Gilby and Jane Taylor wish to express their heartfelt thanks to everyone in the village who supported us with Gilby’s Big Belstone Challenge on the 4th September. It is a a day which we shall always treasure -– made extra special by so many of you sharing the moment with us at the top of Belstone Tor  (both in person and on live stream).  The sun shone – the view was magnificent, as many of you know, and now also Gilby knows too 😊! Gilby and I got to sit together on a granite rock again – first time in 12 year’s – a precious moment! The great news is Belstone’s wonderful Chris Walpole has captured the events on film and above is his 18 minute, cinematic roller-coaster ride of laughter and love on Belstone Tor! Enjoy with a cuppa!

Naturally, the biggest thanks go to the North Dartmoor Search & Rescue Team – both for saying yes (we still can’t believe they did!!) and all their hard work making it happen. Big thanks also to Kevin Vogan who put the idea to the team on our behalf, and so many others who helped to make Gilby’s dream come true x.

The event also seems to have captured the hearts of so many beyond Belstone. The BBC South West Spotlight News Facebook post (8th Sept), has 4,800 shares of their video (with a million views), from across the UK and beyond. This, together with so many moving comments – remarkably over 1,700 of them ranging from those celebrating how wonderful our community is for making this happen, (so true), to those who are disabled or caring – saying how much it has inspired them to also follow their dreams. Following this, the UK National Mountain Rescue Organisation has also printed an article to capture the idea for fundraising – so hopefully this might enable rescue teams to take the opportunity to help other people who use wheelchairs to enjoy the view too – yey!

The inspiration it has provided to others, and the outpouring of love which it has engendered, is a moving, unexpected outcome – something we can all take pride in – our community in Belstone made it happen!

Heartfelt thanks must also go to everyone who has so generously donated to Gilby’s Just giving page and also directly to the team. The page is now up to £6,400 and we continue to raise funds in the hope of reaching a £10,000 target over the course of the next year.  As we all know, these volunteers do a vital and difficult job on the moor, but, you may not be aware that a major part of their work involves finding missing persons with mental health conditions and those with dementia; not just on the Moor but also farm land and other remote places. They rely entirely on charitable donations – and suffered a £50,000 drop in their income in 2020 due to Covid. North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team are truly awesome – our local team – simply the best! 

See below, the UK Mountain Rescue Magazine’s online ‘Flipping Book’ – Gilby’s article is on p38. Also there is still an opportunity to give to the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team on Gilby’s Just Giving page.

Jane Taylor (Featured image taken by Chris Godfrey)