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Mountain rescue
Mountain rescue

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue secure vital funding

Two Community Benefit Funds have helped Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue to fund a new life saving vehicle.

By Niome Lucjan, Community Funds Advisor

Living in a small village, close to the A7 between Edinburgh and Galashiels, it is not unusual to hear the blare of sirens in the distance, getting louder as the vehicle gets closer.  Sometimes when we hear the sirens, my children climb up to peer out the window to see what’s happening and which emergency service vehicle will zoom past.  It was on one such occasion that we were first introduced to a fourth type of emergency vehicle, and I still remember my daughter saying, "That’s a funny looking ambulance mummy."

This ‘funny looking ambulance’ was part of the fleet of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue.  

The Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue cover a large area from Queensferry and Newcastelton, to West Lothian, Ettrick and Melrose, where they are based.  With a fleet of only four vehicles, there comes a point where, after years of emergency search and rescue operations as well as civil resilience during snowstorms and floods, it is time to upgrade the vehicles for newer models, so that they can continue to support the 110 community councils across its region. 

Around half of the annual funding for the Mountain Rescue Team comes from the Scottish Government, with the rest of the funding coming from grants, fundraising and donations.  

The cost of a mountain rescue vehicle, which requires additional conversions to ensure it is capable of accessing inhospitable areas, rough terrain and carrying a vast range of rescue and first aid equipment, comes at a price.   

The Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team has commenced raising funds for a new vehicle to replace one in its current fleet. 

The team approached Schroders Greencoat Langhope Rig Sub Fund A and Ventient Glenkerie Wind Farm Community Fund to obtain funding for the vehicle.  

Both of the community fund Panels recognised the important work which Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue carries out, and awarded a combined total of £35,000 towards the purchase of the converted new vehicle.   

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue still has a significant portion of funds to raise. However, the £35,000 award will go a long way to ensuring that its lifesaving services will be available the next time there is a call out.