A group of Downham friends are holding a summer fling to raise the funds to run a Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue vehicle in Lynn
Steve Watson, 49, has volunteered for the service for six years and has seen first-hand the importance of quick response when it comes to tracking down missing people.
He said: “The closest vehicle is in Hethersett (near Norwich) at the moment, but we want one based at Lynn fire station so, when there is a call out, we can get straight out on the ground searching from the beginning – instead of waiting an hour for the vehicle to get here.
“If there is an older person with dementia, or a young child missing, they need to be found quickly – particularly if they have gone missing along the coast. Being based in Lynn we can get on the ground a good hour before the Heathersett vehicle.”
He added: “We’ve seen a lot of Alzheimer’s sufferers and suicidal people of late and as you can imagine, the quicker we find them, the better.”
A generous donation of a Landrover has come from Mountain Rescue in Wales, but the team still need to find the money to service and run the vehicle, and to kit out their ever-growing team.
Steve has teamed up with old friends, Adam Oliver, Jenny Edwards and Andrew Wright to organise a special fundraiser to raise the rest of the money needed.
Donations have been flooding in from Lynn’s Cooper Roller Bearings, where Steve works as an engineer, who have agreed to sponsor the event, and further donations have been made by Downham and District Darts and Dominoes.
Steve said: “My dining room table is covered in prizes that have been donated by businesses. It just shows you that people do want to help a good cause.”
Tickets are now on sale for the Summer Fling, which will take place at Runcton Holme Social Club on August 23, from 7pm to midnight. The event will feature entertainment from The Backdrafts – Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s very own rock band.
Steve said: “The Backdrafts are performing twice free of charge so all money can go towards fundraising, which we think is very apt for a search and rescue event. We’ve also got one of our searchers providing the disco.
“We’ve put a lot into this, so hopefully it will all go well and will be a good night. We just need the weather to hold, but if it doesn’t we will have a marquee set up to keep the rain away – we’re all ready for it.
“There will also be a barbecue, bar and raffle on the night. If anyone is interested in buying tickets for £7.50, they should call me on 07749 836700.”