If you'd always thought you'd like to be involved in Mountain Rescue but didn't think you could, well now's your chance. BaseCamp, the new National Supporters' Group for Mountain Rescue - England & Wales is now up and running, to coincide with a national initiative to promote their 75th Anniversary which takes place in 2008.
Like most charities, Mountain Rescue in England & Wales relies almost exclusively on donations from the public to carry out its essential work. The national organisation, which provides training and equipment to the 53 local teams, is looking to rationalise its fundraising activities by inviting people to sign up to an annual subscription.
Up to now, individual teams have raised funds through events and local collections, but it has not been as easy for occasional hill-goers living outside the areas covered by teams to support their work. BaseCamp changes this. Now a climber in London or a walker from Leicester can support teams in all areas they visit, by joining BaseCamp and paying an annual subscription. In return, supporters will receive quarterly copies of MR Magazine together with an enamel supporter's badge and a car sticker to promote their involvement. They will also be notified of events run by nearby teams, and given the opportunity to get involved.
It is important to stress that BaseCamp will not replace the fundraising efforts of individual teams, but rather make it easier for those without a local team to contribute.
Cara-Lyn Reynolds, one of the co-ordinators of BaseCamp says “My parents are exactly the sort of people we would like to see become members. Living in the Midlands, they have no local team and rarely go to the mountains. They want to support MR since I am so often away climbing and mountain walking and they like to know that there is a support network in case the worst happens to me. But which team to donate to? I could just as easily need assistance from Llanberis or Wasdale! BaseCamp makes it easy for them to support the whole network of teams throughout England and Wales with one single subscription”.
Mike France, chair of Mountain Rescue's National Fundraising group commented: "With walking and climbing overtaking fishing as the nation's biggest participation sport we felt we were missing an opportunity to organise the support that we rely on. Basically, people want to give but we haven't made it easy for them to do so. In future you'll be able to fill in a form to make an annual donation or sign up on our website. This way we'll be able to predict and, hopefully, increase much of our income and tailor our support for the teams accordingly."
For more information on how to give to Mountain Rescue - England & Wales, and join BaseCamp please contact: Neil Roden
Tel: 07050 267434
Or write to BaseCamp, c/o White Cottage, 9 Main Road, Grindleford, Derbyshire S32 2JN
A page at www.mountain.rescue.org.uk will be set up soon for enrollment in Base Camp