W.I. Newsletter October 2018

Our programme planner, had to get her thinking cap on, as our planned speaker for this month had to cancel due to work commitments, so instead of talking to us about working on a cruise ship – well, yes, he was all at sea.

Fortunately for us Colleen Jackson found us Trevor Vidler from Hampshire Search & Rescue.  No, we hadn’t heard of them either. 

With the aid of slides Trevor explained that this organisation was set up in 2002, becoming operational in 2003 and is made up solely of 120 volunteers, 69 of whom are operational.  There are 16 trainees, and 25 supporters who have other skills, including fund-raising, form filling to obtain grants and completing other administration tasks.  (10 are currently on a leave of absence for a variety of reasons).  Hampshire Search & Rescue do not get any Government or Local Authority funding but require £24,000 per annum to survive.  Having been fortunate enough to qualify for a National Lottery grant and secure donations from private organisations they have now been able to purchase some second-hand vehicles and, thanks to the skills of their volunteers, equip them with technological aids and other useful equipment.

Volunteers must undertake a fitness test and attend various intensive training sessions before they qualify to be operational.  The organisation is part of a National Network of other lowland search & rescue services and their remit is to search for vulnerable adults and young people when they go missing.  The reasons for their vulnerability can range from depression, dementia and other medical conditions including mental illness.  Initially the Police are called in when someone goes missing, but they in turn can call on the skills of Hampshire Search & Rescue to organise a search which can be anywhere in the County.   They are on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and last year were called out on 54 occasions and so far, this year 72 times.  There is also great co-operation with their counterparts from neighbouring counties, where reciprocal assistance is available when necessary.  More information can be found on their website if you feel you have the skills and time to join them.

One other initiative that Trevor talked about is aimed at families who are caring for loved ones with dementia.  It is called the Herbert Protocol and involves downloading a form from their website.  Knowing where to look when someone goes missing is of immense help.  So please if you are caring for someone with dementia then please download the form from their website and fill it in. 

Earlier in the evening our members were delighted to hear how much the fete committee had awarded us after our hard work organising the fete teas in September.

Our next meeting is on 29th November (7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall) when we will hear of all the latest developments at The Silk Mill in Whitchurch. 

 Diary Dates:

01 November – Cinema Outing
03 November – Breakfast Club
08 November – Supper Club
24 November – Lunch Club
29 November – Monthly Meeting 7.30 p.m. in The Village Hall