Three Team representatives attend Government reception in London, ‘Recognising Community Spirit during the (recent) Severe Weather.’

This afternoon three team Call Out list members, representing the whole
Bolton Mountain Rescue Team membership, (and in a wider sense Mountain
Rescue nationally) journeyed to London to attend a reception hosted by
Barbara Follett MP ’Recognising Community Spirit during the (recent) Severe
(wintry) Weather.’

Our three members were Elaine Gilliland, who is our Training Officer, Chris
Tennant who is our Base and Catering Officer, and Fred Taylor our Equipment
Officer, Ropes / Stretchers / Water Search and rescue equipment. (Fred is
also Regional MR Water Officer for the Mid Pennine Search and Rescue
Organisation – MPSRO)

Other representatives from colleague Mountain Rescue Teams in England and
Wales also attended, including we understand the following ;

  • Duncan Massey – Avon and Somerset CRT
  • Alan George – Avon and Somerset CRT
  • Alec Collyer – Dartmoor SRT Ashburton
  • Paul Heywood – Rossendale and Pendle MRT
  • Rob Illman – Dartmoor SRT Ashburton
  • Russ Hore – Ogwen Valley MRO
  • Kevin de Silva – Ogwen Valley MRO
  • K.C.Gordon – Ogwen Valley MRO
  • Alistair Read – Ogwen Valley MRO
  • Robin Knott – Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation
  • Huw Birrell – North East Wales SAR
  • Martin Willey – Wasdale MRT
  • Richard Longman – Wasdale MRT

There follows below Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland’s account of this
evening :

Today, three full team members of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, Chris Tennant, Fred Taylor and Elaine Gilliland, ventured to London to attend an awards ceremony after being invited by Barbara Follet MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Local Government Minister Barbara Follett thanked 40 local heroes that involved organisations such as Mountain Rescue, British Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and WVRS, at an awards ceremony in London, where she praised them for their hard work and commitment to helping their neighbours during the recent heavy snow.

Transporting stranded patients, assisting the emergency service vehicles, cleaning drives of deep snow and helping to get meals-on-wheels to isolated, elderly people during the heavy snow earlier this year are just some of the voluntary acts of kindness praised by Mrs Follett today.

Barbara Follett said:

    “The heavy snow earlier this year showed Britain’s community spirit in action. The people here today and many others across the country spontaneously leapt to the aid of their neighbours. I want to congratulate them for their generous acts of kindness to help those in need.”

    “Volunteering doesn’t just mean getting involved in big, organized events – it can mean just looking out for your neighbour. I hope more people are inspired to help their local community and are encouraged to start volunteering on a regular basis. The Government is working with local councils to ensure people have all the information they need to get involved in volunteering.”

    Barbara praised the volunteers from many third sector organisations and those who are simply ’good neighbours’ and were involved in efforts to restore normality to local communities around the country during the snow.

    The following organisations have been greatly involved in supporting the local people during the severe weather and Barbara mentioned the following activities in her speech:

  • St. John’s Ambulance – Giselle Hampton – Surrey – Covered many incidents including being deployed by the South East Coast NHS Ambulance Service Trust Control room to a patient in nearby woodland. Compelled to leave her car, she was conveyed by forestry workers in their truck to a collapsed patient in the forest and used her defibrillator, oxygen and CPR skills for more than 20 minutes whilst awaiting the arrival of the ambulance crew.
  • Mountain Rescue England – Christopher Tennant, Fred Taylor and Elaine Gilliland – Bolton – Dealt with more than 110 incidents during a 25 day period (essentially a year’s workload for Bolton MRT). Incidents included retrieving ambulances stuck in snow and ice whilst responding to emergencies, getting district staff to patients in deep snow, rescuing motorists stuck in deep snow and searching for missing persons in extreme wintry conditions.
  • Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue – Duncan Massey – Amongst other incidents came to the rescue when an ambulance could not reach an 84-year-old’s home – he was able to provide them relief whilst waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive.
  • Red Cross – Mark Waller – Wolverhampton – Made himself readily available taking time out of work to crew both day and night 4×4 and land ambulances. Assisting the ambulance service with causalities they could not reach and by easing the pressure on urgent patient transport service calls.
  • BTCV – British Trust for Conservation Volunteers – David Smith and Robin Sidle – Attended tasks on some of the coldest days and worked really hard to improve public access by cutting back hawthorn hedges and invasive gorse.
  • WRVS – Wendy Brown and Joan Campbell – Fleet meals on wheels enlisted 4×4 drivers to ensure food was provided to the elderly and vulnerable.

After the awards ceremony each person was presented with an ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Community’ Certificate from HM Government, signed by Barbara Follet.

Bolton Moutain Rescue Team are extremely proud to have been recognised by HM Government for their contribution to their local community and Fred Taylor, Chris Tennant and Elaine Gilliland would like to personally thank Barbara Follet MP for the invitation to a very special event and the opportunity to meet with other volunteers from England and Wales.

Please also see ’news’ item dated Tuesday 9th March 2010