accessibility & help

Volunteers provide support at people trafficking incident

18 August 2014

The British Red Cross responded quickly to help a group of Afghan Sikh immigrants found in a shipping container this weekend.

According to BBC News, 35 Afghan Sikh immigrants – including 13 children aged between one and 12 years – were found in the container, at Tilbury Docks in Essex.

The group arrived on Saturday on a ship from Belgium and were said by police to be victims of "people trafficking".

Hygiene kits

Following a call-out by Essex police, a team of 14 emergency response volunteers and staff raced to a makeshift reception centre set up inside a terminal building at the docks.

They provided practical help and emotional support to those affected. This included giving out blankets and hygiene kits. The team of six finally left at 11.30pm last night (Sunday).

‘Horrific ordeal’

Johanna Phillips, emergency planning officer, said: “Our volunteers are specially trained to deal with exactly these kinds of incidents.

“Those people had been through a horrific ordeal, and our role in such cases is always to provide reassurance and any support necessary.”

The Red Cross supports the emergency services at hundreds of crises throughout the UK every year.