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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Cash for pioneering rescue team
mountain rescue
Mountain rescue youth teams are well developed in Iceland
A search and rescue team has been awarded 25,000 in government funding to further develop its innovative work with youngsters.

Teesdale and Weardale Search and Rescue Team is believed to be the only one in the country to boast a youth team.

The money will pay for new equipment and training for the youth group.

Team leaders have recently returned from Iceland where they spent a week working with the well-established youth sections within their rescue teams.

The project is one of a string of initiatives in the north of England called Leader+.

It has been supported by Defra as part of an initiative to promote dynamic rural communities by funding projects conceived and implemented by the communities that will benefit from them.

Rescue skills

Teesdale and Weardale Search and Rescue Team youth group is aimed at young people aged over 16.

Chris Roberts, a youth team training officer who led the Iceland exhibition, said there was a lot to be learned from Iceland groups.

He said: "It's long been recognised by the Icelandic search and rescue teams that young people are the life blood of the organisation.

"The trip to Iceland was an important first step in developing our youth section."

The young members are taught mountain rescue skills through exercises with the main team, including first aid and outdoor skills, as well as rock-climbing, caving and canoeing.

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