Launch of Community Reserve Volunteers initiative
The Leader of The Highland Council encourages Highland residents to support the Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteers Initiative which was launched today (Monday 6 November).
The Community Reserve Volunteer is a new volunteering role the Red Cross has launched. This initiative aims to recruit a pre-registered reserve force of volunteers who will be able to assist their community in the event of a major local emergency.
By pre-registering, members of the public will be contacted as soon as extra help is needed when a large-scale emergency occurs. Volunteers can choose on a case-by-case basis whether they wish to help out, and are fully insured and managed by the Red Cross.
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson said: “Community resilience is particularly important in the Highlands where we have many small, isolated, rural and island communities. There is already significant good will and capacity in our communities across the region, where our culture is to help each other and pull together in a crisis.
“This new scheme by the Red Cross is an excellent idea which will enable people to help others and themselves in an emergency situation, in an organised and practical way, supporting our public agencies and emergency services to do the jobs they are trained to do. I would encourage everyone to sign up to this volunteer initiative as it will make all our communities more resilient in times of need.”
It only takes ten minutes to sign up online at redcross.org.uk/reserves. People are required to watch a short training video, and fill in an online application form. In the event of a local emergency they will be mobilised at the appropriate time by the Red Cross, via text message.
When deployed, community reserve volunteers will be supervised by trained personnel from the Red Cross, never working alone. They will carry out practical tasks, such as filling sandbags, or preparing food for a flooded community, allowing emergency services and existing Red Cross volunteers and staff more time to concentrate on the more specialised tasks they have been trained to perform.