British Red Cross seeks 10,000 volunteers for local crises

The ‘community reserve volunteers’ would offer practical help in the event of a local calamity

The British Red Cross has launched a campaign to recruit 10,000 volunteers who would be able to help others if a crisis hit their local community.

The charity is hoping to recruit 10,000 “community reserve volunteers” by the end of 2019. They would be available to offer practical assistance initially in areas that have been affected by major flooding, including north Wales, Somerset and Cumbria.

But the Red Cross said it hoped the volunteers could help with the response to other major incidents in the UK, such as the Manchester and London terror attacks or the Grenfell Tower fire.

The charity said it hoped to have teams of potential volunteers in place in areas prone to flooding and weather-related emergencies by this winter.

Volunteers would be contacted by text message in the event of a major emergency in their local area.

Simon Lewis, head of crisis response for the British Red Cross, said the scheme was a way for people to help others in their communities by registering their willingness in advance.

“Through the events of this year, including the Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster, we’ve seen extraordinary compassion shown by ordinary people from local communities when a crisis hits,” he said.

“We would call upon people only at times of major crisis, which we hope 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.”

Volunteers, who must be over 18, can find out more information and sign up here.

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