ITS been a busy year for Wiltshire based disaster response charity Team Rubicon UK, with two of the biggest storms hitting the Caribbean this year, hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The charity, which is made up of volunteers, is the first to arrive at the aftermath of a disaster, and works with search and rescue charity Serve On to help clear debris and work to help rebuild local communities and offer help and support in a time of need.

To date, Team Rubicon UK has cleared 20km of routes on Virgin Gorda, distributed 60,000 litres of purified water, delivered aid to over 6,500 beneficiaries, repaired 15 schools and 27 classrooms, and a total of 10,573 volunteer man hours worked.

Nick Parker, Chairman of the Board, Team Rubicon UK who lives in Warminster, said: “Team Rubicon was set up in the UK to make a difference when help is needed after natural disasters around the world.

“We have done everything we can for those affected by the hurricanes in the Caribbean and I am very proud of our volunteers who dropped everything at a moment’s notice and made this possible.”

“This is a new charity and I am so proud of what we have achieved in the past year, however there is still a huge amount to do.

“I am so grateful for the support we have received from the public, but most importantly for our wonderful volunteers.

Aswell as their incredible work overseas, Team Rubicon UK have been encouraging people in the UK to do their part for disaster stricken areas.

Over the Christmas period the team launched Operation Rudolph in collaboration with British Police forces, Rotary GBI and UNICEF.

Thanks to the generous donations of the public, over 3000 shoeboxes brimming with Children’s toys and 36 bikes, worth just under £40,000, is on its way to hurricane hit islands in the Caribbean.

Team Rubicon UK elves worked throughout the night to sort, shift, stack and wrap each and every one of the Christmas shoebox donations and bikes, which brought joy to underprivileged children on Christmas day.