As part of #VolunteersWeek we have asked you to send in your thanks to all of those who give up their time for free.
Here Julie Mewett highlights the amazing work the dedicated and professional volunteers at Search Dogs Sussex carry out.
“This team of volunteers are on call 24/7 365 days of the year, whatever the weather,” writes Julie.
“They are exclusively called out by Sussex Police to assist in searching for vulnerable missing people, and these calls often mean leaving work, pleasure and family events.
“There is no immunity at Christmas, new year or birthdays – the call for help still comes.
“Trained to a national standard, the team can be called to assist anywhere in the UK.
“Team training occurs weekly and it is estimated that for each hour spent searching for a missing person the team will spend ten hours training.
“On top of searching and training, the team is a registered charity and yet more time is given to raising vital funds to buy team equipment and cover on-going costs, and giving talks to community groups.
“So why do they do it? The desire to help, to reunite loved ones or to bring closure when the outcome is the worst drives each and everyone of the team.
“Who am I? Well I am the long-suffering wife of a search technician and team equipment officer.
“I get woken at silly o’clock in the morning, have lovingly prepared meals go cold, and family time interrupted when the call comes through to go search.
“I am fiercely proud of this team. They have received the Queens award for voluntary service and been thanked at an award ceremony by Sussex Police for finding an elderly gentlemen just in time!”
Search Dogs Sussex is a member of the national umbrella organisation of Lowland Rescue, which assess all dogs and handlers at quarterly held national assessments, prior to them becoming operational.
Dogs and handlers are re-assessed every two years ensuring all teams maintain the required national operational standards.
For more information about the charity, visit searchdogssussex.com