.
“We have eight new trainees to bring our active team membership to 40 and we’re always looking for new members.
“Those who volunteer, in common with all mountain rescue teams in England and Wales, are people who give of their time freely and without financial reward.
“Team members are committed individuals, outdoor people who already have a high degree of competency in outdoor skills and are keen to ‘put something back’ into the activity which they enjoy.”
NNPMRT, along with the North of Tyne team, cover all of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, an area measuring approximately 5000 square kilometres.
A number of the long-serving volunteers came along to the fire station to try out the new Land Rover when it was delivered, including Mr Roberts, Andrew Brunt (Deputy Team Leader Training), Steve Old (Deputy Team Leader), Dave Waters (Chair), Steve Hughes (Treasurer), Geoff Forrester (Secretary) and Ray Hobbs (Equipment Officer).
The team has a new website – www.nnpmrt.org – where you can find out more about its activities, events and make a donation. It also has a Facebook page and you can support its fund-raising through the JustGiving website.