The British Red Cross have launched an appeal for volunteers to staff its new emergency response service in and around Taunton.
The team, which is based here, in the county town, work with the emergency services to provide practical help, emotional support and comfort to people who have been affected by a flood, fire or large scale emergency incident.
As well as helping with incidents in Taunton, the emergency response team crosses county borders to provide support in Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and further afield.
The service currently operates on weekends, picking up calls whenever they can outside of these hours. However, the team plans to expand the service to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, once enough volunteers have been recruited.
Debbi Carrig, emergency response officer for the British Red Cross, has told Tone News: “We’re looking for people with compassion to help people in crisis.
“We offer evening and weekend shifts, but it would be good to get more people to volunteer during daytime hours as well.
“It’s about the power of kindness. We’re only called out when we’re needed, but when people are in turmoil the small gestures our volunteers perform make an enormous difference.”
If you become a volunteer, the role requires you to commit to working one shift a week and be located no more than 30 minutes from the Red Cross base in Livingston Way, where the service’s purpose-built emergency response vehicle is based.
The specially-adapted vehicle offers immediate safe shelter to people in crisis – along with clothing, food and shower facilities. They’ll also help with practical necessities such as securing temporary accommodation and contacting insurance companies.
Full training is provided if you are interested in joining and you can apply at the British Red Cross website.
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