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Call for more volunteers to man mercy van; VICTIM SUPPORT SERVICE VEHICLE IN MORE DEMAND THAN EVER FOR FIRE AND FLOOD.

Byline: arryn buggins

VOLUNTEERS are needed to crew a British Red Cross vehicle sent to help victims of fire and flood across Warwickshire.

Organisers of the Fire Victim Support Service, based at Kenilworth fire station, in School Lane, are appealing for more help as demand for the service has doubled in the past few years.

The five-year-old service is run jointly with the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Trained volunteers use a specially adapted vehicle to travel to scenes of serious fires, offering victims a range of practical and emotional support.

The vehicle is equipped with a hot shower, clothing, mobile phone, baby food, a small kitchen and a camera for people to take photographs for insurance purposes.

Jeff Stevens, Fire Victim Support Service co-ordinator for Warwickshire, said: "The service plays a crucial role at a very traumatic time in people's lives. We are able to provide people with a shoulder to cry on and some practical advice on what to do next."

He added: "We can never have too many volunteers and any help would be most appreciated."

The service runs from 7pm to 7am on weekdays, with 24-hour cover at weekends and on bank holidays.

To volunteer for the service, or for more information, phone Mr Stevens on 0771 511768 or 0121 766 5444.

A five-a-side football tournament will help raise funds for the service, hosted by the British Red Cross on August 31, at the Powerleague Stadium in Aston, Birmingham.

Teams should have between five and 10 players aged at least 18.

Alan Nash, fundraiser for Warwickshire, said: "If you enjoy playing football and are able to get together with at least four friends, why not try out your skills against other teams from all over Warwick- shire and the West Midlands in aid of the British Red Cross?"

For more details, phone Mr Nash on 0121 766 5444.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 30, 2003
Words:312
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