Wednesday, 16 December 2020
I’ve wanted to be a volunteer for search & rescue since as long as I can remember. Naturally I dismissed this life goal over time believing I no longer could.
But from what started with my 10-Year Mountain with Adaptive Grand Slam in 2018, to becoming a volunteer Adventure Camp youth worker with the Youth Adventure Trust in 2019, which lead to me working with a fantastic expedition company Expeditions Wales, as part of their staff team delivering Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions, and since, in 2020 setting up my own Community Interest Company Dream Big Explore, supporting Adventure Beyond Barriers, and if my challenges & mindset have taught me anything, it’s to keep pushing, to find a way, and to Dream Big.
Work hard becuase there’s always a way.
While there's things I can't do, there’ll be things at times all of us can’t do, and I know, there’s most definitely things I can, & that I can do good with it. Doing something I love and helping keep safe those vulnerable in our community & give back is very important to me. And finding with an incredible team around, there’s plenty I can do & make a difference for the better.
My SARA training journey has been my proudest achievement to come out of a tough 2020, and with a few more weeks left on probation, I hope to become operational as land search crew in the near future, with a little water training added ready for flood season.
And as this is me afterall, there is a little Christmas endurance challenge on its way.. Read on.
As the sun sets on 29th December, myself & fellow SARA Tewkesbury volunteer & filmmaker & photographer David Grange, will begin The Big Night Out. Heading on foot into more than 12 hours of cold, wet, muddy December darkness from rural Tewkesbury into beyond.
We’ll need to keep moving to keep warm & to see the challenge through to sunrise the next morning.
This is going to be a physically & mentally tough challenge to endure through the winter’s night, & I’m sure at times pretty miserable. But for us, a fraction of what many missing persons go through; lost, scared, confused, cold & alone, often poorly dressed for outdoors & unaware of the dangers of being out in the cold dark night, with time vs the elements being critical to their survival.
By building this challenge and putting ourselves in this, we want to share an insight into the life-saving work of SARA, it’s volunteers & those who Severn Area Rescue Association continue to search for to keep safe.
Call out figures are sadly already up on those for 2019, with mental health related searches showing a concerning increase during 2020.
While I distictly remember saying now TWICE, that my next challenge would be one that is both warmer, and drier, the tough times I will have in completing this winter challenge will be every shiver, frozen finger and sore, tired body worth it for this vital cause.
I would be so very grateful of any donation for my Big Night Out challenge, and it will help this volunteer emergency service continue to keep loved ones safe.
Warm thoughts and plenty of motivation will also be very gratefully recieved..
Please click on the link below. 'Warmest' Christmas wishes, Mel. x