Charities Team up to Recruit Emergency Volunteers

Charities Team up to Recruit Emergency Volunteers The British Red Cross together with Volunteer Centre Sandwell are calling for more volunteers to help after house fires and emergencies.


The Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS), a British Red Cross service offering practical and emotional support to people after a fire, flood or emergency, held a recruitment event on 9 October at the Volunteer Centre Sandwell to encourage more volunteers to sign up.

FESS runs in more than 40 counties across the UK. Using trained volunteers and a customised vehicle complete with a shower, cooker, kettle and supplies, volunteers provide those affected by fire or flood with immediate temporary shelter. They also provide first aid, clothes, food, toiletries and help find temporary accommodation and support organisations that can help. The Volunteer Centre Sandwell has grown over the 30 years and now recruits more than 1000 volunteers a year with over 300 voluntary and community organisations on its database.

Kerry Biggs, 40 from Halesowen, became a volunteer two years ago after reading an article about how the service helps people. Kerry said: “I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I really wanted to give some time to help others and the training provided by the Red Cross has been excellent.” Daphne Kirk FESS Co-ordinator at the Red Cross, said: “We rely on our volunteers to respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice, which takes some dedication. We’d like to extend our base of volunteers we can call upon so we can offer a robust service. Volunteers need to live within 30 minutes of Oldbury Fire Station, where the FESS vehicle is located.

They must be over the age of 18 years, have access to transport and be prepared to volunteer for at least three shifts per month possibly being called out at unsociable hours. No experience is necessary as full training will be given.

For information please contact Carol Smith on 01785 279840 or email Visit the Red Cross website: For information about the Volunteer Centre Sandwell visit:

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