A Gwent couple are preparing to drive a 1974 Series III Land Rover around the UK’s 15 national parks to raise money for their local mountain rescue team. Tim Jarvis and Hannah Byrne from Govilon, are taking on this 2000-mile challenge over 12 days of July to raise cash for the Abergavenny-based Longtown Mountain Rescue Team. Coleg Gwent lecturer Mr Jarvis is the team’s water safety officer, and was inspired to take on the journey by the First Overland Expedition of 1955, when a team drove two Land Rover Series One Station Wagons from the UK overland to Singapore.
Tim Jarvis has spent ten months rebuilding the Series III, and will use it to visit the UK’s 15 national parks with Hannah Byrne, whom he will marry in February. Around 80 per cent of the cash the duo raise will go to the Longtown team, which costs £35,000 a year to run, and whose 35 volunteers are on call full time. The remainder of the money will go to the recently established Mountain Rescue Benevolent Fund, which supports rescue workers who have been injured.
The pair need to raise £1000 for fuel and supplies and Tim said, 'We’ve been lucky so far, people have generously donated items for auction and equipment to support the expedition but we do need lots more support.
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Meanwhile the St John Ambulance in Wiltshire is the first in the country to take delivery of a new state-of-the-art ambulance. The charity now has a new Land Rover Discovery 4 which has been stripped out and refitted with a stretcher, defibrillator, response bag, monitoring equipment and oxygen.
It has been bought to replace two old 4x4 ambulances recently taken out of commission, including the one which the charity donated to students undertaking the Mongol Rally last year, which is now being used in Mongolia. The new ambulance will be used at the numerous grass track and equestrian events at which St John Ambulance volunteers provide first aid cover every year.
The charity’s commissioner fleet and duties, Des Young, said, '4x4s like this are not only extremely useful at off road events, they are also a godsend in extreme weather conditions such as we experienced last winter, helping us to get to casualties that could not be reached by an ordinary road ambulance and enabling us to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.'