MP joins Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team volunteers on exercise

Rishi Sunak with members of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team preparing for the exercise in Hudswell Woods, near Richmond.

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak has been out on exercise with Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team which marks a significant anniversary this year.

In July, the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team celebrates 50 years of helping search for and rescue people and animals that get into difficulty in Swaledale and Wensleydale and the cave systems of the wider Yorkshire Dales.

The Richmond MP recently accompanied the team of volunteers on one of its regular training exercises designed to keep the team’s skills at the highest level.

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The team scoured Hudswell Woods, just west of Richmond, to locate the “victim” – a 30-year-old woman who had fallen while out foraging.

Using GPS mapping techniques to organise the search and with the help of a rescue dog, the women was found taking shelter in a cave on a steep escarpment. After being given first-aid, she was brought to safety by a stretcher team.

Mr Sunak praised the commitment of the 40-plus volunteers who provided the invaluable service. “The skills and professionalism of the team was very evident and very reassuring to anyone who enjoys spending time in the glorious Yorkshire Dales,” he said.

“The work they do is very important, not just for local people but for the many thousands of visitors to come to our area to enjoy the landscape.”

Mr Sunak said even the most fit and best-prepared walkers could get into difficulties in the high hills and the knowledge that the team was on standby 24/7 on 365 days of the year was very comforting.

The team has to meet its £25,000 a year running costs from fundraising, although it has received some grants from Government – most recently more than £14,000 towards a new rescue boat.

The team is having a special fundraising push to raise £50,000 in 2018. Earlier this year a charity dinner at Tennants in Leyburn raised more than £5,000 and there is ongoing support from the Yorkshire Dales Brewery which is donating a proportion of the sale price of every pint or bottle of its best-selling Butter Tubs ale sold during the year.