THE courageous Oldham Mountain Rescue Team has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive.
The stalwart team’s primary role is to help injured or distressed in remote and difficult-to-access locations,
They also assist the community when needed, such as during severe weather events, such as snow or flood, and major incidents like last year’s devastating moorland fires.
Representatives of OMRT will receive the award from Warren J Smith Esq JP, Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, later this summer.
Members attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, along with other recipients of this year’s award.
Among them was the team’s longest serving member, Peter Hyde, 79, who has served 54 years as a member, Team Leader, Treasurer, Deputy Leader, Chairman, Trustee, Director.
He said: ‘I’m proud, pleased, honoured that the team is receiving this important award.
“I sincerely hope each member of the team, past and present, feels they are able to share in this accolade that puts a measure on what they have achieved over the last 55 years.
“The award is incredible and will surely be an important motivating sprit for all the teams future activities.
“I have had the pleasure of seeing the team develop over the years and feel proud to be associated with a group of friends who consistently put themselves second when there is someone in need.”
Rob Tortoishell, their proud team leader, said: “I am delighted the team’s work has been recognised with this prestigious award.
“It’s a recognition which needs to be extended to the local community whose assistance is vital for us to be able to function.”
Keen climber and mountaineer Rob, 39, joined the team in 1997 and his professional life revolves round rope access work.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. Winners are announced on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
OMRT is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the award this year. Winners are presented with a certificate signed by The Queen and a domed glass crystal.
OMRT is made up more than 50 operational volunteer members, plus a further 15 support and back-up volunteer members.
Last year, the team spent approximately 3,700 man hours on front line operations which did not include training or fundraising, all of which are done in members’ spare time.
The team, based at Greenfield, is funded by donations from the community, individuals and businesses.
More information on the award can be found online: www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service