EDF Energy Renewables has helped a Teesside charity purchase vital equipment that could save lives.  

Established since 1965, the Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team locates and assists people who are lost or injured in remote areas of the North York Moors. The team is called out more than 45 times a year with incidents ranging from injured walkers to crashed mountain bikers and missing dementia sufferers. Now the organisation has been asked by the police and other emergency services for help in responding to flood and water rescue incidents in the area. 

The team embarked on a mission to raise sufficient funds to buy a rescue raft that would allow volunteers to recover people or animals trapped by rising water in flood incidents. It would also reduce the need for the rescuers to enter the water and enable them to evacuate casualties and their belongings safely on the raft.

The raft costs more than £5,000 but Cleveland MRT has now raised that amount after receiving a £1,000 donation from EDF Energy Renewables, which owns and operates the Teesside offshore wind farm off the coast of Redcar. 

The money was secured from EDF Energy Renewables’ community benefit fund, which has supported more than 40 local projects and activities since it was launched in 2013. 

Michael Gallagher, Deputy Team Leader of Cleveland MRT, said: “We are really grateful for this donation from EDF Energy Renewables. It has part-funded a piece of kit that will help volunteers rescue people quickly and safely and save lives. 

“Unlike some charities we receive little central funding so we are reliant on generous donations, the excellent fundraising work of our volunteers and the support of the general public. We’ve already trained our team members to deal with water and flood rescue incidents and the raft will allow them to carry out the work more efficiently and safely.”

James Wilson, Operations Engineer for the wind farm at EDF Energy Renewables, said: “We are delighted to support a scheme that has been playing a vital role in the local community for half a century. There is increasing demand for the services provided by Cleveland MRT, which had one of its busiest years in 2014 with 50 call-outs – a number of these relating to water and flood-related incidents. So we were very happy to help fund the raft which will help the team carry out their vital work.” 

EDF Energy Renewables launched the Teesside Offshore Community Benefit Fund in 2013 in partnership with the Tees Valley Community Foundation. Through the scheme, community groups on Teesside are eligible to apply for financial support for projects, activities and events that benefit local people.