Brecon Mountain Rescue Team launches HQ fundraising appeal

B&R reporter Joe Corrick meets the team behind the plans for a new head office which could save lives in the Beacons

By Joe Corrick   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 21st June 2022 4:00 pm
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Brecon Mountain Rescue Team volunteers with the team’s ambassador Kate Humble
Brecon Mountain Rescue Team volunteers with the team’s ambassador Kate Humble (Tindle )

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Brecon Mountain Rescue Team has launched its biggest-ever fundraising appeal to raise money for its new headquarters.

Volunteers at the rescue team dedicate their time to provide a 24-hour, 365 days-a-year service to save the lives of those most in need, throughout Mid Wales. The team receives no government or external funding and with a growing demand for its help, urgently needs a new base.

The team is now aiming to raise £99,000 to help build a £1.1 million headquarters on the outskirts of Brecon to add to the £750,000 they have already raised over the past decade.

Dr Rob Powell, Brecon Mountain Rescue Team leader, said a new base was vital for the team. “For more than 50 years, our dedicated volunteers have saved lives throughout Mid Wales, not only on the mountains, but also in towns, rivers and lakes across the region, and we have never been busier,” he said.

“We provide specialist search, medical, and rescue services, and work closely with the police, ambulance and fire services when they receive a call for help, but are unable to find, reach or rescue those in need.

“We can access places that no other service can reach. As well as finding, treating, and rescuing walkers, climbers, fell-runners, mountain bikers and kayakers, we also assist the most vulnerable in our communities - people living with dementia, people who are depressed or suicidal, flood victims, and missing adults and children.

“Now we are hoping our community will show us their support and help us reach our target, so that we can build a base that will benefit the whole region well into the future.”

“The current headquarters have served us well for the last 30 years, and hopefully the new headquarters will serve us for the next 30 years,” said Dr Powell.

The new headquarters will be designed to help the team respond quicker to emergency calls, store life-saving equipment properly and carry out more training exercises as a full team. Having a bigger training room will also enable other community organisations, such as Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Ramblers Cymru, to use the facility for educational purposes.

The fundraising campaign is being backed by television presenter, Kate Humble, who lives in the area, and is the mountain rescue team’s official ambassador.

Kate told The Brecon and Radnor Express: “This new centre, which has been designed by one of the volunteers here, who happens to be an architect, has planning permission so it can go ahead. I want to be here, helping build it in February next year, so that is our cut off point.”

“The team has already raised a tremendous amount of money through grants, so this call out to the public is to help top up an enormous amount of work and support that they have already got. We are so close to being able to do this and if we get this new centre, they reckon their response time will be cut by 15 minutes. That is literally the difference between life and death. They are building a centre that saves lives and educates people. I can’t think of two more important things,” said Kate.

“We are all under financially pressure at the moment, and we know that the cost of living is going up, and there are other very worthy causes out there, like the situation in Ukraine has moved a great deal of us wanting to help.

“This campaign is for a very finite project, once that money has been raised the building can start, so the money you give now will have a legacy for at least another 30 years, maybe 50 and it is something that will benefit all of us and our love for the Brecon Beacons and this area, so please give anything at all. It will be money really well and wisely spent, and it will save lives.”

To donate to the new HQ appeal, please visit GoFundMe.com/BMRT-new-hq-999

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