The Border Search and Rescue Unit (BSARU) has been awarded £1,000 and named as a Rural Community Champion.
Last month Kelso agronomy business Agrii named the BSARU as one of three regional finalists in its national search for a Rural Community Champions.
The unit was picked as a regional finalist from over 100 nominations. Since that announcement, Agrii customers have been voting for their favourites at Agrii iFarm events this summer, with the BSARU coming out on top when voting closed after the last event.
Agrii launched the Rural Community Champions competition in January, asking the farming community and general public to send in nominations as part of its nationwide campaign to celebrate the people who make a real difference to rural communities.
The volunteers provide mountain rescue assistance in the Borders, and are permanently on call. Many juggle working full time in agriculture with their volunteering duties. Police Scotland rely heavily on the team as a resource to search for missing people in rural areas and members of the unit are trained to the same standard as specialist police units.
Stuart Fuller-Shapcott, team leader and volunteer for 24 years, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this competition. All of our team members give up their time for fund raising, training and call-outs when needed, so they are very grateful to receive this acknowledgement. We now need to replace one of our 4x4 ambulances, at a cost of at least £50,000, so every penny helps us towards this.
“We have spent the last few weeks providing first aid cover at a large number of local events, so it’s fantastic to have this recognition from the public. On behalf of all the team, we would like to sincerely thank everybody who voted for us.”