Last week, on a wet and windy day at the bottom of the Reek, the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team met with the staff of Mayo Volunteer Centre for a special photo shoot.
The European Volunteer Centre (Centre Européen du Volontariat, CEV ) is the European network of some 80 national, regional, and local volunteer centres and volunteer support agencies across Europe and is holding its Spring General Assembly here in Ireland on April 18 and 19. As part of the celebrations, the CEV flag is making its way around all the counties with a volunteer centre after being invited to take a photo at a famous landmark and where possible also highlighting a volunteer project. The photos from around Ireland will help to form a collage of photos showcasing volunteering around Ireland. In April the Irish hosts will then pass the flag to Bosnia and Herzegovina which will host the following General Assembly in Sarajevo in October 2013.
Mayo Mountain rescue is a volunteer service that operates 24/7, 365 days a year. The Mayo team is one of the busiest in the country with on average around 50 call outs a year, many on The Reek. The team routinely collaborate with other agencies such as the Garda and the Coast Guard as a part of rescue efforts. The Mayo team is based in Westport but serves the whole county and can also be called out to other counties as the need arises. It costs about €30,000 a year to run the team, most of which comes from fundraising and charitable donations, as such fundraising is a huge part of the team’s work when not out on the hills.
For more information on volunteering in Mayo, log on to www.volunteermayo.ie