What was your role during the response to 7/7?
“I was seconded from The Salvation Army to the London Resilience Team which was based in the Government Office for London, a team made up of civil servants, emergency services personnel and other agencies who were all part of the emergency response. The team was set up to consider London's emergency planning capability.”
How many members of The Salvation Army were on the scene at the time?
“Over a period of six to eight weeks, more than five hundred Salvation Army personnel responded to needs related to the 7/7 attacks.”
What kind of services/help did The Salvation Army offer at the time?
“The Salvation Army provided practical and emotional support to responders at the incident sites and assisted in the Humanitarian Assistance Centre set up to provide support for all those affected by the bombings. We provided emotional and practical support and facilitated faith support at the mortuary family viewing area. We also provided personnel to assist at the telephone helpline set up for those affected by the incidents.”
When was The Salvation Army first deployed?
“The Salvation Army’s mobile canteens were deployed very soon after the first reported incident and were requested to attend by the London Fire Brigade.”
What are your lasting impressions of 7/7?
“Ten years on, my lasting impressions of that time were so many people working together for the good of everyone affected. The day made me realise, in spite of wickedness, there are also people who do extraordinary things to ensure that the people affected are treated as kindly as possible.”
In the midst of such evil and suffering, what impact did it have on your faith?
“Rather than make me question my faith, it actually confirmed my faith in the fundamental goodness of people. It also made me realise that, in traumatic times, people do turn to faith for support.”