AFC Business hears of vital search and rescue work

VITAL WORK: Paul Martin, left, Fundraising Officer at Dorset Search & Rescue (DorSAR), with event host, Bournemouth Town Centre BID Chief Operating Officer Paul Kinvig at the AFC Business September networking breakfast event at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. DorSAR is the AFC Business official charity partner for the 2019/20 season

The vital work of Dorset Search & Rescue (DorSAR) was explained to members of the regional business community at the AFC Business September breakfast networking event.

DorSAR is the Official 2019/20 Charity Partner of AFC Business and Search Technician and Fundraising Officer Paul Martin was on hand at the AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium as the event’s keynote speaker.

More than 80 businesspeople heard Paul being interviewed by Bournemouth Town Centre BID Chief Operating Officer Paul Kinvig, who hosted the breakfast on behalf of AFC Business.

Paul Martin, a Christchurch-based chartered surveyor with Onyx LLP, provided an insight into how registered charity DorSAR, established 15 years ago, plays a crucial role in the hunt for people who go missing in Dorset.

He said DorSAR is a team of 83 highly trained volunteers who provide additional personnel and resources to the police and other statutory agencies in the search and recovery of ‘vulnerable’ missing people.

Available for callout anywhere in Dorset within 90 minutes 24/7, 365 days a year, DorSAR volunteers, who come from a variety of backgrounds, would typically search for dementia patients, despondents, children, the elderly and missing walkers.

DorSAR is one of 36 Lowland Rescue Groups around the country and in 2018 spent a total of 2,476 hours on live callouts, 2,211 hours on training and 987 hours raising funds through community events and grant applications.

Paul said: “Our group, which operates from a small HQ in Crossways and runs a small fleet of vehicles, needs at least £24,000 annually to keep operational and relies wholly on donations and funding events, with no paid members of state provision.

“Currently, we have an ambitious target of raising £120,000 to replace our aged and increasingly unreliable mobile incident control vehicle, a converted former Glasgow bus, which is vital to our work.”

Amy Marks, AFC Bournemouth’s Partnerships Manager, thanked attendees and commercial partners for their continued support.

AFC Business, the free to join business club with almost 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses.

AFC Business’ six main partners are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dorset Search and Rescue, Global Reach, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next AFC Business event is the Directors’ Dinner at Vitality Stadium on October 3 followed by the November 6 breakfast event to be staged at the Westover Group in Barrack Road, Christchurch.

For further information about the business club, email or call 0344 576 1910.