For immediate release 27 October
For further information Catherine Bates
Contact number 01158505954 / 07834527105
The British Red Cross has launched an appeal in Greater Manchester to raise £50,000 for an emergency response vehicle to support victims of fire, flood and other disasters in the area.
Local volunteers and staff will gather with the current vehicle to raise funds and awareness of the appeal on Sunday 30 October at Victoria Square, Bolton town centre between 10.30am- 4pm.
The vehicle will be used as part of the Red Cross’ fire and emergency support service (FESS), which is available across Greater Manchester. The current vehicle, which has been on the road for 18 years and is used by a team of 14 local volunteers, has helped hundreds vulnerable families in the area who have been forced to leave their homes due to fires, floods or similar emergencies. In the last year alone, volunteers have attended 25 incidents in Greater Manchester, including four in Bolton, and provided emergency shelter for 75 people, and one dog.
Inside the specially adapted vehicle, which is available 365 days a year, are washing facilities, clothes, toys, food, bedding and even toothbrushes. From the shelter of the vehicle, volunteers are also able to help people with finding alternative accommodation, insurance claims or simply give comfort and support at such a distressing time.
Emma Gedzielewski, FESS co-ordinator for Greater Manchester said: "The service gives free support to people in urgent need who have gone through a terrifying experience and whose homes may have been destroyed. It is also a huge support to local emergency services as it allows them to deal with the emergency while we care for the people affected.
“We would love people in Greater Manchester to help us raise funds for the appeal so that we can help even more people in a crisis.”
The fire and emergency support service is run by the Red Cross, with Greater Manchester fire service providing a base and fuel for the vehicle. It is available weekdays, from 7pm to 7am, and all day at weekends and bank holidays. The new vehicle will be based at Manchester Central fire station and will serve people across Greater Manchester.
To donate or get involved with fundraising for the appeal contact Jackie Pickersgill at JPickersgill@redcross.org.uk or visit the fundraising appeal page at www.redcross.org.uk/manchestervehicleappeal.
If you would like more information on becoming a volunteer for the service contact Emma Gedzielewski at EGedzielewski@redcross.org.uk / 01204 369631 or visit www.redcross.org.uk