MEMBERS of a lifesaving service operating in the heart of a stunning area of Powys have received an award from The Queen.

Brecon Mountain Rescue Team – which operates in the Brecon Beacons, coming to the aid of stranded or injured walkers and hikers – was presented with the Queens Voluntary Service Award last week by Lord Lieutenant of Powys, Tia Jones.

The award was first announced in June, with team leader Nigel Dawson receiving the accolade from the Lord Lieutenant at a ceremony held at Brecon Cathedral on Thursday, July 29.

“It was a great honour for the team to be awarded the Queens Voluntary Service Award,” the team posted on its Facebook page.

“Nigel Dawson (team leader) was presented with the award by Tia Jones, Lord Lieutenant of Powys at a ceremony at Brecon Cathedral.

“The award represents some 53 years of the team providing a voluntary/unpaid search and rescue service and thanks are extended to all team members, past and present for making this possible.”

County Times: Nigel Dawson receives the award from Tia Jones

Team leader Nigel Dawson receives the award from Tia Jones.

The service, which is staffed entirely by volunteers and is funded by donations from the public, provides specialist search and rescue capabilities combined with emergency medical expertise to find and assist people who may be in danger, and covers an area spanning the Brecon Beacons National Park to Welshpool. The team are also frequently called upon to assist other mountain rescue teams operating in south and west Wales.

As well as presenting Brecon Mountain Rescue Team with the Queens's Voluntary Award, Mrs Jones also handed out four British Empire Medals. These were awarded to Maggie Sims, husband and wife Brian and Lorna Keylock and Katy Sinna.

Ahead of the Brecon ceremony, Mrs Jones had said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Brecon MRT has been awarded the Queens Voluntary Service Award,” she said.

“In a year that has been like no other, we have all depended on the sterling work of our volunteers and I’m very pleased that Her Majesty The Queen has recognised Brecon MRT in their commitment to saving lives.”

“It's a great honour to have this recognition and we're really pleased,” deputy team leader Mark Jones said when the announcement was first made.

“It's obviously a great honour but it's also a great tribute to the members that put in so much time and effort on call-outs and training and also on the wider mountain rescue community – family, employers, all the people who allow us to leave work or leave home to go and do what we do.

“It’s really nice that people notice what we're doing behind the scenes quietly.

“We're generally relatively low profile because the work we do is in remote areas so people don't generally realise we've been there; we generally come and go unnoticed and it's nice to have this recognition.

“Thanks to whoever it is that's nominated us and thanks has got to go to the membership for the effort that they've put in to get the recognition in the first place.”