Today the Observer launches a bid to raise more than £500,000 to build a new centre for the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team.

And we need your help to make it a reality.

The team is raising funds to build a new base near the Haslingden Tesco store on Syke Street as it has outgrown its current centre on Clegg Street.

A total of £535,000 is needed to build the facility.

Team member John Parish said: “Back in the early 1960s and 1970s when our current centre on Clegg Street first went up, it was perfect for our needs as it was virtually on its own and we only had a few call outs. But over time with housing being built up around it and increase in population, it is becoming more difficult for us to get to people when we are called out.

“That is why the centre on Syke Street is perfect because it is virtually on the motorway and we will save five to eight minutes that we would use to navigate through traffic.”

Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team is a registered charity, made up entirely of volunteers.

Since 2000 the team has helped more than 500 people including injured walkers, fell runners, climbers, paragliders and mountain bikers.

As the team’s role in emergency services has expanded they have obtained new equipment such as team vehicles, including a specially modified ‘ambulance’, a control vehicle and a trailer. This is in addition to the stretchers, first aid kits, ropes and other items needed. It is hoped the new centre will also make the team more accessible to the community.

Volunteers hope that the work will start on the building in the autumn and be completed next year.

John added: “At the moment we visit scout groups and other organisations who want to hear about our training but we would hope with the new centre they can come to us and see how we train first hand.”

The mountain rescue team has launched a Buy A Brick campaign to support the new centre. Each brick is £1.20 and you can have your name included in a book to be a part of the new centre permanently.

Observer editor Gareth Tidman said: “The services provided by the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue team are invaluable. They are in the business of saving lives and this is something we can all get behind.”

For more information about buying a brick, send enquiries to Buy a Brick Campaign, John Parish, Rossendale and Pendle MRT, 46 Clegg Street, Haslingden, Rossendale, BB4 5LW.