A WINCHESTER man has been celebrated for his work as part of International Volunteers Day.

It's held on December 5 and charity Rapid Relief Team (RRT) has paid tribute to his work. 

Jason Guest, 38, is based in Winchester and has more than a decade’s experience volunteering with the RRT which offers practical support to charities and emergency services.

He started volunteering with the RRT since its inception in 2013 and has been involved in numerous initiatives to support the Winchester community. 

In particular, Jason has worked with Hampshire Fire and Rescue as RRT volunteers are often deployed to the scene of emergencies to provide food and refreshments to the firefighters. 

Jason has been on the frontline at numerous incidents, providing vital support at the Potters Heron pub fire, the Ropley church fire, the Romsey recycling centre fire and a fire in a Hampshire County Council building in Winchester. 

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The RRT also provides emergency relief in cases of natural disaster, and Jason took an active role supporting the community and first responders at the Winchester floods of 2014, liaising with the local authorities and Steve Brine MP, who were coordinating the response. Jason spent multiple days delivering sandbags and sandbagging properties, as well as providing refreshments to affected residents, emergency services and even the Royal Navy who had been drafted in to help. 

Beyond emergencies, Jason has closely worked with Naomi House and Jacksplace by providing cooked meals and live music for the children and young people supported by the hospice. 

Jason has also taken part in numerous Big Sleepout events with Trinity Winchester, helping raise money to fight homelessness.

The RRT is the charitable arm of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and is dedicated to putting compassion into action. 

Jason said: “Helping those in need has always been important to me and volunteering for the RRT has been the perfect outlet for supporting my local community in Winchester. Nothing compares to the feel-good factor you get when you are able to provide genuine assistance to your neighbour in a time of need. 

“Volunteering has taught me many valuable lessons, including that you can never judge a book by its cover. Working with the RRT, I have seen people from all walks of life display courage, vulnerability, empathy, and kindness, which has been truly inspiring. 

“There is genuinely no limit to how far-reaching and effective a hot drink can be when served with a smile and a kind word to someone in need. I hope that occasions like the International Volunteers Day encourage more people to get involved in charitable activities and support their communities.”