Could you provide assistance duing an emergency? Volunteers wanted.

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Dear Faith Leader

 The devastating attacks in London and Manchester, and the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 have highlighted the vast array of resources required during a major emergency; ranging from emergency service personnel and equipment to volunteers and providing places of safety.

 Faith communities  are in a very strong position to assist during a response. Faith Communities have the capacity and capability to offer support, guidance and bereavement support; not only to victims, but also to all responders involved and may also be able  to help provide safe accommodation to those who find themselves displaced.

 The Luton and Bedford Council of Faiths are working in partnership with the Local Authorities in Bedfordshire  to identify local faith contacts  who would be willing to either offer advice and assistance, or deploy to assist at an actual incident.

 For those willing to provide advice and assistance during an emergency, we would like to add your contact details to an Emergency Contacts List, held by the Local Authorities. You would be called to offer advice, based on your particular religion, to ensure responders on the ground are effecting a compassionate and respectful response.  The contact details we would need are name, residential address, work address,  home phone number, mobile phone number, email address,  faith and specific faith community

 Those willing to become a responder would receive training from the council and emergency services, on how incidents are managed and how Assistance Centres are set up. These centres are the focal point for providing welfare to those affected, and are designed to include areas for prayer and support. They are utilised for short periods (24-48hrs) to provide initial sanctuary, or longer periods to provide information and continued support.

 Please share this request with those in your faith community who may be interested in being an advisor and/or responder.

 We would also like to identify suitable facilities to act as assistance centres, for example large halls. If members of faith communities , who have responsibility for such facilities, would like to offer this assistance, please let us know so we can arrange for Council Emergency Planning Officers to assess suitability and discuss usage further. We would need to know the name and the location of the facility and the name and contact details (as above) of the responsible person/key holder

 Kind Regards

Cass Howes and Laurence Benjamin. Multifaith Capability  lead and deputy and representatives of Bedford and Luton Council of Faiths on BLEVEC ( Bedfordshire and Luton Emergency Volunteer Executive Committee)

Please send your responses to secretary.bcof@gmail.com by Friday 24th January

 (This letter is also available as an attachment below if you wish to display it at your location)

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