While most of us like to be toasty and warm indoors during bad weather, one Cleckheaton-based organisation has been busy helping those most in need.
The West Yorkshire 4X4 Volunteers help to get vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in the region, and have been working overtime during the recent snowstorms.
The group, which operates out of the Moorlands Club in Bradford Road, boasts more than 60 active volunteers, and provides all-terrain vehicle support for emergency services and care workers when they need to get to remote areas in bad weather.
The work carried out by the group includes getting nursing home staff to their destinations, and taking ambulance staff to medical emergencies.
Sarah Clarke, a volunteer with the group, said: “All responders are trained and insured to drive in severe weather conditions.
“We have set up contracts with various companies, including the emergency services and private care companies, to ensure that their staff can be taken to where they are needed.”
During a particularly snowy January, the group had their work cut out.
From the early hours of Monday January 21, whenthe snow began to fall heavily, the group had all hands to the pumps, delivering care-workers, paramedics and GPs to see some of the most remotely-situated residents.
Sarah said: “It was our busiest day of the winter so far. We had a lot of calls coming in, and it was a bit hectic, but it was good to know we were helping to make a difference.”
Paul Cartwright, who also works as a volunteer with the team, said: “We have to work all year round – because, as well as the possibility of bad snow in the winter, there are also quite a few floods in parts of the region during the summer.
“It is really rewarding work to do – we have a lot of people on call who go home and come back eight hours later because they love to help.
“Most of us have full-time jobs too.”
“We are currently on the lookout for more people to fill our requests for help when the weather gets bad.”
If you would like to become a member of the West Yorkshire 4x4 Volunteeers, or would like more information on work the group does, visit www.wy4x4vol.org.