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SSEN’s £20,000 funding for new vehicle boosts Hampshire Search and Rescue’s capabilities

Funding from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is helping Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) begin the year with a new vehicle, which will help them do more of their life-saving work across Hampshire and its neighbouring counties.

The charity applied for the money through SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund (RCF) and – with an award of £20,000 from the Distribution Network Operator – it has been able to purchase a much-needed Incident Support Unit (ISU). The ISU vehicle is vital for the dedicated team of volunteers, who are on call 24 hours-a-day, throughout the year.

The specially kitted-out vehicle will have a multi-purpose use for the charity. Its essential purpose will be to carry rescue and medical equipment in support of the search teams – and thanks to its double-cab, it’s got the capacity to transport the team to a more-distant search area. 

And, outside of its main rescue role, the vehicle will be a feature at awareness and fundraising events; transporting the various items of display equipment that enable the charity to promote their essential service to the general public, and highlight the extensive training and equipment required to carry out a search and rescue function.

Trevor Vidler, vice chairman of Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) said:

“It has been quite a journey to get this new Incident Support Unit vehicle on the road, due to delays on new vehicle orders at the time we received the funding, so we’re delighted to have now taken receipt of the keys and had the vehicle wrapped in our instantly-recognisable HANTSAR branding.

“This has only been possible through the much-appreciated support and generosity of SSEN. Thank you for helping us to help others”. Set up in 2015, the Resilient Communities Fund has provided £4.7 million to 680 not-for-profit community groups and charities. Following the conclusion of the Resilient Communities Fund in 2023, SSEN Distribution is developing and launching a new fund in 2024.

While continuing to support community resilience, this new fund will seek to include environmental resilience and the adoption of low carbon technologies. Full details and timescales will be announced this year.