The self-styled Sully-based rescue charity “CAVRA” – which has received thousands of pounds of tax-payer-funded grants – is taking complaints about “rival” rescue services – the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to the Ombudsman.
In its annual report to the Charity Commission, CAVRA [the “Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association”] says : –
“We continue to struggle against the obstructive attitude and lack of support from a number of other organisations, – namely Mountain Rescue, RNLI,[ the Royal National Lifeboat Institution] SWFRS [ South Wales Fire and Rescue Service] and MCA [Maritime Coastguard Agency] . A case has been filed with the Public Services Ombudsman regarding the actions of certain members of the RNLI, SWFRS. Developments are awaited” .
The spokesperson for the RNLI has told PDN “The RNLI regularly works with a number of partners on emergency calls, but we are tasked only by the MCA. From Penarth’s RNLI point of view, we’ve received no complaints from CAVRA.”
Although CAVRA’s members are said not to be trained to anything like the professional levels of the RNLI and the Fire Service, the CAVRA “charity” continues to rake in cash – much of it from taxpayers.
CAVRA says “a number of funding bids” have been successful and it is to receive funds from:-
- Newport Flood Relief Fund
- A Department for Transport Grant [ In the previous year – 2015/16 – the charity was given £36,430 of taxpayers’ money by the Department for Transport to buy a “Pioneer 3 Multi Flood Rescue Boat”]
- UKSAR Training Fund
- The National Lottery
These donors may not be aware that the Charity Commission has however “qualified” the CAVRA accounts for the 2016-17 year [ “Qualified” means that the auditor or examiner who has examined these accounts has some reservations about the declared figures or their accuracy] .
In its annual report to the Charity Commission, CAVRA makes claims that it has provided “11,300 hours of voluntary work” during the last year – an assertion which would suggest it has, during the year, deployed at least 6 people working for 8 hours a day for 230 working days.
CAVRA also claims that in the last year it has “rescued” a total of 7 persons. The details the dates and the locations of these “rescues” are not revealed and therefore cannot be checked. It also asserts that it has “assisted” a further 17 people and “helped” 3 others – but again no information is given to enable these claims to be verified.