A GROUP of disadvantaged young people together with their families and carers were given a day to remember with the area's mountain rescue teams.

Every year, Mountain Rescue England and Wales works with The Charities Forum - a collection of charities of which The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are patrons.

Formed in 2006, there are now more than 30 organisations involved in the group, including Mountain Rescue, of which Prince William has been patron since 2007.

Every year Mountain Rescue works with The Charities Forum to take sick or disadvantaged young people and their families on a fun filled day of outdoor activities.

And this year, it was the turn of mountain rescue teams from North Yorkshire to host the event - with the Grassington based Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Team; Cave Rescue Organisation from Clapham, and the Scarborough and Ryedale team stepping up to the plate.

Activities took pace in Nidderdale and some 36 young people went along, from the charities, Centrepoint, Child Bereavement, Place2be and Wellchild.

It is up to the hosting mountain rescue teams to decide on where they want to run the day, and how they want to run it.

Sara Spillett UWFRA's lead member for the event said the lives of many of the young people were very restricted and they wanted to give them a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

‘’During our planning and dealings with the four charities we quickly realised that the lives of some of these young people would so often be dominated by hospital visits with very limited if any opportunities to enjoy adventurers in the countryside," she said.

"We set about producing a day they would all remember and especially with us giving it a real mountain rescue call out theme’’.

For the special day, the teams decided on Nidderdale, using How Stean Gorge and Bewerley Park, near Pateley Bridge - both outdoor education and activities centres, used by schools and youth groups.

The teams had the added bonus at How Stean Gorge when owners, Stan Beer, a retired UWFRA member, and his wife, Anne, provided the centre, its facilities and instructors free of charge, and also included free meals.

Transport between the two centres was also provided free by the Upper Wharfedale Venturer and the Wharfedale Packhorse buses and team administration officer, David Nelson, drove one of the buses.

The theme of the day was a mountain rescue search and rescue operation. The young people were set a variety of tasks and problems along the way which they would have to deal with, before being able to move onto the next phase.

And, once they reached the final stage, they were rewarded with hot chocolate and other treats, that they had to heat on a portable stove to finish off the exercise successfully.

Some older members of the group had tasks including canoeing, which meant working with the swift water specialists in the teams.

Also included were emergency vehicles from fire and rescue and from police - which all added to the adventure.

Sara said it was a very successful day, a great learning experience, and one the teams would happily repeat.

"It was an amazing day and a huge learning opportunity for us all to work with these remarkable young people who put so much effort and enthusiasm into what was such a special day for them.

"We live very privileged lives compared to the people who attended and it was such a wonderful day for us as well seeing the enjoyment they got from the experience We would all readily volunteer for when our turn comes round again’’

Meanwhile, the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue team is hoping for a strong turnout on Saturday at its major fundraiser of the year, the Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge.

Now in its fifth year, the event, which always takes place on the last Saturday of June, is based at Kettlewell, where there will be free parking and refreshments, and gives runners and walkers a choice of three routes.

A 22 mile route takes in Birks Fell, Buckden Pike and Great Whernside; a 13.5 mile route includes Buckden Pike and Great Whernside, and there is also a family riverside walk along The Dales Way and Paradise Walk. Dogs are not allowed on the longer routes, but they are permitted on the family walk. The longer routes cost £18 to take part, while entry to the family walk is £2 for individuals and £20 for a family of four.

The longer routes have been recognised by the Long Distance Walkers Association and are also increasingly popular with runners.

All events start and finish in Kettlewell with free parking and a free hot meal at the finish along with free t shirts and medals.

Last year's event raised £6,500 for the team, which has annual running costs of £50,000, and which will celebrate its 70th anniversary at the end of August.

More details and signing in details can be found by going to uwfra.org.uk/w3p.