East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton has shown his support for a new British Red Cross scheme – community reserve volunteers which aims to create a national network of people ready to help in a local emergency.
Paul met British Red Cross volunteers to hear about the initiative, as well as their experiences of being deployed to incidents such as floods and fires, and their reasons for signing up.
The MP’s support for the project came after a report published by the British Red Cross and Aviva showed that the majority of people in Scotland would want to help if disaster struck in their community, but 45 per cent would not know what to do.
The report ‘When Crisis Hits: mobilising kindness in our communities’ also revealed that 45 per cent of people in Scotland think their community would be unprepared to cope with a large-scale emergency such as a fire or flooding.
The scheme hopes to recruit 10,000 community reserve volunteers across the UK by the end of 2019. It takes just 10 minutes to sign up at redcross.org.uk/reserves
Mr Masterton said: “A national taskforce of community reserve volunteers will put people and their communities at the heart of emergency response, to help communities rebuild and recover faster.
“Everyone has a role to play when disaster strikes, even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference.
“It’s quick and easy to sign up online community reserve volunteers, you don’t need specialist skills and I strongly encourage people across East Renfrewshire to sign-up.”
The volunteers don’t need any specialist skills and will be contacted by text if there is an emergency in their community they could help with.
They will undertake vital jobs like packing food parcels, blowing up airbeds for rest centres and filling sandbags in times of flooding.
Any necessary training will be given at the scene of the crisis and you can confirm your availability when you are contacted.
The British Red Cross will be running emergency simulation exercises across the country to effectively practise deployment of this new team of volunteers in the coming months.
To learn more about the British Red Cross’ Community Reserve Volunteer scheme with Aviva and how to sign up, visit redcross.org.uk/reserves