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Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue Team charity gets boost in funds from Nottinghamshire Police

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The charity Nottinghamshire Search and Rescue Team (NSART) has been given a boost thanks to funds raised by Nottinghamshire Police this year.

The chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police presented NSART — a lowland search and rescue team run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations — with a cheque for £4,500.

It was chosen as the chief constable’s charity for 2019-20 after a vote by staff and officers at the force, meaning money raised through various initiatives was donated to the cause.

Credit: Notts Police (35436070)
Credit: Notts Police (35436070)

NSART works closely with Nottinghamshire Police when there is a missing person who has been classed as ‘high risk’ — someone who officers are particularly concerned about because of their age, vulnerability or other factors.

When there is a missing person, an officer known as a police search advisor decides if assistance from NSART would be beneficial and appropriate in the search. If so, they call NSART which has a search manager on call 24 hours a day and aims to deploy a team to anywhere in the county within an hour.

Volunteers are fully trained and nationally accredited for the work they do and the charity has 40 volunteers who are trained as search technicians.

The money was raised through events such as a Christmas Carol concert, the Nottinghamshire Black Police Association Ball and dress down days, as well as a charity calendar featuring the force’s police dogs.

Credit: Notts Police (35436074)
Credit: Notts Police (35436074)

Chief Constable Craig Guildford, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “I am delighted to be able to make this presentation today as a sign of our gratitude to the volunteers at NSART, who play a vital role in searching for vulnerable people when they go missing.

“Not only that, I know that money will be put to good use to allow NSART to continue its work during a really difficult time for charitable organisations.

“I’m proud of our staff and officers for the generosity and support they have shown to this cause which they selected last year as the Chief Constable’s Charity.”

Credit: Notts Police (35436068)
Credit: Notts Police (35436068)

Jo Scott, chair of NSART, said: “The money is vital to us and we're incredibly grateful for the generosity of everyone who has contributed to raise this fantastic sum. We rely totally on donations, most of which usually come from our volunteers providing first aid cover for various events.

“In the current situation, the vast majority of these events have been cancelled, leaving us forecasting a sizeable drop in funding this year. Every single one of our members is an unpaid volunteer and all our funds are used to provide training, insurance, to maintain, replace and improve our equipment and to keep our vehicles on the road, all of which are needed for us to continue providing trained volunteers to support Nottinghamshire Police searching for high risk missing people.

“We also support our local community in other ways such as our recent work delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG and the project we are currently working on to provide throwlines along the River Trent in Nottingham.

“As well as the usual running costs, we continue to develop our capabilities and we have recently invested in equipping and training a drone team, which we are now able to deploy in our searches for high risk missing people.”

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