TWEED Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT) members were in action within hours of receiving their latest piece of equipment.
The Selkirk-based organisation was called out to help in the search for missing Bathgate great-grandmother Irene McCawley.
The 77-year-old went missing last Wednesday morning, and her disappearance sparked a massive police operation, which included aerial searches by an RAF helicopter.
Specialist search teams, including the Tweed Valley, also carried out searches in Bathgate and the surrounding countryside on Friday.
However, Ms McCawley eventually turned up at a relative’s home at 5pm on Friday, much to the relief of her three sons.
Just hours before the call out to West Lothian, 40 of Tweed Valley’s members received a new rucksack, thanks to a fundraising drive which collected £4,000.
The initiative took almost two years, following the team’s decision to replace their seven-year-old rucksacks with new ones.
Among those to contribute to the fund was the People’s Postcode Trust with a £2,000 grant, as well as £400 from the Clydesdale Bank Foundation.
The remaining cash was raised by team members who worked hard through a variety of activities.
Rucksack manufacturer Haglofs donated T-shirts to each member in recognition of their efforts to keep people in the Lothian and Borders safe.
TVMRT’s fundraising and events co-ordinator, Dave Wright, said: “Keeping each team member kitted out with the equipment required to carry out their search and rescue role is expensive.
“Each team member is issued with over £1,000 worth of kit to allow them to operate in all weather conditions.
“Raising funds in the present financial climate is proving more and more difficult, so I would like to thank everyone for their individual donations to the team and also the People’s Postcode Trust and the Clydesdale Bank Foundation for their respective grants.” Mr Wright said the team were now focused on raising £6,000 for new waterproof jackets, another essential piece of kit for Tweed Valley.
Anyone wishing to donate towards the £6,000 target or wishing to raise money on the team’s behalf, can visit the website – www.tweedvalleymrt.org.uk – for more information.