A VOLUNTARY group that helps rescue people in emergency situations like the flooding has been given a cash hand out from the Government.

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne has welcomed new funding awarded to West Mercia Search and Rescue in south Shropshire.

The government funding is part of a £1 million package being awarded to 50 volunteer organisations across the UK which carry out vital search and rescue operations.

It will help with the cost of new lifeboats and life-saving equipment for use in rescues.

West Mercia Search and Rescue will receive £13,458.99, to help the group to ensure that it can continue to keep people safe on and around the water into the future.

The service is called out by the Police and Fire Services when help is needed in finding and saving people in Shropshire, Herefordshire or Worcestershire.

It provide highly-trained, well-equipped specialists for a range of situations.

This includes helping to search for missing children and vulnerable adults.

The group that has eight boats is also called in to help with rescues from rivers and waterways including rescue from floods.

They are all unpaid civilians, but this service is audited by multiple agencies to ensure that training, equipment and response is as reliable as the emergency services themselves.

“The impact of Storm Dennis and its aftermath have reminded us of the incredible work our volunteer search and rescue teams do to keep people safe, especially during times of flooding and bad weather,” said Phillip Dunne.

“I am delighted the Government have recognised the vital work done by West Mercia Search and Rescue here in south Shropshire. I visited the team in Bridgnorth two years ago to see the expanded new base, and am convinced our local volunteers are the unsung heroes of our waterways.

“Their commitment saves lives and on behalf of the whole community, I extend my sincere thanks,”