Patterdale Mountain Rescue team is busy on all fronts as the easing of lockdown attracts more people to the fells and also enables supporters to boost fundraising for the team’s new vehicle appeal.
“We launched our New Defender Land Rover appeal early in July,” explained Peter Baker, the team member who is leading the fundraising efforts.
“We’ve been really encouraged as, even in tough and uncertain times economically, we’ve already received over £17,000 in donations towards the target of £85,000.
“Our supporters are incredibly generous and we hope that even more of them will now be able to get going and organise fundraising activities.”
The team’s fundraising group is also planning a number of activities, some of them virtual, others, it is hoped, more social and community based in the Ullswater Valley, the area covered by the team.
“We have a number of interesting fundraising possibilities to look forward to but they will probably only be possible in 2021,” said Peter.
“These will be promoted on our website and social media as they take shape. The target date for raising the £85,000 is December, 2021, so I am really hoping that we’ll be able to gather and hold social events next year.
“For now, we’re keeping social distancing in mind and encouraging individuals to do as much as they can, whether on the fells, on the stairs at home or elsewhere, to get involved in our appeal.”
The vehicle being purchased is a trailblazer for mountain rescue as it is the first of Land Rover’s New Defender 110 model, hot off the production line. It is being adapted for use as a rescue vehicle with the ability to carry rescue and medical equipment as well as rescuers and, if need be, a casualty on a stretcher. It replaces the team’s previous Mobile 3 vehicle, which had served four years more than the usual 12-years’ service.
“Further details of the appeal are on the team website,” said Peter, “and we’ve set up www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/pattdef , a special Virgin Money Giving campaign, to make it even easier for supporters to donate and to keep in touch with progress.”
As well as the fundraising activity, the operational team is also busy in the mountains.
After a very quiet spring during lockdown, Patterdale MRT has responded to three callouts in just three days over the last weekend and is bracing itself for a busy summer.
“The callout rate across the Lake District is going up and up,” said team leader, Mike Rippon, “and we’re seeing that reflected in our area, too.
“With staycations the preferred holiday for many this year, we’re anticipating a lot of visitors who are less familiar with the fells and that is likely to affect our call out rates in the weeks ahead.
“We appreciate the efforts of a lot of the businesses that support us — the pubs, cafes and holiday accommodation providers — as they are promoting our #BeAdventureSmart messages and encouraging visitors to plan ahead and make their day in the hills both safe and enjoyable.”
Further information about the New Defender 110 Land Rover appeal, #BeAdventureSmart and the team’s recent callouts is online at www.mountainrescue.org.uk