REACT: Born in disaster

In 2015, a deadly earthquake struck the Nepal capital, Kathmandu. Within days, a team of British Army veterans joined international relief efforts on the ground, working closely with a contingent of Gurkhas, applying their military skills and experience to aid the humanitarian response.

From the rubble, REACT Disaster Response (formerly Team Rubicon UK) was formed. A humanitarian charity designed to provide one thing: action.

Established by General Sir Nick Parker, former Commander of British Land Forces, REACT brought together a team of extraordinary people, united by purpose and driven by passion, who would push themselves further and harder to help people in need.

REACT has been responding to disasters ever since – to earthquakes in Nepal and Indonesia; to hurricanes in Mozambique and The Bahamas and to earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco. Saving lives and alleviating suffering; our aim is to be there for people in their darkest moments.

We’ve done it against the odds: without money, without reputation and support, without proper kit and equipment. We couldn’t afford to send large teams and put them up in hotels, so we sent small teams and put them up in tents. We didn’t have transport, so we made connections on the ground and secured rides in helicopters, trucks, tractors and anything we could.

We grew lean, agile and resilient while remaining determined to reach the most vulnerable. Our lack of resources wasn’t a weakness, but rather our resourcefulness was our strength. We could go to places others couldn’t.

Our Responders ventured to the remotest, most isolated, farthest corners of disaster; where international aid and large centralised resources couldn’t reach. We reached those people. We put ourselves in with communities in some of the worst-hit areas. We didn’t arrive with ready-made solutions but sought to learn and understand needs and work through challenges and problems together.

We became the link between cut-off communities and conventional humanitarian relief; getting aid that was needed to where it was most needed. We provided something different that filled a critical gap in the humanitarian sector: trained humanitarians who could be sent anywhere to take action and make things happen.

In March 2020, with the world gripped by the COVID-19 health pandemic, we mobilised our resources and deployed on our largest operation to date, this time on home soil.

We became better, stronger, more capable. We endeavour to go wherever we are most needed. 

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