I have been “with” RedR ever since! Initially as Chairman, I have been in several roles but am currently a Vice-President and we have the immense privilege of having HRH The Princess Royal as RedR UK’s President who has played a key role in the growth and development of the organisation. RedR UK at its inception was able to carefully select and send out engineers and specialists to disaster areas to strengthen the response of operational agencies in humanitarian crises around the world. RedR UK had a long involvement in Malaysia, and provided members to disasters in many countries including Malawi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Cambodia, Uganda, Sudan, Bosnia and Bangladesh.
The underpinning principle of RedR UK was that it should never be an operational agency, in its own right, but a means by which agencies in the field could improve their response with the inclusion of technically qualified and experienced people for short term inputs.
RedR UK had 400 volunteers in the first three months and the engineering profession has been a strong and consistent supporter of RedR UK throughout. We’ve moved away from providing experts for assignments and moved into training to become one of the world’s foremost providers of training for emergencies, with staff around the world where the need is greatest. There is, however, still a shortage of skills in disaster response and this is an area of opportunity for RedR UK’s future.