The British Red Cross in Swindon is holding a special event to recruit volunteers for a service offering practical and emotional support to people after a fire, flood or other emergency.
When disaster strikes trained volunteers from the Red Cross fire and emergency support service (FESS) are on hand to help. Called out by the fire service, energy providers or the Highways Agency, the team of trained volunteers with a specially adapted vehicle, provide practical and emotional support to people affected by house fires, power cuts or motorway closures.
Red Cross FESS co-ordinator Dan Spencer says: “We are looking for compassionate, enthusiastic, reliable volunteers to join our team and propel the service forward. Volunteers need to live within 30 minutes of Westlea and full training is given. Our volunteers make a real difference to people who may have lost everything at the moment they are needed the most.”
For people who want to find out more, the recruitment event is being held at :
Westlea Fire Station, The Chesters, Swindon on Tuesday 16 November, between 5pm and 8pm.
Those who attend will be able to find out all about the role and the training provided as well as meeting other volunteers who can talk about their experiences.
Last month, Tim Griffiths from Ferndale received vital help from FESS when a fire gutted his home. The FESS volunteers were quickly on the scene and were able to help Tim and his wife with insurance contact information and find alternative accommodation. They also provided the family with a camera so that they could record the damage to their house and belongings.
“I’ve got nothing but praise for the two lads that turned up from the Red Cross. They were outstanding”, says Tim. “They were like an extended family that night – someone trustworthy to advise me on what actions I needed to take.
“Everything happened so quickly and we were in a state of shock. It was a harrowing experience but the volunteers were friendly and professional and their constructive advice helped to bring us back down to earth.”
FESS volunteer Andy Tye says: “Often we are able to provide shelter and warm clothes to people who would otherwise be standing out in the cold. It is great to feel that my team helps to make a difference to someone’s life.”
FESS runs in more than 40 counties across the UK, including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Using a customised vehicle complete with a shower, cooker, kettle and supplies, volunteers provide those affected by fire or flood with immediate temporary shelter. They are also able to provide first aid, clothes, food, toiletries and help find temporary accommodation and signpost people to other support organisations that can help.
To attend Tuesday’s event, or find out more if you are unable to attend, call Dan Spencer on 0117 301 2619
For more information about the Red Cross please visit: www.redcross.org.uk