Sussex Search and Rescue has announced former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion Sally Gunnell, OBE, as the charity’s Patron

Sussex Search & Rescue is the primary volunteer resource used by Sussex Police to search for vulnerable missing people. They charity is on call 24 hours every day throughout the year and receive no government funding. The charity’s new Patron, Sally Gunnell, retired as a competing athlete in September 1997 following a successful running career which saw her claim two Olympic, three World, two European and six Commonwealth medals. She is the only female 400m hurdler in history to have won the Olympic and World titles and broken the world record.

The 50-year-old, who lives in Steyning, West Sussex, will now be the face of Sussex Search and Rescue, publically showing her support of the charity and its volunteers. Since retiring, Gunnell has spent much of her time working as a television presenter and focusing on her business which offers a Corporate Wellbeing Programme to help companies tackle health and wellness issues in the workplace. She will now also focus on supporting Sussex Search and Rescue and looks forward to the challenge.

“I am delighted to be able to support such a wonderful charity.” Said Gunnell. “The service that Sussex Search and Rescue offers is vital for our community and these volunteers give so much time and effort to help those that need them the most across Sussex. I hope that I will be able to support SusSAR as it aims to raise vital funds it requires to remain operational as well as assist with spreading the word of upcoming projects, announcements and the great work they do.”

Danny Wood, Chairman at Sussex Search and Rescue said: “Sally Gunnell is one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes and we are proud to be able to call her our Patron. Today is a proud day in the history of our unit. We are excited to have Sally on board and look forward to working closely with her over the coming months to see how she can help us with our requirements.”

Sussex Search and Rescue works closely with Sussex Police in the search for missing vulnerable people, a service appreciated by Sussex Police.

Sgt Russ Phillips, Sussex Police added: “It is brilliant news that Sally is able to support Sussex Search and Rescue who are a fantastic group of trained volunteers that support us brilliantly in the search for missing people across the county. We are confident that Sally will be able to offer great support to SusSAR and will help them continue to grow.”

To find out more about Sussex Search and Rescue, or if you wish to donate or get involved, visit