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Scientology Volunteer Ministers begin year-long tour
MANCHESTER—The local arm of Church of Scientology-led relief group, the Volunteer Ministers, today announced planned stops along a 12-month tour of the North West, bringing their travelling disaster relief exhibition to cities and towns across the region.
The Volunteer Ministers 'Cavalcade' exhibition will make its way to a different location every week, with stops including central Manchester, Trafford, Rusholme, Middleton, Prestwich and Wythenshawe. The exhibition, housed in a marquee of the volunteer group's trademark yellow colour, includes information about what they have done to help with major disasters, as well as describing solutions to more minor community or individual difficulties faced daily.
The yellow-shirted volunteer corps have provided help at high-profile disasters such as 9/11, the South-East Asian tsunami in 2005, and the recent earthquake near Rome. On a more local basis, the Volunteer Ministers could be seen assisting the emergency services at a rail crash in Cumbria, providing help to displaced residents of flood-stricken South Yorkshire, and catering to the needs of 24-hour police guards in London following the 7th July bombings.
"It's not just major disasters we tend to," says volunteer coordinator Lisa Brinkman from the Church of Scientology in Manchester, however. "Our volunteers are trained to organise and calm people in any situation, and provide help and advice for more everyday disasters like marriage troubles and drug addiction."
The volunteers say their practical organisation and assistance skills can be learned and used by people of any religion or background, including pain and stress relief methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, called 'assists', which the Volunteer Ministers use to help people who are distressed or injured, after medical first aid has been administered.
The Manchester-based team are said to be looking forward to touring their exhibition around their area, which will be joined by a larger national exhibit as it tours the United Kingdom and Ireland. A spokesperson for the volunteers warned however that exhibitions could be postponed in the event of major disasters requiring urgent response—in America the Scientologists' disaster response team are members of 'National Voluntary Organisations Active in Disaster' (NVOAD), while their UK team have worked with the Metropolitan Police's London Resilience Team since rendering assistance in the aftermath of the July 2005 bombings there.
For more information about the Volunteer Ministers, visit their website: www.volunteerministers.org.