THE Big Red Cross bus rolled into Chester as part of a nationwide campaign to recruit volunteers.

The double-decker bus was stationed outside the Town Hall on Northgate Street on Thursday promoting the charity.

In Cheshire, there is a huge shortage of ‘Care in the home’ volunteers, with only ‘a handful’ signed up to help up to 500 people a year.

Service manager for health and social care in Cheshire Lis Foster said: It’s all about support. We do shopping for people, make sure they’re eating properly, staying healthy.

“Sometimes all that is needed is a phone call.

“The family dynamic is different nowadays – all we do is what a family member, a friend or a neighbour would normally do.”

Outside the bus, volunteers gave demonstrations in CPR and basic first aid – and even the Town Crier stopped by to have a go.

Students Sarah Roberts, 16, and Paris Bartley, 15, have just finished their GCSE’s and were in the bus, signing up to volunteer.

Sarah said: “I knew I wanted to volunteer this summer, but I didn’t know how to approach it.

“When we saw the bus we thought it was a perfect opportunity.

“I’ll work with three or four people, offering emotional support, doing some shopping and checking that they are OK.