The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue column with David Dennis

A grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has helped kit out our new members.
A grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has helped kit out our new members.

It has been local shows time in the Dales in recent weeks and we have been out and about meeting the public at the events. Thankfully we only had four call outs over the period to deal with.

Joining the team, of course, isn’t just about attending incidents it involves many hours training as well as equipment up-keep.

In addition we have the ever increasing admin work and most importantly fundraising – we don’t get any formal funding and it is all down to us to raise the £50,000 a year it now takes to ensure our own survival.

Monday evenings are given by members for training and maintenance work.

All these additional tasks add to the huge commitment members make and of course in doing so takes them away from their families and social life even more.

We are all volunteers and as such we have jobs to hold down with a good number of members having to travel beyond the Dales for employment.

We have just had a boost to team funding with a £4,200 grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to help kit out our newer members with waterproof jackets and over trousers for surface rescues.

The grant came from the Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund which helps local individuals, community groups and charities that contribute in some way to the quality of life in the National Park.

We have always had a close link with the Authority and their generous grant is most appreciated.

The cheque presentation was rounded off with a tour of our headquarters and in particular our recent extension.

We attend local shows where they have Fell Races.

At these event we are on stand-by for injuries with members positioned over all the fell.

One such show is at Burnsall where we have attended the Fell Race for over 50 years.

These are brilliant days for the team where we also have our exhibition tent and a great opportunity to chat to the public.

A number of the team are also top class fell runners and we get a nod from them as they race passed our static locations around the course.

The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway ran a Local Heroes day which we were invited to attend. It was a huge success attracting over 2,000 visitors.

An even noisier event was our attendance at the Skipton Fire Station Emergency Services Open Day which we shared with the Fire Service and the Police.

It attracted a lot of young families and the lasting memory of the day was the fire engine siren being activated every few seconds .

Locally we have become regular supporters of the Knaresborough Bed Race with our swift water team looking after the river crossing – another great day meeting the public and over the years we have tried to muster manpower during the working week to attend as many Nidderdale Shows as we can.