« Back to News

#Eleven11 roundup – stories from our members

Throughout November we ran a campaign called Eleven11 to encourage people to join our critical Team Rubicon Support Squad. Through a monthly donation of £11 or more, you can make a massive impact at Team Rubicon.  The beauty of Team Rubicon is our dual mission, where your money makes double the difference – by positively impacting both the communities affected by disasters who we assist, and the veterans who serve them.

We have brought you a series of stories from our diverse community of volunteers – how they got involved, what they’ve done and the difference Team Rubicon makes.

Just in case you missed any – here is a roundup of those stories.

Rose deployed to Greece on Operation Hermes and helped run a clinic at a Syrian refugee camp

Rose with a patient
Rose with a patient

Donations have enabled teams of appropriately qualified health care professionals to deploy with the resources they need to assess, diagnose and treat an extremely vulnerable community… I really enjoyed chatting to the Syrian and Iraqi refugees during my stay. Many longed to go home but knew that was unlikely and, for some, that it wouldn’t be in their lifetime. All I could leave behind was faith and hope that their current situation is transitional and that they will have a new place to call home soon.

Cliff deployed to Fort McMurray in Canada, where he helped a family find a loved pet amongst the devastation left after the wildfire

Cliff and fellow TR volunteers
Cliff and fellow TR volunteers

Sherie and Sheldon decided that they would like Mollie buried. I went back to my Team who were all visibly upset. Along with my colleague Keith, I got into the full PPE kit and I went into the property with Keith observing. I carried Mollie out and the two of us dug a grave.

Neil deployed to Haiti after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew

Neil works with locals to repair a school
Neil works with locals to repair a school

Because of the work we did to re-construct 2 schools, local school children returned to school on Tuesday, 17th of October. This left an emotional mark, not only on me, but also on my colleagues. It made us realise how fortunate we are in the UK. I have felt that our efforts have been appreciated by the local community, in their time of need.

Justine deployed to Louisiana after flash floods. 140,000 homes were affected and over a dozen lives tragically lost

Justine at work
Justine at work

One of the many great things about the trip for me was a how well the volunteers from 5 different nations, all previously strangers, worked so well together and made the hard work seem easy with humour… we were proud to represent the UK and worked just as hard for each other and for team Rubicon as we did for the communities we served. This experience has proved that strangers can unite and achieve great things given a common purpose, and have a lot of fun.

Manny deployed to Nepal in March 2016 as part of a service project to rebuild a school in the remote region of Ghorkha

Manny with a local in Nepal
Manny with a local in Nepal

PTSD has to do with guilt and you feel you are not wanted. You feel bad about yourself. So you join this team and come here. You are in a group of people who are always bringing up jokes so there’s something to laugh about all the time. They make you feel wanted. It’s amazing how all of a sudden you become the centre of something, someone is talking about you. It has helped me a lot. I am fit, I am controlling my PTSD and I have great friends now all over the world.

Brett was nominated for TRUK Volunteer of the Year 2016. He cooks for training weekends, helps in the office and will do anything to support the team

Brett, aka Superbrett.
Brett, aka Superbrett.

The work that TR does is awesome! I love doing something that will take pressure off others, and I am happy if people are happy. Disasters kill people, and destroy their lives; if I don’t stand up to help, I am not using my potential. There are a lot of people who need help, and there are a few people who are lending a hand. By getting involved with this worthy cause, I am standing up to poverty and disasters.

Fi is a placement volunteer at Team Rubicon

Fi and volunteers with Ops Manager Charlie and Tech Manager Chris, working on TR's Haiti response.
Fi and volunteers with Ops Manager Charlie and Tech Manager Chris, working on TR’s Haiti response.

When the advert for an Operations Placement Volunteer at Team Rubicon popped up on my Twitter feed I felt like all my Christmases had come at once.  Disaster relief charity. Check. Military veterans. Check. Injured veteran friendly. Check. Awesome team. Check.

Chris volunteers her time in the office to support the fundraising team

Chris in our offices
Chris in our offices

I have sold raffle tickets, packed Christmas cards, tidied the kitchen and done the washing-up!  all has been much appreciated by the team.  I love the “roll sleeves up and get on with it”, everyone is valued and treated equally whatever you are doing or whatever you bring to the table.  The team has the camaraderie and banter of the military without the rigidness and pecking order.

Bags deployed to Haiti on Op Trogon after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew

Bags and team at work in Morency, clearing debris and rebuilding the school
Bags and team at work in Morency, clearing debris and rebuilding the school

The locals immediately began to help out. Our arrival had given them a ray of hope and galvanised them into action and our band of workers quickly quadrupled in size.

Nick has been involved with Team Rubicon UK since its inception and deployed to the Philippines, Nepal and Haiti

Nick getting down and dirty
Nick getting down and dirty

For me ultimately it’s a desire to continue to serve and ensuring I do my part.  When my young daughters ask in years to come ‘what did I do to help?’ I can tell them with a clear conscience I did my utmost to have a positive impact.  Having the ability to serve again has not only renewed my own sense of purpose, but helps empower communities and rebuild resilience in both our volunteers and the communities in which we serve alike.

Tim was the first UK veteran to deploy with Team Rubicon and he has recently returned from Haiti

Tim repairing a roof in Haiti
Tim repairing a roof in Haiti

It hit me very hard then, that our own previous rivalries and competitiveness suddenly mattered not one bit. A team of like-minded individuals with a unifying bond of a desire to help people and continue to serve were doing simply that… I have always been and will always be proud to be British, but right then, I was much more proud to be simply Team Rubicon.

Gareth volunteered to help man the 24 hour ops room to support Operation Trogon in Haiti

Gareth joined our June 2016 training course
Gareth joined our June 2016 training course

I joined Team Rubicon to help others.  I know that sounds a bit clichéd but hey, it’s true.  Team Rubicon are an organisation with the same can-do attitude that I recognize from my 28 years of service; they also have a high level of expertise in the things that matter when dealing with the aftermath of disasters.  Oh, and they’re quite fun too.

Eleven11 banner

Find out more about Eleven11 and how you can join our Support Squad.

Leave a Reply