- Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:00
A British Red Cross service which offers practical and emotional support to people after a fire, flood or other emergency is looking for new volunteers in the Bristol area.
An open evening is being held at the Red Cross office in Warmley on Thursday 1 May for people to learn more about the service.
When disaster strikes trained fire and emergency support (FES) volunteers from the Red Cross are on hand to help. Called out by the fire service, the team of trained volunteers with a specially-adapted vehicle provides practical and emotional support to people affected by house fires or flooding. The team also works with power companies to support vulnerable people in the event of a power cut such as those caused by the recent bad weather in the South West.
Hazel Fletcher, 51, from Keynsham, has been volunteering with FES since 2007. She says: “I get a huge amount of satisfaction from being a FES volunteer and encourage anyone looking for a new challenge to learn more about the service.
“Anyone who has experienced a house fire will understand the devastation it can cause. We are able to relieve some of the anxiety by signposting those affected onto other services that can support them or simply just sitting and listening to them talk. It can make such a big difference and people really do appreciate the service we offer.”
The fire and emergency support service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. James Roberts, FES coordinator at the Red Cross, is looking to recruit more volunteers to ensure that the service runs smoothly.
James, who was himself a volunteer for two years before recently taking on his new role, says: “Without volunteers we simply could not offer the emotional and practical support to people involved in fires, floods and other emergencies. We rely on our volunteers to respond to emergencies at a moment's notice, which takes some dedication.
“We are looking for compassionate, enthusiastic, reliable volunteers to join our team and help us provide a 24/7 service. Volunteers need to live within 30 minutes of the Red Cross centre in Warmley, where the FES vehicle is located. No experience is necessary as full training is given.”
Anyone wanting to find out more can come to an open evening at British Red Cross, Caxton Business Park, 83 Tower Road North, Warmley, Bristol, BS30 8XP on Thursday 1 May between 7pm and 9pm. Visitors can look around the FES vehicle, chat to existing volunteers and find out about what is involved.
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk