Ceremony marks official opening of search team's new base
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 20 March 2019
Volunteers, sponsors and guests attended a special ceremony to officially open the new headquarters for Suffolk's specialist search and rescue team.
Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) is celebrating its new home behind the Stag Café at Haughley, near Stowmarket, following a number of donations from business and private individuals.
SULSAR, which is a registered charity and receives no government or emergency services funding, has been involved with a number of high-profile searches in the county, including the search for missing airman Corrie McKeague.
The new premises will allow SULSAR to house all of its equipment under one roof, enabling search volunteers to mobilise at a moment’s notice.
The team of volunteers help the emergency services find vulnerable adults and children.
Andy King, chairman of SULSAR, thanked all those people who had been involved.
“It’s been a bit of a slog to get here, but we are finally there and it feels good,” he said.
“The new building enables us to have all our equipment in one place and that really improves the way we can function.
“There has been an awful lot of people involved but without TMJ [Taylor Made Joinery] and Glenn Lebbon, who owns the land, it wouldn’t have happened.”
MORE: Search charity celebrates 20th anniversary
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore and the High Sheriff of Suffolk George Vestey were among the guests at the ceremony on Friday.
Mr Passmore awarded £16,745 from the PCC’s Safer Suffolk Fund to purchase four hand-held thermal imaging cameras which are now used in searches for missing people.
“I am very pleased to be able to attend the opening of SULSAR’s new headquarters,” Mr Passmore said. “They work very closely with the constabulary and do an absolutely fantastic job.
“We were pleased to be able to fund the new search cameras, which enable them to work more effectively.
“I was lucky enough to attend their 20th anniversary dinner before Christmas and the level of commitment of the volunteers is amazing.
“They go out in all weathers, day or night, to look for missing people and their work deserves proper recognition.”
James Taylor, managing director of TMJ, said: “Seeing the outstanding work that is done by Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, hearing how their equipment was scattered throughout the county, having historically had no actual devoted base.
“It made perfect sense for us to donate the building. Having known the chairman Andy King a number of years, I have seen first-hand how hard he and the team of volunteers work throughout our region, regardless of the weather or the time of day.
“It’s very humbling knowing how devoted they all are. They certainly help so many people’s lives 24/7, 365 days a year.”
For more information, including how to volunteer, visit www.sulsar.org.uk