The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has awarded a grant of £51,000 over three years, to West Mercia Search and Rescue (West Mercia SAR). The grant will cover the charity’s annual rent and insurance, previously paid for by their volunteer members and charitable donations, allowing them to focus their fundraising efforts on training, equipment and expansion.
West Mercia SAR is operated by volunteers, who work closely with West Mercia Police and other emergency services to find vulnerable, missing people. The organisation will use the opportunity to grow their team to 100 members, recruit and train Community Search volunteers and to create training and logistical bases.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said, “It was an honour to meet the West Mercia SAR volunteers, who devote their own time to keeping our communities safe. By investing in the charity, I am helping West Mercia SAR to provide an even greater visible presence and professional service across our communities, particularly to the most vulnerable people in their time of crisis.
“The grant will also have a positive impact on the police service, reducing the workload of officers and allowing them to build on their already strong relationship with the charity. I am committed to ensuring that our communities are safe, and feel safe and I’m grateful to West Mercia SAR for the important part they play in achieving this.”
Andy MacAuley, Chairman of West Mercia SAR, said, “This grant lifts an enormous burden from our members’ shoulders, by providing us with rent, insurance and utilities for the next three years. It helps us move away from the monthly payments we’ve had to ask from our own members, and means that every penny the charity raises from donations can go towards training, equipment and developing better ways to serve the community.
“John Campion’s recognition of the team’s support for West Mercia Police is a tremendous step for us and allows us three years to build a sustainable platform of fundraisers and supporters to carry us forward. It gives us the time and space for our management team to grow the charity beyond just operational members.”