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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 10:18

Team Member Interview – Dave Close

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In this series of team member interviews, we find out more about what makes our volunteers tick. For our first interview we talk to Dave Close, otherwise known as El Presidenti.


What is your role within the team and what does it involve?

I’m presently the Team Secretary, tasked with ensuring a smooth flow of information both to the

members within and responding to enquiries from outside. This can take many forms; including the

taking of minutes at Committee/Team meetings, circulation of information across the membership,

liaising with organisations and members of the public approaching the team etc.

When did you join DSRTA and why?

I joined DSRT Ashburton in 2007. Having moved to the area in 2004 (from London), I was looking to

give something back to the walking community. Mindful that although not personally needing

mountain rescue during my trips to the Lakes/Nth Wales in my youth, friends of mine did get lost on

Dartmoor and were most likely assisted by the DRG back in the 1980’s.

Tell us about your day job?

Rachel (my wife) and I run a hostel for the homeless in Torquay. We manage two properties that

provide emergency temporary accommodation for those made homeless, which can happen for a

variety of reasons, not always within their control. We only accept referrals from the local council,

and can accommodate families, couples, single men & women from aged 16 upwards. Residents

stay for a short period of time so as to get back on their feet and progress independent living

arrangements. Duration of stay depends largely on their personal circumstances, and can range

from a few days to several months.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

For two years prior to joining the team, and for four years during, I was involved in Scouting in

Torbay and enjoyed kayaking, sailing and power boating alongside all that you’d traditionally expect

from the movement; however, since also taking on regional and national roles within Mountain

Rescue England and Wales, these responsibilities have been handed to others. I am a keen walker

around the SW, regularly spend time in Scotland in February (much to Rachel’s anguish)

experiencing winter climbing conditions, have a dog (Maddie) and two young grandsons, so I’m kept

pretty busy and (mostly) out of trouble.

Choose 5 words which best describe your experiences with DSRTA

Professionalism, support, dedication, teamwork, family.

Where is your favourite part of Dartmoor and why?

Difficult to pinpoint one particular area, but if pushed I’d have to say the Dart gorge and

surroundings; I’m a big fan of water.

Jam or Cream first?

Growing up in London, cream was either for pouring on jelly, or squirted from a can onto a

knickerbockerglory; however, being partially adopted by Devon (as much as anyone can be not born

here), cream first.

The Rolling Stones or The Beetles?

Rolling Stones and beyond, the heavier the better really.

Team Nickname

Dave has reached the lofty heights of Secretary for Mountain Rescue England and Wales. Hence his team nickname ‘El Presidenti’ 

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Charity Number: 1106098.