Charity receives 'lifeline' donation from Nottinghamshire Police
The Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue Team (NSART) has been given a vital boost after Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford presented the charity with a cheque for £4,500.
NSART is a lowland search and rescue team run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations. It was chosen as the chief constable’s charity for 2019/20 after a vote by staff and officers at Nottinghamshire Police, with money raised through various initiatives donated to the cause.
NSART works closely with Nottinghamshire Police when there is a missing person who has been classed as ‘high risk’ – someone who officers are particularly concerned about because of their age, vulnerability or other factors.
When a missing person is reported, a force police search adviser decides if assistance from NSART would benefit the search. If so, the officer contacts NSART, which has a search manager on call 24 hours a day and aims to deploy a team to anywhere in the county within one hour.
NSART volunteers are fully trained and nationally accredited. It has 40 volunteers who are trained as search technicians.
The chief constable’s donation was raised through events such as a Christmas carol concert, the Nottinghamshire Black Police Association Ball and dress-down days, as well as a charity calendar featuring the force’s police dogs.
Mr Guildford said: “I am delighted to be able to make this presentation today as a sign of our gratitude to the volunteers at NSART, who play a vital role in searching for vulnerable people when they go missing. Not only that, I know that money will be put to good use to allow NSART to continue its work during a really difficult time for charitable organisations.
“I’m proud of our staff and officers for the generosity and support they have shown to this cause which they selected last year as the chief constable’s charity.”
Jo Scott, chair of the NSART, said: “The money is vital to us and we’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of everyone who has contributed to raise this fantastic sum. We rely totally on donations, most of which usually come from our volunteers providing first aid cover for various events.
“In the current situation, the vast majority of these events have been cancelled, leaving us forecasting a sizeable drop in funding this year. Every single one of our members is an unpaid volunteer and all our funds are used to provide training, insurance, to maintain, replace and improve our equipment and to keep our vehicles on the road, all of which are needed for us to continue providing trained volunteers to support Nottinghamshire Police searching for high-risk missing people.
“We also support our local community in other ways such as our recent work delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG and the project we are currently working on to provide ‘throwlines’ along the River Trent in Nottingham.
“As well as the usual running costs, we continue to develop our capabilities and we have recently invested in equipping and training a drone team, which we are now able to deploy in our searches for high-risk missing people.”