The Red Cross is launching a recruitment drive to involve students and help people deal with crisis.
A volunteer selection event was held by the British Red Cross to recruit more people to engage with society in Cardiff on 16 February.
The most important part of this event was to include the right people. “We don’t pay anybody who just wants to volunteer for the sake of it. We want people to truly fit in and help more people that are in a crisis,” says Ms. Saunders.
“We do a lot with university groups,” says Cara Saunders, youth engagement and diversity manager for the Wales Red Cross. Students are a strong target group for the Red Cross.
On the other hand, “We get loyal people who have retired. They keep themselves busy and give back their expert knowledge as well. They give training that not only helps others but also themselves.”
The Red Cross volunteer program aims to provide services like emergency response, independent living, first aid, refugee support and education amongst others. The event started by introducing the history, fundamental principles and values of the Red Cross. Then new volunteers met other people involved to communicate. Finally, new volunteers had individual services and talked to the managers of different services in the Red Cross.
The next volunteer recruitment will focus on students of Cardiff University and will be held on 25th February at 11am. The soup and socks event for the homeless is on the 5th of March. People who are interested in it can obtain more information at events.
“All volunteers need to complete the foundation-training program which lasts for three days,” says Ms. Saunders. “It covers everything, from our services, what we do worldwide, the importance of our brand and why we use the logo.”
CALMER training is psychosocial support, which basically involves listening and speaking, Ms. Saunders explains. “After finishing the three day training, they will do service specific training for whatever they have volunteered.” Each service and role has different criteria for one to be a volunteer.
There is no concept of refusing or ignoring people in a crisis, everybody is helped and we don’t ignore anybody, says Ms. Saunders.
“People need to make the right decision, those who believe in humanity, impartiality and neutrality etc.,” Cara says. “Even though they come to us and say I want to volunteer for this. We would give information about other services as well.”
Worthwhile work motivates people to join volunteer programs and engage with the organization. “The training we give is really high quality. People can switch to a variety of jobs available to them in the future,” explains Ms. Saunders.
People who get in touch with the Red Cross usually become volunteers. “In life, at some point, when they meet someone who is a member of the Red Cross, they feel they want to give something back.”