Two women and a baby

It’s 3am, pouring with rain and only two degrees, so why is there a family in the middle of the road wearing only their pyjamas?

This is a scene that our fire and emergency support service volunteers see all the time. In our spare time we volunteer to be on call helping the fire service look after people who have been in a fire or flood. We’re also working with south Wales police on a new idea to help victims of crime, but more about that in a future blog.

So what do we do? Some nights all we do is make people a cup of tea and sit with them while they tell us what’s happened. Other nights you might see us trying to rehouse a pet snake, reclothe a whole family or find emergency accommodation for somebody whose house has been burnt to the ground.

I guess you might be wondering why we do it. After all, getting up in the wee hours of the morning can be a real pain, especially in the middle of winter. And it’s even worse if you have to go straight to work once you’ve finished your volunteering.

Well, it can definitely be quite challenging. We have to be on the ball all the time, and often have to be really creative to find solutions to the problems we’re given. It always feels worthwhile though. But it’s not all about the fuzzy wuzzy feelings of knowing you’ve helped somebody – you also get to play with firefighters and police officers (is this my dream job or what?).

If you want to learn some new skills, meet great people and really help somebody who’s probably having the worst night of their life, then I’ve only got one question for you . When can you start?

Image © Layton Thompson/BRC