Western Beacons Mountain Search & Rescue Team is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of events and appearances across South Wales. The volunteers show incredible commitment and dedication; during a typical year the team respond to approximately 60 call outs and are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Call outs come at all times of the day or night and can be in mountainous, rural, semi-urban, or urban areas. No matter the time or whatever the weather, the volunteers are always ready and able to respond.
Amazingly, they all have day jobs and come from a variety of backgrounds and most of their personal equipment is paid for by themselves – it costs each member, on average, £1,000 per annum to provide the service on offer.
Formed in 1964 as the Bridgend Scout Mountain Rescue team after its founder Mike Rudall completed a Rover Scout project in Bridgend – Western Beacons was one of the founding members of the South Wales Mountain Rescue Association. In 1997 the team changed its name to Western Beacons Mountain Search & Rescue Team.
To mark their 50th anniversary, the Team will be carrying out several events throughout this year. The Team will be making an appearance at the Banff Mountain Film Festival when it tours across South Wales in March.
Then they shall be carrying a stretcher over 50 kilometres on the Brecon Beacons in June.
In September they shall also be holding a party for members past & present in and hosting the annual joint exercise for the mountain and cave rescue teams of South Wales.
50 for 50 Campaign
As well as celebrating the Team are also taking the opportunity to raise funds towards equipment and a new Command & Control Vehicle. They are hoping to raise £50,000 this year towards these projects.
Nick Hardwidge, speaking on behalf of Western Beacons MRT stated “If we can raise funds towards our new control vehicle, so much the better. The public, particularly those with an interest in Outdoor Pursuits, have always been very generous when it comes to donating money to the Team.”
“If you wish to meet members of the team we are supporting the Banff Mountain Film Festival at Porthcawl Grand Pavilion on March 27th and in Llanelli, at the Ffwrnes on March 28th.”