Pain and pride …
It’s been a month of mixed emotions for the team, a month in which we fondly remembered our friend and team-mate Ken Blakeman, who tragically collapsed and died on a call-out in July 2016, whilst also feeling immensely proud of the contribution he made to Mountain Rescue (MR) as part of the team.
On Tuesday 7 November at Stockport Town Hall, Ken’s widow, Sandra, was presented with a Community Heroes award for him. Following on from this, on Friday 10 November Ray Griffiths, Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) President and Mike France, MREW Chairman, presented Sandra with a Distinguished Service Award for Ken; this award is not often given and reflects Ken’s 40 years of outstanding, selfless service to Mountain Rescue.
Finally, the Peak Park Authority and National Trust granted permission for the placing of a memorial stone at the spot where Ken collapsed; the stone, complete with engraved plaque, is now in place and an informal memorial service is planned in the near future for Ken’s family, friends and team-mates. As an aside, the National Trust have asked that people don’t leave mementos, flowers etc. at the memorial stone – “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”.
Mountain rescue in the UK is provided entirely free-of-charge by unpaid volunteers giving up their time to train, fund-raise and attend call-outs, which may be helping people lost or injured in hilly terrain, helping the Ambulance Service in hard-to-reach locations or helping the Police to search for missing persons in urban and lowland areas.
The team’s running costs, of approximately £25K per year, for equipment and vehicles are met entirely through public donations. If you would like to support Kinder Mountain Rescue Team, please visit our web-site at www.kmrt.org.uk/fundraising/other-ways-to-give/.