IT specialist and company director Donald 'Caskie' Macaskill is planning to run Chester Marathon on October 3 – and this will be his first marathon.
He is keen to support the fundraising efforts of the all-volunteer Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team – where he is present the equipment officer – as they seek to build a team base in Stornoway.
He says: "Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated by me and the team, and will hopefully help me complete the 26.2 miles!"
Donald is the founder and director of OnTime Computer Services in Rigs Road, Stornoway, and was formerly involved with N.D Macleod Ltd and Point 1 on Bayhead.
The Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team was initially set up in 2010 under the name Hebrides Search and Rescue. On May 7th 2011, Hebrides Search and Rescue joined the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland (MRCofS), later changed to be known as Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR). At this point the team consisted of 25 volunteers.
In the winter of 2013 the Western Isles experienced particularly heavy snowfall. During this time, Hebrides Search and Rescue volunteered team members and assets to assist the transportation of medical staff and supplies around the island.
The team were awarded the Meritorious Services Award from the Chief Constable as well as receiving a letter of thanks from the First Minister. After the initial setup and media exposure in the first few years the team settled down and focused on training and improving capabilities. Over the following few years the team hosted and sent team members on residential courses.
In October 2017 the team moved into its first rented team base located Caberfeidh road, Stornoway. Prior to this the team had been operating out of two shipping containers. Initially this premises was far from ideal but with a bit of work it became a decent, usable space.
At the same time the team changed its charitable status, becoming a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. It was at this point the team changed its name to Hebrides Mountain Rescue Team. In early 2019 the team moved premises as the existing building was being demolished. The current base is across the road from Stornoway Police Station.
Currently, the team are working towards building a purpose-built base. This will have indoor vehicle and equipment storage, operation command centre and training facilities. The team is also looking to grow in size and would welcome any keen individuals to enquire about joining us.