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Search and rescue organisation chosen as charity of the year

We have adopted a lifesaving service as our latest charity of the year.

Staff will be fundraising during the next 12 months to raise vital funds for West Mercia Search and Rescue. The charity, which works across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire as well as providing mutual assistance to other teams across the wider Midlands, is one of the go-to organisations in searches for missing people and flood and river rescue. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the charity is funded purely by donations.

The team at Pave Aways, which chose the charity through a staff vote, are planning a series of events to boost the charity’s coffers including activity challenges and fundraising at its annual Christmas party.

Managing Director Steven Owen said: “Supporting the community is one of the key pillars of Pave Aways and our annual charity of the year is an important part of this.

“West Mercia Search and Rescue is a band of unsung heroes who do incredibly important work. They are volunteers who give up their own time, 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day, to help out in often lifesaving scenarios.

“The costs of running the charity including training and equipment are vast and we’re delighted that we will be able to make a difference in a small way by fundraising for it over the next year.”

Andy Neal, Head of Fundraising at West Mercia Search and Rescue, said: “We are all volunteers and receive no funding for the vital equipment we need to help us on searches or the training we need to keep our skills up to date.

“We are wholly reliant on donations and the generosity of businesses like Pave Aways that fundraise on our behalf. We are very grateful to be the charity of the year and look forward to seeing what adventures they get up to in the next 12 months.”

Pave Aways, which celebrates 50 years in business this October, recently won the Community Champion – Business in the Community award at the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards, recognising its work supporting the community.

Past charities it has supported include the Midlands Air Ambulance, Severn Hospice, Cure Leukaemia and The Harry Johnson Trust.