Steve Penny who has been appointed an MBE. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

Steve Penny who has been appointed an MBE. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

A mountain rescue stalwart has been recognised in the New Year Honours.

Steve Penny of Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team was appointed an MBE for services to mountain rescue.

Mr Penny is also a national wellbeing officer.

A team spokesperson said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to congratulate team member Steve Penny on being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours”

Mr Penny has spent 28 years as a mountain rescue volunteer, initially with the Galloway team before joining the Tweed Valley team in 1992 when he moved to the Borders.

The team spokesperson said he is a ‘true gent’.

Mr Penny also served as a search dog handler from the same year, joining the Search and Rescue Dogs Association.

The spokesperson said: “Throughout this time he has made a significant and ongoing contribution to Scottish mountain rescue at a local, regional and national level.

“He served as secretary of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, now known as Scottish Mountain Rescue, between 2004 and 2010 and as vice-chair from 2012 to 2016. Most recently, since 2018, Steve has taken on the role of wellbeing officer for Scottish Mountain Rescue.”

The spokesperson said Steve Penny trained as a search manager in 1997 and introduced a structured approach to missing person searches to the Tweed Valley team. He is currently a member of the search management working group and both heavily involved as a trainer and in the development and refinement of the Scottish MR search management process.

He has also held several trustee positions with Tweed Valley MRT, including secretary, assistant leader and several stints as team leader. He has been a search manager within the team since 1997 and has also been compiling and submitting its incident reports and annual summaries for more than 20 years.

The spokesperson said: “Steve has always had an interest in the wellbeing of volunteer responders and in 2017 he began a significant piece of work to introduce a wellbeing framework for volunteer mountain rescue responders. In 2019, this framework was rolled out across Scotland and is now forming the backbone of a wider UK wellbeing initiative via UK Search and Rescue.

“Steve dedicates an inordinate amount of time to mountain rescue issues, developing systems and strategies that benefit the organisation as a whole. He has responded to constant change with a proactive and structured management style. He has nurtured strong links with the police and other partnership groups locally across the Scottish Borders and nationally at Scottish and UK levels.”

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