Fund-raising activities to mark team’s milestone year

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An important rescue team has linked its latest fund-raising target with its 50th anniversary.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) was formed in 1965 by volunteer wardens in response to two shepherds tragically perishing in a blizzard on November 17, 1962, in the Cheviot Hills.

It has increased its coverage since then and today, it provides a search and rescue service for an area that includes the whole of Northumberland and the conurbation of Tyne and Wear (2,159 square miles in total).

Calls for assistance include not only search and mountain rescue of walkers, fell/trail runners and mountain bikers in the uplands of Northumberland, but also the search and rescue of missing children and vulnerable adults in rural and urban settings.

To help meet its on-going costs, the team has set itself a challenge to bring in £50,000 from grants and donations this year.

Special events include a black-tie fund-raising ball at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle on October 23.

In recent years, the volunteers respond to around 35 incidents per year.

To date, the team’s 50th year has been one of the busiest with 30 incidents so far.

An NNPMRT spokesman said: “Our typical operating cost of £20,000 per year is paid for through mainly charitable donations from the general public and an invaluable grant from the Northumberland National Park Authority.

“On top of this, high cost items of equipment such as our two Land Rover ambulances (£50,000 and £70,000 respectively) must be replaced periodically.

“If we raise the £50,000, it will fund a desperately needed new digital radio system to replace our ageing analogue system, the fitting out of a replacement command and control trailer and the purchase of specialist water rescue personal protective equipment.”

At the ball, a number of outdoor related products, donated by companies, will be auctioned and raffled off to the members of the public present.

For ticket information, visit www.facebook.com/NNPMRT

People who want to participate in the team’s annual event, The Cheviots Challenge, can find details at http://nnpmrt.org/news-events/cheviots-challenge-2015

Donations from the general public to the team can also be made via its Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/nnpmrt