Ready to help in an emergency

Ready to help in an emergency

The British Red Cross launched a campaign in October 2017 to recruit 10,000 volunteers across the UK who can be ready to help their local community if a disaster strikes.

60-year-old Jerry Watkins lives with his wife in the idyllic village of Box in Wiltshire.

After years of experience working overseas, both with the military and later doing humanitarian work, Jerry enjoys nothing better than taking his two dogs for a walk.

“The whole community component is important to me,” said Jerry of his decision to sign up as a Community Reserve Volunteer with the British Red Cross.

“Over the years I have seen lots of examples of problems within communities, terrible rail disasters and road accidents, things associated with weather, be that drought or flooding or snow or whatever it may be.

“It always strikes me that people tend to pull together, and that is a great thing.”

After hearing about the scheme from his friend, Jerry signed up to be a community reserve volunteer online – the whole process took him 10 minutes.

Being a community reserve volunteer doesn’t take lots of skill. Little acts of kindness, like filling sandbags or sorting food for a flooded community are just as important.

This extra help gives people a valuable way to use their kindness to help others when a big emergency hits.

“Here in Box we have a very strong community spirit,” said Jerry. “It’s one of the strengths of the area I think.

“To be able to perhaps help my friends and my neighbours were an emergency to happen, I think it certainly would bring me some sense of purpose.”

It only takes 10 minutes to sign up.

Find out how to get involved at