Just The Ticket

Serve On's disaster response volunteers are all geared up to help more people than ever, thanks to the National Lottery.

 Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell and Salisbury MP John Glen unveil our new kit van with Serve On volunteers

Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell and Salisbury MP John Glen unveil our new kit van with Serve On volunteers

Our Community Resilience Team (CRT) has been able to buy a much-needed new kit van after being given a £10,000 grant by the Big Lottery Fund.

Operations Manager Craig Elsdon officially unveiled it at our Salisbury Fire Station HQ on Friday with help from Salisbury MP John Glen, Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell and some of our friends from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service who brought out a couple of their own appliances to keep our new vehicle company.

John Glen congratulated our volunteers and paid tribute to the work the charity does.

 DWFRS appliances keep our new Big Lottery Fund-funded kit van company at Salisbury Fire Station

DWFRS appliances keep our new Big Lottery Fund-funded kit van company at Salisbury Fire Station

Earlier Craig had told listeners to Ben Prater's breakfast show on BBC Wiltshire how the van would make a big difference to people's lives.

Our old kit van was worn out and beginning to cost money and CRT volunteers previously had to make multiple journeys to transport equipment to help flooding victims as far afield as Tadcaster, Keswick and Coverack.

 Salisbury MP John Glen congratulates Serve On volunteers on the arrival of a new kit van, thanks to the Big Lottery Fun, as Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell look on.

Salisbury MP John Glen congratulates Serve On volunteers on the arrival of a new kit van, thanks to the Big Lottery Fun, as Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell look on.

Moving the 'Voluntary Agency Cell' (VAC) communications hub that Serve On is pioneering will be so much easier in future with the new kit van, enabling our volunteers to be a real force-multiplier for the emergency services we support.

In March, the VAC proved its worth when Serve On members battling the Storm Emma snow were able to collaborate with other groups, including Support2Ops, Raynet, Team Rubicon UK and the British Army to deliver tasks passed to them from the Local Resilience Forum  (LRF) via the DWFRS control room.

That was while other Serve On volunteers were clearing roads, freeing trapped motorists, ferrying district and community nurses to remote patients in need of vital medication and helping to ensure Salisbury District Hospital and Savernake Community Hospital in Marlborough were able to stay open.

 Operations Manager Craig Elsdon seems to like our new kit van, bought with a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund

Operations Manager Craig Elsdon seems to like our new kit van, bought with a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund

Taking the keys for the new van, Craig said: “We would like to say a massive ‘Thank-you’ to The Big Lottery Fund and ‘Thank-you’ to Lottery players everywhere. You have certainly given us a ‘win’. It will help us to make a big difference to people’s lives.”

*The Big Lottery Fund ensures money raised by players of The National Lottery helps communities to achieve their ambitions and thrive. It does this by awarding grants, bringing communities together and sharing what it learns with communities, other funders and the government. In 2016/17 it awarded over £700 million, including 10,000 grants under £10,000. www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/about