accessibility & help

Volunteers support passengers involved in M5 coach crash

19 August 2014

The British Red Cross raced to the scene earlier today to help passengers involved in a coach crash on the M5 in Gloucestershire.

According to local police, the coach was carrying 53 adults and children on a day-trip to the seaside when it overturned and landed in a ditch near Stroud.

Following a call-out by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, five volunteers from the Red Cross’ fire and emergency support (FES) service headed straight for the crash site.

Emotional support

Our FES volunteers are equipped with a specially-adapted vehicle, which acts as a mobile support unit and safe haven for people involved in emergencies.

Volunteer Matthew Johnson has been kept busy at the scene throughout the day. He said: “We’re providing a lot of emotional support because it’s been quite a distressing incident for many passengers.

“We’ve set aside a quiet space so people can come and chat with our volunteers over a cup of tea and get things off their chests.”

‘Stressful time’

He added: “We’re also offering practical support by providing nappies for babies and warming up babies’ bottles, as well as giving out teas and coffees for those involved.”

“I’m just glad we were called upon today so we could be there to support and reassure the passengers at such a stressful time.”

Five adults and one child were hurt in the incident, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The passengers were wearing seatbelts. A police spokesman said: "Without them, this could have been a very different picture.”

It’s been a busy Red Cross week. Find out how we also helped a group of Afghan Sikh immigrants found in a shipping container.