Volunteer profile: Business Change team – Anglia Route

Sorting donations with the British Red Cross

We are part of the Business Change team in the Anglia Route, delivering diverse ‘Change’ projects and programmes such as the Mobile Maintenance Train, ORBIS and Eddie Current.

What did we do?

We work in and around London and Essex, and although not directly near Grenfell Tower, when we learnt of the tragic fire there we were as touched by the disaster as most of the people in the UK. Working in London, we investigated opportunities to help the families directly affected by the fire and were directed to the British Red Cross, who were sorting through clothing and other items such as toiletries, books and toys that had been kindly donated by the public. We separated off brand new items, which would be sent directly to the victims of the fire, and second hand items to be cleaned and sold in charity shops, with the money then going to the disaster fund.

What did we give and get?

We were all amazed by the amount of donations. People’s generosity was humbling. You can feel helpless when you watch such horrific scenes on the TV; this was something really small that we did to help and we felt privileged to have provided support.

As part of a team of volunteers across the British Red Cross network, we contributed to the sorting of 41 tonnes of new goods which went directly back into the community, with the remaining items being taken to the charity’s stores to be sold under the heading #Shop for Grenfell.

The British Red Cross commented: “there is absolutely no doubt that without your help this would not have been possible…thank you so much for your time and effort”.

What have we learned?

We learned that by giving our time, we can make a difference, even in some small way, to those maybe less fortunate, or just in need of a helping hand with something they can’t do alone.

We feel a sense of pride that we didn’t just think about helping, but actually got out there and did something.

For more information please get in touch…

We were part of the team of community reserve volunteers that are only called on when extra hands are needed during a large local emergency. You can find out more here: www.redcross.org.uk/reserves.