Absolutely fantastic news of support from the Keep Fit Association of Chorley and Leyland

Former long serving team member and ex Team Training Officer Andrew Ryding, currently retired from the team, recently informed us that his mother Pat Baron, a member of the Keep fit Association of Chorley and Leyland, had nominated the Bolton MRT as a worthy charity for the KFA of Chorley and Leyland to support.

This evening, at the invitation of Eunice Walsh, Ladies Keep Fit Instructor at the KFA of Chorley and Leyland, St Michaels Secondary School, Chorley, the team was invited to attend the KFA meeting, with Elaine Gilliland, Team Training Officer, and Doctor Clare Whitney, our Team ’Doctor’ and our Medical Equipment Officer representing the team.

Andy (Andrew) Ryding also attended, and introduced Elaine and Doctor Clare to the assembled KFA members, with Elaine and Clare then being invited to give a short overview of the teams work.

At the end of their visit, Andy, Elaine and Clare were then absolutely amazed to be informed by Pat Baron and Eunice Walsh that they had indeed chosen the Bolton MRT to support, and that within days we are to receive a fantastic donation from the Keep fit Association of Chorley and Leyland of £2,050.00.
This is a massive donation which the KFA have asked be put against our project to replace our current specialist mountain rescue stretchers, which is in hand with our vehicle replacement programme currently in progress.

There follows an account of the evenings proceedings from our Training Officer Elaine Gilliland:

This evening, ex-Team Member Andrew Ryding, Medical Officer and Team Doctor Dr Clare Whitney and Team Training Officer Elaine Gilliland, ventured to St. Michael’s Church of England High School, Astley Road, Chorley with an invitation to join the Annual Demonstration, given by the Chorley and Leyland District Keep Fit Association, to family and friends.

We were met by Eunice Walsh, Organiser of the demonstration and Instructor for the Keep Fit Association, who enthusiastically volunteered lots of information about the event and the ladies who were participating in the event.

Eunice has been a member of the Keep Fit Association since she was 16 and has been instructing for many a year in the Chorley and Leyland area and this has involved instructing the ladies to a level to demonstrate at regional and national level, including demonstrations and the Royal Albert Hall of which all of the ladies are very proud.

The Chorley and Leyland Keep Fit Association raise money every year for a nominated charity and this year, through the nomination presented by Mrs Pat Baron, mother of Andy Ryding, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team were chosen as their Charity for 2010.

On entering the sports hall, we realised the extent of the event. Over 200 ladies were present with a few gentlemen dotted in between, which made Andy feel a little more comfortable. Unaware of what the event entailed, we were placed in the ‘guest seats’ in front of the demonstration area and presented with an agenda for the evening.

And so the lesson begins;

Eunice gave a short presentation to the audience about the reason for the demonstration, stating that ‘Our vehicles are our bodies and we need to look after them’. She also explained that ensuring our bodies our well looked after with assist with mobility, stamina and co-ordination. Approximately 70 ladies were awaiting instruction and as the music started Eunice shouted ‘Good posture everyone’ and the warm up started.


These ladies, most pensioners, astounded us with their agility and coordination throughout the demonstration where we were shown the three main actions of the spine – Chorley & Leyland Ladies, full body routine – Chorley Ladies HHS, stamina routine – Chorley Ladies HHS, a second full body routine – Chorley Ladies St. Michael’s , scarf work – Spring Meadow Ladies, ribbon work – Chorley Ladies St. Michael’s, and movement for all – All Groups.

Andy had promised that if Clare and I were able to attend, that he would join in with the exercises, although all the coaxing in the world wouldn’t get him to stand up and be counted. We did all join in a little though, especially during the stamina routine where we were all foot-tapping to ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’ and then the finale of movement for all where, not only were we foot-tapping but also singing to ‘Thank You For The Music’. It’s a good job the music was loud enough not to hear us……

Throughout the evening, the Group had been raising money for the Team by charging for entry to the demonstration and selling raffle tickets, and added to the funds that they had raised during the year, a total count came to £2050.00 raised for Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.

To say we were astounded is an understatement as Eunice told the whole audience how much they had very kindly raised for us.

Well, it was our turn now. I was invited to the microphone to give a speech in which I thanked the whole audience for their kind donations. Andy and Clare were then asked to give an overview of the Team and our work in the community, and finally it was suggested that the very generous donation go towards the purchase of a new stretcher which will be required once the Team has purchased its new vehicles. The Group were very pleased that we were able to specify what the donation would go to and voiced that they would very much like to visit our base to have a vehicle and equipment demonstration once the purchase had been made.

The whole team membership is very grateful for the extremely generous donation provided by The Chorley and Leyland Keep Fit Association and the audience who attended, and Andy, Clare and Elaine would like to thank the Ladies for their invitation to such a fascinating evening and we look forward to seeing them early next year when they will be invited to visit the Team’s base