Our Digital Development Coordinator, Sarah K Jones tells us about the volunteering duties she has been undertaking! | Adult Learning Wales

Our Digital Development Coordinator, Sarah K Jones tells us about the volunteering duties she has been undertaking!

19-June-2024
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Our Digital Development Coordinator, Sarah K Jones tells us about the volunteering duties she has been undertaking! She says, “In 2016, wanting to challenge myself, learn new skills and meet new people I began mountaineering and rock climbing. Through friends I also became aware of Mountain Rescue and the vital work that they do. Although I admired the teams for their selfless work (all of which is entirely voluntary) and imagined how rewarding it must be, I never imagined that I could ever be suitable or qualified to do such a thing. However, my friend who is a volunteer with one of the local teams, encouraged me to apply and happily, in 2017 I was accepted into South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team. Little did I know that I was being accepted into a wonderful ‘family’ and a voluntary role that would become a huge part of my life. 

Throughout my time in ‘SSSART’, I have been fortunate to learn a vast and varied set of skills. I have become qualified as a Rope Rescue Technician, Casualty Carer (a medical qualification which enables certified members to administer life-saving treatment to casualties in remote environments), Blue Light Response Driver, 4×4 off-road driver, Search Technician and Party Leader. In recent years I have also trained as a ‘callout coordinator’, the role which coordinates the running of a callout, e.g. dispatching team members, gathering information and liaising with the various other agencies and emergency services. 

Each mountain rescue team is an independent charity run by its members, and I play a part in this for SSSART as the team’s IT Officer, which has included e.g. building and maintaining the team’s website, installing wifi in the team’s vehicles and managing the team’s IT systems.

I feel very fortunate to have ventured into the world of Mountain Rescue. As you might imagine it is a committed, time-consuming voluntary role but the opportunities and experiences I have so far gained have been incredible, valuable and very rewarding. From giving medical care to an injured walker on the hill, carrying a stretcher alongside my teammates, driving the team Land Rover up an off-road track to reach a casualty as quickly as possible, assisting underground with a mine rescue or the more administrative and housekeeping tasks at our base, I will be forever grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had through MR. I have treasured friendships and even met my partner through the team.

If you would like to see ours and the other North Wales MR teams in action, please take a look at ‘SOS Extreme Rescue’ on BBC iPlayer; a series released earlier this year about how the emergency services in North Wales operate in partnership to assist people in distress. The camera crews have also returned to us this year, joining us on callouts to film for Series 2.

As mentioned earlier, every Mountain Rescue team is an independent charity, entirely dependent on charitable donations to continue to operate. As well as attending callouts and weekly training the members are also responsible for fundraising, including attending fundraising events, etc.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to ask you to consider supporting your local mountain rescue team with a donation or in any way you’re able.”

We’d like to congratulate Sarah on her hard work!

Have you ever thought about being a volunteer but not sure where to start, you can find volunteering opportunities through Volunteering Wales where you can register to get more information. You don’t have to do it on your own, as a team you could arrange a volunteering activity together on a local project.

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