On Friday 12th April Torbay RRT received a call from Devon County Council Emergency planning department asking if they could provide food for 30 Vietnamese Foreign Nationals who had been detained. They were rescued from a van that had been stopped on the M5 and had not eaten for 4 – 5 days.
The RRT Team was immediately mobilised and was on site within 90 minutes. Over the next 3 days the team provided around 300 meals to the detainees, as well as Police officers, Devon County Staff, Immigration Staff and Red Cross workers.
An article from the BBC explains further details about this event. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-47921515.
A letter of thanks from Devon County Council is below.
On behalf of Devon County Council I would like to express our thanks to you and to the Rapid Relief Team for the prompt response to the call-out and excellent service you provided on the 12th April and following days in providing catering facilities at the Victim Reception Centre established for the police and other agencies to process the Vietnamese nationals who had been intercepted earlier in the day.
I understand that your organisation prepared and served nearly 300 meals to the victims and various support staff who were dealing with them.
The emergency responders very much appreciate the assistance provided by all of the voluntary sector and whilst this was a police led response, and Devon County Council were initially just assisting in the coordinating it was nevertheless reassuring to the Emergency Planning team who work under me that the cascade process worked and that if the RRT were required to support a Rest Centre we could be confident that you would do your upmost to assist.
There will be a debrief around the incident and we will be making sure everyone is aware of the sterling work RRT did.
Once again please pass on our thanks to all of your volunteers.
Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity”
Further feedback from the Detective Sergeant is below.
I would definitely like to pass on some feedback as your team were amazing. Firstly what a friendly helpful and efficient team they were. Arrived always on time, even when asked to start early the following morning after they had all worked so hard and for so long. The food was excellent, plentiful and very appropriate for the hungry group. They continuing provided my team with teas and coffee which was so needed, as at times none of us had time even to get up and make a drink. I actually can’t give them enough praise.. they kept everyone going and they played a huge part in making a difficult situation an manageable and enjoyable experience. We couldn’t have done it with them.. not just what they did but who they were.. amazing and truly great people. I can’t thank them enough.
Thank you .. what a great team. Also as a member of public, now having the experience of working alongside you all, you would definitely be a charity I support in the future. I think that is the biggest compliment you could get. To see you all in action.. money truly well spent.”
The RRT Team were glad to be able to provide care and compassion for these individuals in their time of need.