Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW), the umbrella organisation for mountain rescue teams across the country, is delighted to announce that the JD Foundation – the registered charity of JD Sports Fashion plc which owns the Blacks outdoor group – has pledged significant support over the next three years.
Revenue generated through the carrier bag charge scheme introduced by the UK government will go to the charity to help support the vital work it carries out, not only searching and rescuing casualties in upland areas but also working with the paid emergency services during urban searches, flooding and other major incidents.
MREW has received an initial amount of over £218,000 from The JD Foundation. This was presented to Chairman of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Mike France by Traci Corrie, Chair of The JD Foundation, at the MREW AGM in Preston on Saturday 21st May. This will be followed by regular donations of approximately £45,000 per quarter (depending on bag revenue), giving around an additional £180,000 per annum for the next three years and amounting to nearly £750,000 over the period of the support.
Mike France, Chairman, Mountain Rescue England and Wales said: “We spend a lot of time asking people to help us with our work, so for someone to come to us and offer support out of the blue is overwhelming and very much appreciated. To receive a cheque for a few thousand means we can sometimes make changes; to receive a cheque for this value is a game changer and is going to give us the means to look at our long-term strategy.” He adds: “This donation will allow our highly trained Mountain Rescue members to do what they are trained for – attending rescues – instead of spending so much of their time fundraising. We are absolutely delighted.”
Traci Corrie, Chair of The JD Foundation said: “Mountain Rescue is a vital commodity but, as a non-profit organisation, it is reliant on the generosity and support of the public to maintain its valuable community service. That’s why we chose them as our environmental charity and we are delighted to be able to give our support and help them with their long term planning.”
In addition to the funding from The JD Foundation, Blacks, part of the outdoor division of JD Sports Fashion plc – which also includes Millets and Ultimate Outdoors – will be working with Mountain Rescue England and Wales on a number of projects over the next three years. “We’ll be looking at designing specialist clothing together, featuring the MREW logo and information in stores and developing a longer-term strategy so that some of this generous support is invested in creating a more sustainable fundraising base for the future,” said Mike France.
Mountain Rescue England and Wales is the co-ordinating body for volunteer search and rescue teams in England and Wales. It is a registered charity comprising members of mountain rescue teams and regions and representatives from cave rescue. There are nine mountain rescue regions and 48 teams. All these organisations are independent charities, made up entirely by volunteers.
For more information on MREW and the teams that make up the Mountain Rescue service across England and Wales, or to donate, visit www.mountain.rescue.org.uk.