Search and rescue team calls for urgent support in bid to find a new home
- Credit: Archant
Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (CAMSAR), a specialist search team that helps track down vulnerable missing people across the county, is calling for urgent support to find a new home.
The team, part of the Lowland Search and Rescue group which consists of 40 trained members, has been supplying food to those in self-isolation as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) to GP surgeries, pharmacies and care homes in Cambridgeshire during the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity, formed in 2006 following the search of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, works around the clock responding to calls for help from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, but it requires around £30,000 a year just to make ends meet.
Barry Carter, chairperson at CAMSAR, said: “We have long been desperately trying to find a building from which we can operate in Cambridgeshire and ideally store our four vehicles.
“We currently have no real ‘home’ of our own in which to base ourselves, and instead have to have our team vehicles and search equipment spread around the county and train from a variety of fire stations that they are kind enough to let us use - but this is far from efficient.”
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Funds for CAMSAR will also go towards the cost of vehicles, MOTs, IT equipment such as radios and computers, plus search management software and each team member’s equipment including boots, a personal first aid kit and all travel costs.
Medical equipment and kit for dogs and handlers in the service’s K9 team also need covering, as well as PPE and other team kit costing around £300.
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Mr Carter said that those who can provide sufficient facilities would be entitled to some benefits, as he looks to maintain a vital service for years to come.
He said: “We are a charity entirely run by volunteers and receive no central government funding.
“It may be that landowners, businessmen, farmers that may be able to offer us the use of suitable premises at a favourable rate that we could work on and maintain.
“There would be benefits to the owner with recognition, tax, better security, building upkeep etc.
“As a small charity, we cannot afford anything too special but think that there must be some vacant light-industrial building or rural farm building that is perhaps under-used, or not at all, that would be ideal for us.”
To support CAMSAR or for more information, email Barry Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.camsar.org.