British Red Cross community reserve volunteers (CRVs) are part of a network of people who declare themselves ready to help in an emergency in their local area.
In March, FareShare called for more funding, food and volunteers to help it respond to the coronavirus outbreak and ensure the most vulnerable are not put at increased risk of hunger.
In response, the British Red Cross asked its network of CRVs if they’d like to sign up as FareShare volunteers. Within a day, more than 1,400 of them had, almost doubling the organisation’s existing total.
Bryan Precious, head of volunteering at FareShare, said: “During this period of crisis, our vital service is needed more than ever. As we respond to the coronavirus outbreak, we want to double the amount of food we get to people in need across the UK – and the support of the British Red Cross and its army of community reserve volunteers is helping bring us closer to making this a reality.
“More than 1,400 volunteers have so far signed up to support FareShare through the British Red Cross, with many already helping in our warehouses and delivering food in our vans. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our operation and it is only with their support that FareShare safely and quickly diverts hundreds of tonnes of food to those most vulnerable each week.”
Volunteers have helped to process the generous donations of food being given by shops, restaurants and cafes forced to close because of the lockdown, and businesses which have been donating food for those in need. This food can then be provided through FareShare’s network of 11,000 charities to individuals and families in need in all four nations of the UK.
Gareth was one of the many volunteers who has got involved in supporting FareShare. “I prefer to help out in a practical way like that if I can,” said Gareth. There’s something I think with any crisis where you feel the need to be involved and to help in some way. I’m not medically trained, I can’t help in the hospital. I don’t have those skills, but being involved with FareShare, which I found out about through the Red Cross, has helped me to do that.”
FareShare is aiming to double the amount of food it delivers to people in need, and Red Cross volunteers are helping them to make that a reality. We are continuing to support local and national organisations through the coronavirus crisis and beyond to ensure that we can reach as many communities in need. We are truly thankful to all our community reserve volunteers who immediately responded to our call to support FareShare.