A FUNDRAISING dinner will help to support Dorset search volunteers - and help to replace their 'unreliable' vehicle.

Founded by Bob Knott in 2004, Dorset Search and Rescue is comprised of a team of around 100 operational volunteers. Available 365 years, the team can be deployed anywhere in the county, called to assist Dorset's emergency services in times of crisis.

In 2019, the team were called to 50 incidents, 19 of which concerned suicidal persons. Members also regularly support Dorset Police with cases of vulnerable missing people, during major incidents and at scenes of crime.

A fundraiser on Friday, April 24, at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, aims to raise much-needed funds to replace the service's dated and unreliable Incident Control Vehicle (ICV).

The ICV is used on live call-outs and has to contend with both tough off-road terrain and adverse weather conditions, as well as serving as a mobile work unit and control hub.

However, the ageing adapted bus has various issues relating to mechanical failures and associated repair costs, ongoing corrosion, and its electrics system which has an adverse effect upon radio communications.

"It really is essential for everything we do," Paul Martin, fundraising officer for Dorset Search and Rescue, says. "It's used on every call out and in all our training sessions, too. We've raised about £20,000 so far, but it's a big project and we have a target of £120,000. All the funds from the charity ball will go towards the purchase of a new vehicle, to ensure we can continue providing our professional service."

Hosting the fundraiser will be Paul Kinvig, with the hospitality team from AFC Bournemouth serving guests a three course meal. An auction will be taking place, with donations currently being welcomed, while croupiers will run a fun money Black Jack.

Roulette tables will be supplied by Viva Las Vegas Fun Casino, and the soundtrack of the night will be provided by Luvwed DJ.

The fundraising ball begins at 7pm. Tickets are £65 per person or £600 for a table of 10. To make a booking, email fundraising@dorsar.org.uk or contact Paul Martin on 07854 239818.

For more information about the work of Dorset Search and Rescue, or for details on how to get involved, visit https://www.dorsar.org.uk/