DISASTER RELIEF engineers gathered en masse last week for charity RedR's annual general meeting and 21st birthday party and raised £700 in the process.
Over 200 members of the disaster relief register and training organisation joined patron HRH Princess Anne to celebrate the charity's 'coming of age' and took the opportunity to set out plans for development.
RedR director Bobby Lambert highlighted the charity's successes over the last 21 years and said that the focus had to remain firmly on the needs of those suffering from disasters. 'As is clear from the situation in Afghanistan, the need for effective humanitarian responses is at least as pressing as it was when RedR was founded 21 years ago, ' he said.
However, Lambert added: 'Although RedR is now well established as an influential and effective force in disaster relief, there is much more that it can do. Central to this challenge is harnessing the talents of its 1,600 members to the full.'
This point was made as the AGM elected four new members - Nicola Adams, Paul Cheshire, Robert Hodgson and John Howard - to RedR's 11-strong board. This remains under the chairmanship of Buro Happold's Rod MacDonald.
In a presentation to the meeting, RedR member Jim Clarke also emphasised that it was vital for relief agencies to work closely with local communities.
He called for greater local participation in all projects undertaken by RedR engineers. More real life experience was pro- vided by Frank Greaves, who spoke about his recent work as a water and sanitation engineer in flood stricken Mozambique.
Nine of RedR's supporting organisations took part in an exhibition at the AGM, including Binnie Black & Veatch, People in Aid, IT Publications, Mott Macdonald, Conrico, Merlin, WS Atkins and Oxfam. Unfortunately, interest in exhibiting outstripped the space available.
The formal AGM was followed by a birthday party in the Great Hall at Great George Street.
RedR members past and present plus guests took the opportunity to renew old friendships while dancing the night away.
The auction of a signed football donated by Arsenal Football Club raised £285 and the raffle brought in a further £400.