Calder Valley team representatives are called on to the stage at the event. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

Calder Valley team representatives are called on to the stage at the event. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

A volunteer rescue team said its members are in shock after getting a surprise donation.

The £60,000 grant to Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team came out of the blue at a ceremony in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Team members were invited to the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Community Foundation for Calderdale. Leader Ben Carter, deputy leader Jonathan Cole and chairman Pete Farnell attended the event at Dean Clough Halifax with 250 guests.

Team spokesman Tim Ingram said: “Our members thought they were simply attending to support the fantastic work that the foundation does, until they were called to the stage.

“At which point, CVSRT members were presented with a cheque for £60,000 to go directly towards replacing the team’s incident control vehicle. Wow indeed!

“During 2017, it is our aim to replace the ageing control vehicle, which will cost approximately £70,000 to purchase and specially adapt for mountain rescue service. This incredible donation is the single largest vote of confidence the team has received which will allow us to proceed with the replacement vehicle project.”

He said CFFC is a philanthropic advisor to individual donors and businesses locally, a strategic grant-making foundation and community leader. Each year it identifies priority local needs and addresses needs by making grants. “The foundation aims to make real and lasting changes to key areas of life in Calderdale,” he added.

The Mytholmroyd-based team attends an average of more than 65 callouts each year and is staffed by more than 50 unpaid volunteers with the help active supporters.

It costs about £35,000 a year to keep the team operational, a sum that does not include the cost of purchasing any new equipment or replacing vehicles. All funds are raised through generous donations from the community and local businesses, as it receives no direct government funding, Mr Ingram said.

The team celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

He added: “CVSRT is literally in shock and we are eternally grateful to CFFC. This concludes our golden jubilee year beautifully.

“Our sincere thanks to everyone for their support, and for allowing us to continue to provide the essential emergency service to the community.”

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