The British Red Cross has launched a campaign to recruit 10,000 volunteers by the end of 2019 to help out in their communities when a major crisis hits.
Launched yesterday, the campaign aims to attract community reserve volunteers to work as a "practical taskforce" and help others by filling sandbags, preparing equipment or sorting food for a flooded community.
The campaign will start off recruiting in communities that have recently been hit by major flooding, such as Cumbria, Somerset and North Wales. But community reserve volunteers could also help during other types of major incidents, like the Manchester and London terror attacks, or the Grenfell Tower fire.
The sign-up process takes ten minutes, with volunteers needing to watch a short video, answer a few questions and register their details. Volunteers must be over 18, have a mobile phone and be prepared to carry out practical tasks during an emergency.
Simon Lewis, head of crisis response for the British Red Cross, says: “We’ve seen, through the events of this year, including the Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster, extraordinary compassion shown by ordinary people from local communities, when a crisis hits. It shows you don’t always need special skills to help others. Small acts of kindness, and coming together as a team, can make a huge difference.
“We recognise people have busy lives and can’t always commit to volunteering all year round. This project is a way for people to be there to help others in their communities, by registering their willingness in advance. We would only call upon people at times of major crisis, which hopefully won’t happen often, but when it does, and extra help is needed, people will have the opportunity to do small things that make a big difference. There are many different ways of helping your community, but this is a new one.”
For more information and to volunteer, click here.