NEARLY 20 brave souls got a taste for what it's like to be part of a life-saving rope rescue team at a charity abseil at Symonds Yat recently - including three women in their 70s.

The charity event, organised as a fundraiser for the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), was held in glorious sunshine on a Wye Valley cliff side at the end of May. 

The SARA team from Beachley teamed up with outdoor events company Borderlands Outdoors to run the event, for which participants gave donations to help the charity continue its vital work for the community.

The activity saw members of the public head vertically down a 25-metre rockface with the help of the teams. 

A SARA spokesperson said it was “really an event for everyone”, with three women in their 70s - 74,75 and 77 - daring to take part. 

“For one it was a Birthday gift,” they explained. 

“We were also able to chat to members of the public about our work during the day. 

“Symonds Yat provided an incredible backdrop; the weather was kind and we are grateful to Borderlands Outdoors for their support in this event.”

SARA is a volunteer lifeboat and inland search and rescue charity, with seven lifeboat and rescue stations along the length of the River Severn.

They support emergency services including police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, and HM Coastguard with rescues and searches for missing persons, 24/7, 365 days a year.

In 2021, SARA was called out 113 times.

The independent organisation is funded entirely by donations, and all its professionally trained rescue team are volunteers.

The charity says it costs around £130,000 a year just to keep their operation going, and that is before they look at replacing any of their equipment.

Launched in Tutshill in 1973, the organisation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and events such as the abseil fundraiser are helping to mark the occasion. 

The Beachley team have got another fundraiser planned for September - A ‘Wild Wye Swim’ at Huntsham Bridge. Details of that event can be found here.

For more information and to donate to the charity, go to