THE unsung heroes who provide vital assistance to police during a search for missing person will be honoured by the Queen.

The Cheshire Search and Rescue team have been chosen to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award that can be given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Simon Lane, team leader at Cheshire Search and Rescue said “The whole team is delighted to announce this award, which can be aligned to receiving an MBE for charities.

“Cheshire Search and Rescue has been running for 14 years now and all of our members over the years have contributed to this success.

“It’s a real honour to have our work recognised in this way and a wonderful thank you to all those who give up their time and expertise to make the team what it is.

“The application process took a long time and the team had to demonstrate its worthiness to receive an award of this nature in a consistent manner.

“I’m happy that all the hard work has paid off and each and every member of the team, plus those who we work with on a regular basis, can enjoy the recognition that this award represents.”

The group will receive a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal.

Cheshire Search and Rescue comprises of a group of Good Samaritans who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are ready to deploy at any time, in any weather condition.

When pensioner Keith Taylor, 76, from Padgate, was reported missing days before Christmas, volunteers rushed to Warrington to support police officers with their operation.

Cheshire Search and Rescue was formed in 2004 following the disappearance of a teenage girl in the county and started out as a group of individuals with little more than high-visibility jackets and torches for equipment.

Today the team takes pride in being well-trained and equipped.

The running costs for the service stands between £40,000 and £50,000 a year but this is without extra funding needed for equipment and repairs.

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