If you have ever wanted to help your local community now is your opportunity to volunteer with the Avon Community Resilience Team (CRT).

The purpose of the Avon CRT is to support communities within Avon to be able to be better prepared to cope with adverse situations like the effects of a storm, high winds and flooding. Volunteers will help reduce the demand put on the emergency services and be a link between the community and blue light services.

The Avon CRT is coordinated by the charity Search And Rescue Assistance In Disasters (SARAID) which is aiming to create a team of volunteers trained to support communities during emergencies. Both Avon Fire & Rescue Service and Avon & Somerset Police support the setting up of the Avon CRT.

Volunteers could be tasked with delivering supplies following a flood, clearing hoarders’ houses, attending community events, fire prevention and crime advice and searching for missing people.

SARAID will be holding a number of initial open days at which members of the public can find out more about the CRT and express an interest in signing up as a volunteer. The events will be an opportunity to meet volunteers from SARAID, see some of the equipment you might use as a CRT volunteer and gain an insight into regional emergency planning.

The open days will be held on Wednesday 1 March at Hicks Gate Fire Station, Durley Hill, Keynsham at 14.00hrs to 15.00hrs and 18.30hrs to 19.30hrs and on Sunday 5 March at Temple Fire Station, Temple Back, Bristol at 10.00hrs to 11.00hrs.

No matter what your background and abilities, anyone can volunteer, you just need to be over the age of 18.

To book your place at one of the open days simply go to http://www.saraid.org.uk/CRT and enter your details.

CRT volunteers will be trained in disciplines such as basic first aid, map reading, search techniques, radio communications and volunteer coordination amongst other things. As well as gaining skills and experiences that can be useful in day-to-day life and in the workplace, volunteers will benefit from the camaraderie and strong bonds that working as part of a close-knit team brings.