There can be few worse experiences than seeing your house go up in flames, but when Isabel Jones found herself in such a dilemma our volunteers were there to offer support. Here’s her story:
I suffered a fire at my home in Malvern earlier this year, which was a terrifying and upsetting experience. While the fire brigade were dealing with the blaze, my son and I were stuck outside on the street so they contacted the Red Cross’ fire and emergency support service.
Two volunteers – Pete Kingwell and Monty Wild – arrived very quickly, in a lovely camper van equipped with a shower, food supplies, hot drinks and other emergency supplies.
It was such a relief – the wonderful Red Cross guys provided immediate comfort, somewhere warm to sit and cups of tea. But more than that, they gave us extremely valuable advice and emotional support at a very tough time.
Fortunately, I was insured for the damage. But under such stressful circumstances, with your home actually burning, who would know how to start off the complicated process of sorting things out? I certainly didn't.
It was at this point that the Red Cross’ extra support proved absolutely invaluable. The FESS team put me in touch with a volunteer agency that helps people deal with insurance claims, and they gave me a very good start in tackling what was a bewildering process.
But perhaps more than anything, the volunteers had a very helpful attitude, which made everything better for me – and especially for my 17-year-old son, who had accidentally caused the fire while I was at work.
As you can imagine he was devastated, but the volunteers helped put things in context and bring him round.
Having such a kind and sensible response from the Red Cross was so important at such a stressful time. It enabled me to feel in control of the situation and meant my poor son didn’t need to feel any worse about his accident.
Since the incident, I have set up a regular donation to the Red Cross. I’m happy to support all the services they offer, both in the UK and abroad.
It’s my way of showing my gratitude to those wonderful volunteers for their great help to my family when we really needed it.