CHILMARK-BASED Serve On has been given more than £14,000 worth of funding which will be used to grow its rescue team of volunteers.

The funding of £14,769 from the Rescue Boat Fund was announced yesterday by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Serve On's operations manager Craig Elsdon welcomed the funding, adding: "We are using the money to grow another team in Worthing. This team will be trained and equipped and then be on hand to assist Salisbury should the worst happen. Likewise the Team in Salisbury as ever are ready to deploy and support communities around the country when requested.

"We have partnered up with the Worthing Sea Cadets and are looking to start up a CRT (community resilience team) at the end of the year."

He added: "Currently with the flooding that has gone on we have stood a team by but do not anticipate a deployment as it seems the Emergency Services and other statutory agencies have it well covered with their own and local assets.

"We remain on standby during the current extreme weather."

Serve On is a humanitarian response charity whose volunteers help communities at home or abroad. It has an international response team (IRT), community resilience teams (CRTs), Rescue Rookies and Dog Rescue Team.

Fifty charities are receiving funding for essential search and rescue equipment from the Department of Transport.

Wiltshire Search and Rescue has been given £24,208.38.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Our rescue boat teams carry out vital work to keep our rivers, lakes and inshore areas safe.

"These inspirational charities and their dedicated volunteers save lives every day, and this additional funding will ensure that they have the craft, equipment, and resources to provide these services year-round."