What do you do as a Team Rubicon volunteer?

Our volunteers’ skills include debris management, rapid assessment, spontaneous volunteer management, mapping, hasty home repair,  incident management and medical support. Greyshirts (that's what we call our volunteers) offer critical support in tough, constantly changing scenarios by being able to adapt rapidly as situations develop.

Disaster Response

Team Rubicon volunteers use their skills to support communities affected by disaster at home and abroad. There's a role for everyone.

Service Projects and Community

We work with communities to support rebuilding projects in the wake of disasters, as well as working to build community resilience. We also support partner charities. Our community of volunteers is always looking at ways to serve others.

Training

After our induction course, volunteers have the opportunity to pursue further training in skills necessary for disaster response work, choosing their own path with Team Rubicon.

Meet our volunteers

If you're wondering what our volunteers are like - chances are, they're like you.

Our community of volunteers is welcoming and passionate about service to others. Around 80% of our volunteers are Armed Forces veterans or are still in active service, with the remainder of our number being civilians with applicable skills – ambulance paramedics, firefighters, IT consultants, telecomms experts and more. Many of our volunteers say that the greatest strength of Team Rubicon is in the diversity of our membership and the variety of complimentary skills volunteers have, all working towards the shared goal of serving those in need.

In joining Team Rubicon, I rediscovered something I hadn’t realised I had lost after leaving the military. My problems suddenly seemed trivial compared to those living through a disaster. This allowed me to move forward with a reinvigorated sense of perspective and purpose.

Bags Simmons
British Army Veteran

I often found myself reflecting on my first Team Rubicon deployment during which my mentor would regularly ask me, “Are you in control?”. TR has certainly taught me new skills and has provided me with the opportunity to work in challenging environments.

Rose Pescod
Ambulance Paramedic

This experience has proved that strangers can unite and achieve great things given a common purpose, and have a lot of fun. It’s been an experience I’ll never forget and has given me so many ideas of new ways I can give back.

Justine Gosling
NHS Physiotherapist and Adventurer

Hear from our volunteers

Get stories of service from Greyshirts

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more? Get in touch.

What is Roll Call?

Roll Call is our shiny new volunteer management community. Signing up to Roll Call puts you right on our books and lets us know more about you. You can return to Roll Call any time to update your profile, start your induction training and find out about further training opportunities. You need to be signed up on Roll Call in order to deploy on operations.

Where do teams deploy?

Wherever disasters occur. Team Rubicon goes where aid is needed most, as long as we can reasonably assure the safety of our volunteers and staff. In the past two years Team Rubicon has deployed on over 20 operations in the UK and internationally to destinations from Cornwall and Tadcaster to Haiti and Uganda.

Find out what it takes to deploy internationally.

I have a lot of free time - how can I get involved?

We are developing a training pipeline focused on funneling volunteers through relevant disaster response and management courses. These courses prepare volunteers to assume greater degrees of responsibility within the organisation. Sign up to ensure that you always hear about the latest training opportunities.

Apart from training, we aim to deliver regular service projects and deliberate operations in the UK and internationally – again, signing up as a volunteer means you will be the first to hear about these opportunities.

Finally, if you have free time but you can’t necessarily commit to deployments, or you are not able to for any reason, we always need support with admin and operations both at our Chilmark HQ and regionally.

I have PTSD - can I still participate?

PTSD is the signature wound of Iraq and Afghanistan, and many veterans are suffering from it – diagnosed or otherwise. Team Rubicon feels that it can help veterans suffering from mental and emotional wounds by providing newfound purpose, community and sense of self. However, disaster response is, by nature, dangerous work, and it requires all participants to be mentally and emotionally capable.

I am a disabled veteran - can I still participate?

Of course! We only ask that you know your own limitations. There are many roles in disaster response, many of which are perfectly suited for a veteran with physical limitations.

How much does it cost?

Team Rubicon goes to great lengths to make sure that volunteers don’t incur expenses while on operations. When a volunteer is activated through official channels, their transportation, meals, and lodging are paid for. Team Rubicon will also provide the necessary equipment and supplies, but asks that volunteers bring their own personal gear (good work boots, proper clothing, travel bag, personal hygiene kit, etc).

What do volunteers do on deployments?

Domestically, Team Rubicon’s operations focus on expedient home and infrastructure repair, flood recovery, and debris management, as well as post-disaster damage assessments (PDDA’s). In addition to a direct response role, TR has also taken on command and control responsibilities in support of local Emergency Operations Centers and large-scale spontaneous volunteer management.

Internationally, Team Rubicon volunteers have performed everything from medical relief and training to water and sanitary health (WASH) operations and and refugee camp management.

Each disaster is its own unique situation, and TR will always tailor its response in order to make the largest impact possible. While many of our operations address gaps in aid during emergent disasters, Team Rubicon will also deploy teams in proactive settings, which can be planned months in advance. Check out the mission map for more information on what Team Rubicon is capable of.

Who gets to go on deployments?

Any Team Rubicon member who has fully completed their volunteer sign up form, taken a DBS check and completed induction training is eligible for deployment. Some missions will require a specialised set of skills or geographic proximity to the disaster zone. When Team Rubicon deploys, TR HQ and the incident commander work to ensure the teams on the ground are properly equipped and prepared for the situation. International missions usually require a specialised skill set and a valid passport.