JUBILANT search and rescue volunteers in Warwickshire have kick started the year with two milestone achievements.
Warwickshire Search and Rescue was formally presented with The King’s Award for Voluntary Service at the opening ceremony of its new headquarters on Saturday (January 6).
The group, which supports Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police to search for vulnerable missing people, was one of 262 charities chosen to receive this prestigious award, and are the first Lowland Rescue team to receive the King’s Award.
They have been operating since 2013, have undertaken more than 375 searches to date, and have long awaited a permanent base of operations that was fit for purpose.
Over the last four months members of the team have worked to build a secure garage and completely renovate the interior to suit their needs. Along with exterior renovations, the members have created a training room, offices and stores where their vital lifesaving equipment can be stored and training needs met.
Presiding over the event was the King’s representative in Warwickshire, Lord Lieutenant Tim Cox, who presented the group of volunteers with the award.
Mr Cox also cut the ribbon and opened their long-awaited new headquarters.
On the day the team also demonstrated their capabilities and equipment to a host of VIP guests.
Ian Malins, chair of Warwickshire Search and Rescue, said:“I’m proud to represent this remarkable team of volunteers, who will turn out at any time, in all weathers to support the police search for vulnerable missing people. We have utilised the skills and dedication of our members to create a permanent headquarters building that truly meets our needs. The fact that this has coincided with us receiving The King’s Award for Voluntary Service in our tenth year of operation demonstrates how far we have progressed as a charity that supports the local community.
“Lowland Rescue teams such as ours across the UK are generally not as well-known as similar volunteer-led organisations such as Mountain Rescue and the RNLI and so this award and open day was a great opportunity to showcase what we do.”