Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


Dorset Search & Rescue (DorSAR) supports Dorset Police and local Coastguard in searching for Missing Persons, we attended 40 callouts in Dorset in 2016. We are an official member of the UK's Lowland Rescue provision, with the same role as Mountain Rescue, Coastguard Rescue and the RNLI, amongst others. In addition, we may work closely with our neighbouring county teams and the national Association.

The organisation is available 365 days a year, 24/7. All members are Volunteers and the organization relies purely on donations and fundraising to support the members in the provision of kit, ongoing training, running costs and insurances. In addition is the maintenance and fueling our Control Vehicle and our Rescue Landrover, both of which are used on almost every callout and training session.

We currently occupy part of the Crossways Youth & Community Centre (CYCC) in Crossways Dorset, this is used as our Headquarters and for meetings and both indoor and (some) outdoor training. However, our Control Vehicle, Landrover and storage container (which contains our training kit) are located several miles away near to Bovington, as shown on the map. Whilst a reasonably secure location (regular security patrols the area owing to the nearby Army base) it is remote and requires volunteers to go and collect the vehicles and kit. The storage is also an informal arrangement at no cost to DorSAR, but owing to a recent change with the arrangement, there is some uncertainty whether this provision at Bovington will continue so a new location would be required.

But even before this issue arose, the current location for the vehicles and storage have created logistical and organisational problems being over 5 miles from the HQ including the following;
1. attending to live callouts, if a visit is required to both HQ and the storage area this could impinge on valuable response times,
2. with our twice monthly training activities, when the vehicles and kit are needed at our HQ for training support and use,
3. when volunteers carry out any minor maintenance on the vehicles, this can prove difficult being remote and with no lighting provision or workshop facility,
4. and lastly the vehicles are always exposed to the elements, leading to early deterioration.

Such a Facility at Crossways would bring all our assets into one single location thus greatly improving our response to live callouts and potentially reducing the deployment and search times. Training time would be better spent as well, without having to arrange for vehicle and/or equipment to be transported to Crossways from Bovington. Any minor items of maintenance on the vehicles can be more easily dealt with by members if need be and also under cover away from the elements. Finally, the facility would also protect the vehicles and training/operational equipment from the elements meaning they would last longer and reduce our longer term running costs.

CYCC have been very supportive of our Charity over the years and also more recently following discussions with them about the proposed Storage Facility.

The facility could also be considered as a lasting legacy for the local Community, in the event of any future changes in DorSARs operational status or location, so it would leave the facility for CYCC to use in the future for their own purposes.

This grant will assist in designing the Facility, obtaining the relevant approvals and arranging for a builder to construct it. We have provided with the application a couple of examples of the type of structure being considered. A small unit with dual access for vehicles and pedestrian access. The facility will provide suitable space for the vehicles and storage of our kit. Power and lighting would also be provided. The final design and finishes would be subject to discussion with the Local Authority and CYCC.

Dorset Search & Rescue

Moment of Pride

DorSAR was established in 2004 and has grown in strength and reputation. We are a team of highly trained, selfless and dedicated volunteers who are willing to deploy to search for vulnerable persons, at any time of day or night and regardless of weather conditions, with no remuneration.

Location: Crossways