The first piece we’ve decided to feature in Our Stories is the seriously impressive Merthyr based Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team. When one of their members, Huw Jones, started telling us about their work, we were blown away and knew they had to be up on the site. This amazing – volunteer run – team provide a search and rescue service across South East Wales.
From their Merthyr base they deliver expert, life saving, support to people trapped or lost on the mountains across the SouthEastValleys and Brecon Beacons (which boasts the highest mountain in southern Britain, Pen-y-Fan). These volunteers risk life and limb to rescue climbers and walkers stranded in some of Britain’s most challenging mountains.
They are often scrambled in the early hours of winter mornings, facing torrential rain, high winds and ice, all in the pitch darkness, to save total strangers from desperate situations. The team also help the police to track down any vulnerable people, like kids and the elderly, who may have gone missing on the mountainsides across the Valleys.
Don’t be fooled into thinking they are just a group of kind hearted amateurs. In order to join this hardy bunch, potential volunteers need to go through some really tough outdoors training, as well as learn vital life saving and leadership skills. People like Huw and the team are brilliant examples of the community spirit and passion that makes the Valleys such a special place. But also show real expertise and get up and go.
We are proud to share the Valleys with such an impressive bunch of committed people and think that anyone who’s ever considered taking a walk in the mountains should dig deep and donate to their fundraising site here – you never know, you might just be glad of them yourself one day!