Last week we were contacted by DLUHC and asked if we could help with the evacuation of British citizens from Sudan
Twenty-four hours later we had established a Humanitarian Aid Centre (HAC) operating twenty hours a day, manned by UCAN staff and volunteers, supported by the British Red Cross. We were later joined by St. John’s Ambulance and Re:Act.
The HAC provided a welcome point for the hundreds of evacuees arriving at our International Border in Stansted. Once processed by Border Force, our team on the ground welcomed the British and Sudanese citizens, triaging their immediate needs and transporting them to the HAC where food, clothing, shelter and supplies were immediately available to the men, women and children. Emotional support was provided by the Red Cross – with many of the evacuees having experienced a traumatic journey to safety. Once assessed, travellers were supported with hotel accommodation and transport, onward travel to destinations across the UK where they had family, friends or homes, and we acted as a point of liaison with local authorities across England who were going to receive an influx of people who would need emergency accommodation.
The voluntary sector has played a vital role in repatriation of British citizens and their families. Working with colleagues from UDC we are now finding housing for the hundreds of people who were evacuated, while continuing to support them on a daily basis.
We also want to acknowledge everyone who supported us and looked after us on the ground, from the airport, to the hotels, bus drivers, cab drivers, retailers and everyone in between. Huge gratitude to the Emergency team from ECC who fought for what we needed, when we needed it.
We are one community working together for good.