Monday, 18 December 2017

Crew in Philippines to help typhoon victims

A SEARCH and rescue crew from Henley has flown to the Philippines to help those hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

A SEARCH and rescue crew from Henley has flown to the Philippines to help those hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

Eight members of the Emergency Response Team, which is based at Henley Business School, arrived in the devastated country on Tuesday.

They will provide medical care to some of the estimated 12,000 people injured by the typhoon.

The team, which is led by paramedic Gary Foo, from Shiplake, have joined up with a Canadian aid team and will stay in the Philippines for at least 10 days.

Jonathan Cox, trustee of the group, said: “They may do some search and rescue but it will be mostly medical care. People can die as a result of a cut finger so it’s quite important.

“They have taken generators and medical packs with them. All our guys are experienced and know what to expect. Most have done deployments before and some are on their first deployment but everyone is trained and experienced. It’s all about the dedication of these people who have the desire to go and help and the ability to do so. If they save one life out there you can’t put a price on it.”

The Emergency Response Team was founded in 2002 and registered as a charity in 2004 as it is funded by donations. The members are trained volunteers and in recent years they have provided help in Pakistan, Haiti and New York as well as working on domestic emergencies such as floods and search and rescues.

Meanwhile, events have been held across Henley to raise money for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.

The British Red Cross held a collection outside Tesco on Saturday and Sunday as part of a fund- raising weekend at the company’s stores nationwide.

Rebecca McIlhone, from the charity, said: “We had six volunteers in Henley on Saturday and part of Sunday collecting for the appeal.

“We haven’t been able to count up the amount in the individual buckets yet but the total raised in Oxfordshire was £3,600. The response has been amazing and there have been cases in other parts of the country of people dropping £100 in the bucket.

“Our buckets are averaging around £250, which is great but means they are sometimes too heavy to carry!”

Reading band The Fourbury donated the proceeds from their gig at Lovibonds brewery on Friday to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Philippines appeal.

The band, comprising guitarists Nick Wills and Brendan Melck, bassist Jon Mackley and drummer Palli Juliusson, raised £167 through bar sales and a collection bucket by the stage. Mr Wills, 43, from Twyford, said: “When we saw the pictures from the Philippines it was a no-brainer really.

“Some of the images were awful and we had to do something, so the obvious thing was to turn the gig into a fund-raiser. People were very generous.”

Shiplake College’s charities steering committee organised “Mufti Monday” in which staff and pupils donated a minimum of £2 to wear their own clothes for the day.

Headmaster Gregg Davies said: “I am very impressed with the rapid response of the committee. I am hoping that we can raise in excess of £1,000 for the victims of Typhoon Haiyon.”

Sacred Heart primary in Henley raised more than £500 with a non-school uniform day on Friday.

The school’s 201 pupils came in wearing their own clothes in exchange for ma donation to Children in Need and the Philippines appeal.

* Last week, Live Aid organiser Peter Burness-Smith, who lives in Henley, urged the town council to donate £4 million to the Philippines appeal. In a poll at www.henley standard.co.uk, 34 per cent of respondents agreed with him.

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