2021 didn’t pan out quite how everyone thought it would – with another year of the pandemic challenging communities around the world.
“Despite these challenges, we managed to increase the support and assistance we were able to provide, at times it was needed most,” Ron Arkcoll, Managing Director for the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) said.
“Looking after others in their hour of need is at the core of our work at RRT – everything we do is grounded in care and compassion.
“Whether it be those facing wildfires in the US and France, or donating children’s hospital beds in New Zealand, we are humbled to help in a small way and respond to these calls for assistance.
“But our work is not done yet. 2022 will have challenges of its own, and we look forward to helping those who need it throughout the year.”
Some highlights from the Brethren charity in 2021 include:
- In the UK, RRT supported the extensive police operation at the COP26 summit, donating 13,000 Care Kits to frontline workers. The UK team also launched the Baby Care Kit, supporting new parents facing financial hardship by gifting the essentials to help care for their baby.
- In Australia, RRT responded to the Wooroloo bushfires by donating 3,000 meals to evacuees and 400 RRT Snack Packs for frontline workers. During floods, RRT Australia donated 17,000 sandbags and airlifted Food Boxes to people left stranded by the disaster. And when a tornado hit rural NSW, RRT served 600 meals to emergency services.
- When Hurricane Ida tore through North America, RRT stepped in to provide more than 500 Food Boxes to families in need. And when wildfires ripped through California, RRT donated 375 Frontline Snack Packs to firefighters.
- In France, RRT supported emergency staff and firefighters with more than 300 meals and 300 Frontline Snack Packs.
- In New Zealand, RRT donated five children’s hospital cots to Starship Children’s Hospital in response to the shortage of hospital beds. The local NZ team also served up 11,700 meals to healthcare workers and the local community to say thank you for the sacrifices made during COVID-19.
- RRT collaborated with Beyond Skin Deep in New Zealand to donate recycled soap to support local villages in Kenya.
- And for the first time, Food Boxes made their way to Denmark and Argentina to support those affected by the pandemic.
The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established RRT in 2013 to express its principles of care and compassion.
Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.