A Southampton nurse is helping families in Morocco rebuild their lives following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake.

Sarah McBride, 40, a former British army nurse of 23 years, became a member of the REACT Disaster Response charity 11 months ago.

After an earthquake devastated much of the Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco on September 8, Sarah was one of 12 volunteers selected to join the relief effort in the country two weeks ago – providing those most affected with shelter and medical care in the Atlas Mountains.

Sarah told the Echo: “Our job is to get out here as fast as possible and find out what people need.

Daily Echo:

“We’re not a huge non-government organisation, we’re just a small group of volunteers who want to help, so we don’t bring a huge amount with us.

“It’s literally a case of seeing what people need and sourcing a lot of the supplies locally.”

Sarah’s background as an army nurse for more than two decades saw her deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Ireland, and Sierra Leone.

The 40-year-old’s time as a REACT responder also saw her travel to Turkey in February after a 4.5 magnitude earthquake affected both Turkey and Syria.

Sarah said: “You’ve got to be resilient; we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t having an impact.

Daily Echo:

“In Morocco, we’ve had to hike up to the Atlas Mountains and pitch our own tents each night – there certainly isn’t a hotel waiting for you.

“It’s a lot like the army in many ways, having to fend for yourself and go to the toilet in a bag!”

Sarah added: “Some of the villages have fully collapsed and we need to be there for those who have nowhere to go right now – making sure they aren’t hurt – giving them the proper care if they are, and giving them shelter.

Daily Echo:

“Last week we met a lady who had twins in the days before the earthquake.

“One of the children was fine, but the other wasn’t eating and vomiting.

“The mum was really concerned – if this was back home the baby would be in a neonatal unit, but it’s very remote here.

“Fortunately, we were put in touch with a French nurse who could give us some hydration fluids and the twins are now drinking milk and are much better.

“Stories like that make the job very rewarding, but I’d encourage everyone back home to support the charity where they can, we’d be very grateful.”