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Search and rescue charity makes desperate appeal for donations

PUBLISHED: 15:45 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:22 14 April 2020

Just a fraction of the fifty or so volunteers who make up Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue which support the emergency services. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Just a fraction of the fifty or so volunteers who make up Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue which support the emergency services. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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A charity which works alongside the emergency services to search for missing people across Norfolk, is desperately appealing for donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

William Swan and Jack Wiseman from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Picture: Neil DidsburyWilliam Swan and Jack Wiseman from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Picture: Neil Didsbury

On call 365 days a year, Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NorLSAR) is an entirely volunteer run organisation consisting of around 50 highly-trained volunteers.

The charity works with the emergency services to search for missing, often vulnerable people and is highly trained in different search and rescue techniques.

It costs around £1,100 a month to keep the organisation, which is entirely dependent on donations and fundraising, going, but coronavirus has seen its main sources of income disappear overnight.

This, coupled with a huge rise in demand for its expertise has left the charity desperately appealing for donations.

Jack Wiseman from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Picture: Neil DidsburyJack Wiseman from Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The first three months of 2020 saw a huge rise in demand for NorLSAR’s expertise, with it receiving almost three times the number call outs it did for the same period in 2019.

And, the charity is anticipating the “drastic rise” to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the difficulties lockdown can create for some people.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The cost of running NorLSAR is £1100 a month. That money is used for vehicle costs including boats for our water team, maintenance and insurance.

“It is anticipated that with the loss of our income from supermarket and street collections, presentations and large events from March to June, we will lose £7,500.”

Jack Wiseman, vice chairman and water and technical rescue lead, said: “Currently we are all working with emergency services and local authorities to assist with support.

“We are expecting a rise in call - outs due to the lock down causing an increase in mental health concerns.

I would encourage the public to reach out to friends and family by phone calls and video conferences.

“It’s important that we all look out for each other, especially the vulnerable in our community.

“In these times we must come together and ensure we all follow the guidance from public health.

“We are grateful for all the support we have had online and can`t thank the public enough.”

To make a donation to NorSLAR visit the charity’s website via: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/NORLSAR


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