The Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Youth Team is open to
young people who are 16 or over, with an interest in outdoor activities and the
work carried out by search and rescue Teams. The Youth Section is coordinated
by the Youth Training Officer, an experienced Team member and Deputy Team Leader,
with the assistance of other experienced and qualified Team members.
Group meet once a month, usually on the Sunday prior to, or after, the Teams weekend
training exercise; there is also an expectation that they will attend the Team
The Youth Section are trained in all aspects of mountain craft, both out
on the hill, and indoors at our purpose built rescue centre in Barnard Castle.
The programme roughly follows the modules of the MLTB (Mountain Leader Training
Board) mountain leader course, with some of the Youth Section participating in
various award schemes themselves such as the Duke of Edinburghs Award. Trips
to other parts of the country are sometimes provided to help provide wider experience
e.g. Lake District, Scotland. Due to the wide range of skills offered by Team
members we are able to offer many exciting opportunities in the outdoor environment;
this also allows for a very flexible training programme that can be driven by
the needs of the group.
Team members have experienced gorge walking, overnight biviing and bothies, winter
skills in the Cairngorms, hill-walking in the Lakes, night navigation in the High
Pennines, and so on!! You can find out more about the Youth
Team Summer expedition 2005 here. There is also a
report from a bothy at Gregs hut.
new and very exciting development for the Youth Team is a developing partnership
with Search & Rescue in Iceland ICE-SAR and one Icelandic Search and Rescue
Team in particular. Exchange visits are planned between Teams with the overall
aim of promoting the involvement of young people in search and rescue Teams in
the UK something that is already working very well in Iceland. More
information about the visit of the Icelandic Team.
from visit to Iceland in 2007.
The Youth Section group are taught Mountain Rescue skills such as casualty
care, search techniques, radio communications, crag rescue etc. These skills can
then be put into practice when the Youth Team take part in the monthly Team exercise
alongside the rest of the Team. The Youth Section members are not allowed to take
part in helicopter operations until they reach the age of 18, or attend call-outs
due to insurance purposes. In the recent past however, Youth Team members have
come to the assistance of a number of people through being in the right place
at the right time!
order to facilitate the involvement of young people without incurring a financial
burden funding was obtained from Awards for All, and the LEADER+ programme (DEFRA
funding). This has allowed the purchase of waterproof clothing, climbing equipment,
safety equipment, and navigation equipment. This is then made available to all
members on a loan basis for the time that they are in the Team. We are well aware
that in the environment in which we operate clothing, in particular, can be ruined
very easily this could limit the involvement of our young people; a problem
that we are pleased to have overcome.
FUNDING WILL BE REQUIRED TO SUSTAIN THIS FACILITY
Team membership may extend until the end of full time education. Members going
to university are able to become Student members allowing them to keep in contact
with the Team and attend training as and when they are available
turning eighteen, some of the Youth Section apply for probationary membership
with the Team. This has proved very successful in the past, with several full
Team members having started out in the Youth Section.
If you are interested in joining the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain
Rescue Youth Team, please contact us
with your name, age, address and a little bit about yourself. We will then send
you an information pack containing more information on the group as well as application
We look forward to hearing from you!