A FIRE and rescue service volunteer who won an award for his work supporting the public in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena terror attack, is calling for more people to join the service.

Andre Felix, 32 is joining a recruitment campaign to encourage more volunteers to join Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’ volunteers team in Trafford, at a fun day to be held at Stretford Mall tomorrow.

Andre was one of six GMF&RS volunteers who were honoured by fire service bosses in recognition of their work managing crowds of people who turned out to lay wreaths at St Anne’s Square, in memory of those who were killed at the Ariana Grande concert last May 22.

He will be joined at Stretford Mall by fellow GMF&RS volunteers, who will bring along a decommissioned fire engine which plays music and blows bubbles from hoses, for children to play on.

The aim of the day is to enable families to have a fun day out at the shopping centre, while also raising awareness of the valuable work done by GMF&RS volunteers, often in the face of difficult circumstances.

Twenty two people, some of them children, died at the hands of suicide bomber Salman Albedi in the attack at Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017. More than 500 people were hurt in the atrocity, some suffering life-changing injuries.

“It was impossible not to feel sympathy for the grieving people,” said Andre. “The suicide bombing was a shocking incident and I felt I had to do everything possible to help families, relatives and friends mourning in its wake.

“People formed long queues at St Anne’s Square to lay down wreaths and commemorative balloons and candles in scenes I will never forget. It was impossible not be touched emotionally.”

So dedicated to his role is Andre that he volunteered for 365 hours in between March and December.

Luke Rees, volunteer co-ordinator for the Trafford area with GMFRS, said: “We currently have 288 volunteers with people coming and going constantly.

“In the past year, our volunteers have given a total of 33,000 hours and we have a target of 40,000 hours.”

A decommissioned fire engine and GMDRS mascot Cracker will also be there.

To learn more about being a GMFRS volunteer go to manchesterfire.gov.uk/join-us/become_a_volunteer/volunteer-profiles/