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High Sheriff of Cornwall visits the team - West Cornwall Search & Rescue

High Sheriff of Cornwall visits the team

High Sheriff of Cornwall visits the team

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of inviting the High Sheriff of Cornwall, Kate Holborow DL, to our base in United Downs for a socially distanced tour. She was welcomed by a small group of our call-out members, trustees and support team members.

We were able to talk about our work, show our vehicles and equipment, and explain as a small, independent charity, how the pandemic has impacted our fundraising efforts over the past 12-months.

As well as the tour of our base, the High Sheriff of Cornwall made a surprise presentation to one of our team members, with the Unsung Hero Award for Services to the Community. Matt, as well as being a call-out member in the team since 2018, is a qualified Swift Water Rescue Technician and Cas-Carer. He has also been volunteering as a dogsbody with Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England for the past few years, and is currently on the journey to train an air-scented search dog (Merryn). He regularly travels hundreds of miles to work alongside other search dog handlers across the region, helping to develop his, and Merryn’s skill-set and knowledge.

Our Chairman, Andy Brelsford said, ‘Matt is a very busy man with a new baby and his own design business to occupy his time. However, he still manages to find space to volunteer and, as well as being an active call-out member with our team, he can be also found teaching the next generation of lifeguards at his local Surf Lifesaving Club and helping the NHS as a Community First Responder, on top of other volunteering roles in the community.

‘Matt also has a key role behind the scenes. He is our PR lead, managing our social media and putting hours of his own time and money into designing the look and feel of the team branding.’

The High Sheriff of Cornwall said, ‘It was a privilege to visit West Cornwall Search & Rescue Team today and meet some of the team, including one of the newest members Merryn, an air-scented rescue dog currently one year into her very rigorous training.

I was delighted to present an Unsung Hero Award to Merryn’s trainee Search Dog Handler. As well as giving up his time as a member of the team, he is dedicating numerous hours and personal expense to Merryn’s training, often traveling around the country for specialist training weekends. Thank you Matt.

Like its sister in the east, West Cornwall Search & Rescue is an independent charity which relies on fund raising to keep delivery of its awesome service.

Our Unsung Hero, Matt, says ‘It’s an honor to receive this prestigious award from the High Sheriff of Cornwall. But it is a real team effort, and I collect it on behalf of everyone involved in West Cornwall Search & Rescue Team, as well as all of those from Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England, SWAST, Surf Life Saving Great Britain, the RNLI and the other organistions and charities that I am grateful to be associated with.’

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