Some of the most beautiful and rugged countryside in the North can be found in the Ribble Valley, which boasts 244 square miles of footpaths, fells, tracks and bridleways.
But the vagaries of the British weather can turn a magnificent morning into a disastrous afternoon, particularly in winter, which is why Ribble Valley Borough Council has given the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team £5,000 for improvements to its control room and IT equipment to facilitate quicker call outs.
For 40 years, the team’s dedicated volunteers have turned out come-rain-or-shine to find and rescue stricken walkers.
The area covered by the team stretches from the Cumbria border in the North to West Pennine Moors in the South, with the Ribble Valley plum in the middle.
Team leader Kevin Camplin said: “The last few years has seen a considerable increase in the number of police requests for assistance in non-mountain or open country rescues.
“These requests have included searching for elderly, confused or vulnerable people missing from their home or place of residence, or scouring snow-bound roads for stranded motorists.
“We are also regularly asked to provide cover for the Ambulance Service during periods of particularly bad weather.
“We are grateful to Ribble Valley Borough Council for its ongoing support in helping us continue our vital service, which has responded to 46 callouts this year alone.”
Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue is one of many voluntary organisations working quietly in the background to help vulnerable residents.
From volunteer drivers ensuring the elderly get to hospital appointments, to church groups offering a warm welcome to the lonely, voluntary groups are the beating heart of the borough.
And despite a 50 per cent reduction in Government grants in recent years, Ribble Valley Borough Council has maintained its support for them, handing out more than £100,000 this year alone, ranging from £50,000 for a consumer advice service to £500 for community line dancing.
Applications for the next raft of Ribble Valley Borough Council voluntary organisation grants open in January 2019.
Grants are available towards the cost of projects that are sustainable and support or develop the community.
Applications will only be accepted from constituted organisations operating on a non-profit-making basis and able to provide a memorandum or articles of association indicating their voluntary or charitable status.
● Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue is happy to give talks on first aid and mountain safety to schools and community groups. Further details are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.