Serve On’s disaster response volunteers celebrated a milestone as they held their first Annual General Meeting since the merger of Serve On Ltd and Serve On Rapier.

Dave Cook updates members on the annual accounts.

Dave Cook updates members on the annual accounts.

The organisation is now officially a Not for Profit ‘Charitable Company’ with the twin aims of reintegrating veterans and carrying out search and rescue.

Chairman Paul Rose presided over the legally-required board meeting, held openly in front of members, and Dave Cook summarised the annual accounts before Nick Mathew, Alex Cooper, Abb Dhanani and founder Simon Edwards were unveiled as new trustees and Dave Cook was announced as new Company Secretary.

Following the board meeting Pete Old explained to members that we had renewed our licence to use our training facilities at Chilmark and that, with the help of our friends at Laing O’Rourke, we would be renting further premises at Chilmark, though, thanks to Dorset and Wiltshire FRS, our HQ will remain at Salisbury Fire Station.

Pete Old addresses members at the Annual General Meeting.

Pete Old addresses members at the Annual General Meeting.

Pete told how we will be strengthening our Rescue Rookie scheme and, separately, how we had reached a new level of understanding with our friends at Team Rubicon UK following a productive meeting with their new chief executive.

Martin Phillips outlined progress on updating the website and achieving greater reach on social media before Operations Manager Craig Elsdon updated members on the growth of our Community Resilience Team model.

Some of the members in discussion at the Annual General Meeting.

Some of the members in discussion at the Annual General Meeting.

While Salisbury CRT continues to go from strength to strength, and we are working well with SARAID to support their Avon CRT, we are also making progress on CRTs in Portsmouth and Worthing. Basingstoke College of Technology has also shown an interest in partnering with us.

Tony Bates reported to members on how EVOLSAR continues to grow, and on the success of our involvement in a joint project to produce a Rescue Manual of information and common working practices, and Andy Harris reported on developments with the dog team and invited members to get involved with their work.

Members were told that our 5X5 Appeal continues, alongside efforts to secure funding for a CEO and that, as well as our continuing resilience training work in Nepal, the Philippines and British Virgin Islands, we are maintaining our DEFRA flood response accreditation and developing our INSARAG capabilities.

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