Community Reserve Volunteer

About this service

The British Red Cross responds to hundreds of UK emergencies every year – from major floods to house fires and transport accidents. Our trained volunteers are always available to help, working closely with the emergency services, local authorities and other agencies to support their work responding to crises.

In 2019 community reserve volunteers supported at 10 emergencies:

  • A rest centre for an unexploded bomb in Kingston
  • A large building fire in Barking
  • A substation fire in Chelsea
  • Flooding in Lincolnshire
  • Gas outage in Southwark
  • Flooding in Yorkshire
  • A missing person search in Kent
  • A building fire in Sutton
  • A water main burst in Haringey
  • Widespread flooding across Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire

About this role

Community Reserve Volunteers help their local community during a major emergency. They form a network of like-minded people who the British Red Cross can call upon when we need additional support during an emergency.

This role is perfect for people who want to do their bit but do not wish to commit to regular volunteering.

No specialist skills are required and when an emergency strikes in your area you can choose whether to volunteer with us or not. You can leave us at any time with a single text or email.

There is no minimum time commitment.

Typical tasks include:

>     filling sandbags

>     clearing roads and paths

>     moving furniture upstairs in houses before a flood

>     sorting essential supplies and stock

>     administration

>     helping teams carry and/or load equipment.


Please note that not all these tasks are exhaustive.

It is possible for Community Reserve Volunteers to be deployed in other roles. This will depend on the emergency and the need but will only occur following a recorded risk assessment. The decision to deploy Community Reserve Volunteers for additional tasks outside of their expected roles sits with the most senior operations manager for the response. Regardless of the role, volunteers will always receive appropriate briefing and supervision.


Someone who:


Is willing to uphold the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and adhere to the Society’s Equal Opportunities Policy

is 18 years old or over

lives in the UK

has access to a phone that can send and receive SMS (text) messages

is fit enough to undertake basic manual tasks as stated in the typical tasks above



  • Accessibility
  • Data Protection policy
  • DBS check required
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 27/02/2019

End Date: 27/02/2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No No No
Afternoon No No No No No No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

On-off to respond to emergency if you are available


This opportunity is available Countywide.

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