Community Stories

Forterra Community Fund donation helps volunteers deliver emergency aid

Founded in 2009, the MCFR is an all-volunteer emergency service located in Measham, Leicestershire, close to our brickworks and Red Bank factory. Two of the founding volunteers are our very own Robert Burbidge and Ian Wagg, who have worked at Red Bank for 46 years and 50 years respectively. They, along with four other active volunteers, regularly devote up to 60 hours a month of their own time to the MCFR. Other volunteers serve whenever they are able to spare time outside of their work.

“We’re delighted to have received this donation,” says Ian. “Some of us volunteer regularly, up to 60 hours a month, and others work whenever they can, even if it’s only the occasional call,” he says. “What’s important is that every single volunteered hour matters. It directly contributes towards saving a life. Whatever hour, whatever time of day, we assist.”

In recent years, the group’s area of activity has increased from its original six-mile radius to a wider area covering approximately 15 miles around Measham, meaning response times are now more vital than ever. The addition of a new kit bag will help the team’s speed of response, as Ian explains, “We’d previously had to share kit bags, which, due to Covid-19, meant having to sanitise the bags between each use, or having to go and pick them up from a fellow volunteer’s house.

“With this donation from Forterra, the volunteers can save a lot of time knowing they have a kit bag ready to hand. Even just two minutes of time saved in transporting and carrying equipment can make a life-changing difference for our patients.

“We’re very grateful to Forterra for this donation; things like this make all the difference.”

The kit bad will be used to store and harness defibrillator equipment, oxygen and nitrogen tanks, and nitrogen masks.

In recognition of their work for the volunteer group, Robert and Ian were awarded the Official Commemorative Platinum Jubilee medal in May of this year.

Helen Newberry, Head of Communications at Forterra, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support a group that works so selflessly to help others. It’s great to see the amount of time and effort Ian and Robert and the other volunteers are giving to the MCFR.

“The award of the Platinum Jubilee Medal is also particularly impressive; Ian and Robert’s medals for their contribution to the emergency services are well deserved.

“The Forterra Community Fund aims to provide support for a variety of causes across the country. We welcome applications from organisations, groups and individuals that seek to make a difference to their local community.”

To apply for the Forterra Community Fund, please visit: