Blue Lights Brigade Summer update

You may have been following our Blue Lights Brigade project on Facebook or Twitter and seen just how busy they’ve been over the past few months. But if not, here’s a roundup for you on just what Steve and Lucy and all the volunteers have been up to.

And it is worth following the Facebook or Twitter accounts and visiting the website (www.bluelightsbrigade.org.uk) too. If you have any questions about BLB then please just email stephen@vanel.org.uk or lucy@vanel.org.uk or call 01472 222222.

Back in May Steve found out that there had been some serious fly-tipping in Immingham next to the river. The rubbish needed to be urgently cleared so that this didn’t become an environmental issue once high-tide arrived. So a call went out and some local, available Blue Lights Brigade CERT volunteers sprang into action. (CERT is the Community Emergency Response Team comprising of well trained, emergency ready, BLB volunteers ready to help their community). The rubbish was cleared, disposed of and the issue resolved. CERT team in action!

June then began with Volunteers’ Week and the team were out promoting the volunteering opportunities available with BLB. We’re approaching 300 people on the BLB volunteer register at the moment, so these efforts to spread the word to new volunteers is paying off.

A new addition to the BLB portfolio recently is the Little Lifesavers training course. Steve completed his intense first aid training and as well as being able to provide this to others, Little Lifesavers deals with first aid on children. The first training courses have now been run and a number of demonstrations have been given.

We’re now up to three active CERT teams with the third team completing their training recently and getting fully kitted out and ready for action.

Mid June, BLB was out a Brocklesby Country Fair and then at the end of June it was Armed Forces weekend in Cleethorpes. The Safe and Well BLB vans were helping with traffic control and CERT and BLB volunteers were helping out at the event talking to visitors, handing out water and topping up sun lotion! A great weekend.

BLB was pleased to have been provide with some funding from Big Local North Cleethorpes (BLNC) recently to provide Safe and Well door to door fire checks on vulnerable people and properties in North Cleethorpes as a result. When the programme was complete over 200 properties had been checked, referrals made to Humberside Fire and Rescue and some potentially life threatening fire hazards resolved. A great partnership between BLNC and BLB.

July saw the final closure of Cleethorpes Police Station. Steve and Lucy attended to promote BLB and to chat to ex-colleagues, many of whom are already signed up to BLB or CERT. You can read about that event here.

More recently a number of CERT volunteers attended the huge Rescue Day emergency services show event in Crowle and then more volunteers helped out at the Tape 2 Tape/Orsted Grimsby 10k run.

Finally, as this goes to press, training is about to begin on training for CERT team 4. Another dozen BLB volunteers who have said they want to help make their communities more resilient by playing their part should an incident require them. By August therefore we’ll have our fourth CERT team ready for action and we’re in preparation for two more teams at the moment. Interested? Get in touch with Steve or Lucy.

A busy summer so far, and we’ve still more to go! In August, some of the volunteers will be at the North Thoresby 1940s event weekend helping out and no doubt there will be more events before the season ends!

Of course it’s not all hard work (volunteering shouldn’t be!). So Steve and Lucy have a number of social events planned with the volunteers near the end of the summer too.

Although we are still part funded through NESTA, we’re now very actively looking ahead to sustainability of the project. One of the problems with our CERT teams is that although we can recruit and support and train the volunteers, the actual kit they need to have with them once deployed costs money. So we’re always on the lookout for funding sources.

Some of our CERT teams have been sponsored (for example by BLNC), and some have had donations of kit. We’re also grateful to a number of donors recently who’ve handed over cash to help make sure these willing volunteers are well equipped. Thanks from the whole team for that support and we’ll be publishing a proper thank you report soon.

We still want volunteers – especially if you’re ex-Police,Fire,Ambulance,Emergency Services,Military. We still want donations and sponsorship. If you can help, or are interested then please simply give Steve or Lucy a call for a chat. In the meantime, visit the website or facebook or twitter pages.

A big thank you to everyone involved with or helping Blue Lights Brigade. And watch out for another full update in a couple of months.

www.bluelightsbrigade.org.uk