This article was originally published in the North Wales Weekly News on 2nd August 2017.
As anyone who has recently tried driving on the A55 will confirm, the holiday season is in full swing. Holidaymakers from all over the world have chosen our uniquely beautiful corner of Wales to enjoy the attractions it has to offer.
The influx of tourists means that more people will be venturing onto our coastal waters and our mountain ranges. Mostly, their their adventures will pass uneventfully, but sometimes they will get into trouble.
It is when accidents happen that our local rescue organisations come into their own. The Royal National Lifeboat Association will be active throughout the summer saving lives, as it has been since it was founded in 1824. The new lifeboat station in Llandudno will soon be opened, a tribute to the work of local fundraisers and the memory of the late Raymond Evans, who was such a driving force behind its commissioning.
In the mountains and hills of Snowdonia, walkers who get into difficulty will be thankful for the work of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, whose headquarters at Bryn Poeth I visited last week. OVMRO has been saving lives since the mid 1960s and has pioneered rescue techniques that have been adopted by similar organisations across the world.
Both the RNLI and OVMRO are voluntary organisations, staffed primarily by people who obtain no reward for the effort they put in, other than the knowledge that they are helping to preserve the lives and safety of their fellow citizens. They are highly professional endeavours run by ordinary members of the public. They receive little or no government money; nor do they seek it.
They do, however, deserve the financial support of the communities they serve. Running such important services costs money, which is why both organisations (which are registered charities) put such effort into fundraising.
So next time you see a fundraiser for the RNLI or OVMRO holding a collecting can outside your local supermarket, please stop and put a pound or two in; or visit their websites at rnli.org and ogwen-rescue.org.uk. Every penny you donate will help make North Wales a safer place.