Wiltshire Search and Rescue want you to name SSEN funded van

Image shows, from left to right: Angus Macpherson – Police and Crime Commissioner, Adrian Edwards - Chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, Gary Lawrence – Philanthropy Director, Wiltshire Community Fund and Lucy Anderson – Customer Relations Manager, SSEN


Funding from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Wiltshire Community Foundation has enabled the volunteers from Wiltshire Search and Rescue to buy and equip a new Incident Support Vehicle. 

SSEN awarded £10,000 from its Resilient Communities Fund towards the new vehicle, with Wiltshire Community Foundation donating a further £3,000 made up of money from the High Sheriff of Wiltshire’s endowment fund and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Grant Fund.

The vehicle – which will act as the vital control room during searches for vulnerable and missing people – now needs a name and the team is asking the public to help. 

Gareth Shields, Community Investment Manager for SSEN, said: “This latest round of the Resilient Communities Fund received some excellent applications and our panel recognised the vital work that Wiltshire Search and Rescue does and decided to make this award to them. 

“We are delighted to be able to support the team and organisations like them through our Resilient Communities Fund.”

Adrian Edwards, chair of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, added: “This Incident Support Unit vehicle will transform our search capability and allow us to work smarter and be more efficient. Currently, we have one van that we keep all our equipment in, so there is hardly room to turn around in it. 

“Having a second vehicle will allow us to use it as an operations centre and also for team welfare. It will make so much difference and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us to purchase it. Thank you for your ongoing support of our team and our work.”

As the vehicle needs a name, members of the public are now being invited to submit their suggestions via Facebook (@wilsarteam), Twitter (@WiltshireSAR) or email to pr@wilsar.org.uk before 30 October 2018. The winning name will be chosen by a panel made up of representatives from Wiltshire Search and Rescue, Wiltshire Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and South Western Ambulance Service, along with members of the local community, and will be displayed on the vehicle.

Set up in 2014 as a two-year pilot scheme, SSEN has pledged to extend the fund to 2023 using a proportion of the income it receives from the industry regulator Ofgem in relation to its stakeholder engagement performance. Based on 2015/16 figures, this would allow funding in the region of £2m to be distributed to community-led groups and charities in central southern England over the six-year period. 

In addition to the Resilient Communities Fund, SSEN has been working closely with local communities in the south east of England, helping them create resilience plans for emergencies, such as adverse weather and possible power disruption during winter storms.

SSEN’s Resilient Communities Fund will re-open for applications in the spring of 2019. To find out more about the fund, please visit the website: