When first aid is an extreme sport

Ten-Tors-helicopter-volunteer-BLOGLong hours? Check. Remote locations? Check. Sleeping outdoors during a howling gale? No problem. Meet the hardcore first aiders who just can’t say no.

Mention the words ‘Ten Tors’ to a Devon teenager and they’ll most likely shudder with dread.

No wonder. The annual Ten Tors challenge – a gruelling, two-day event – has become a rite of passage for thousands of young people living across the south west of England. And it’s brutal.

Ten-Tors-girls-jumping-Saturday-BLOGEach May, 2,400 hardy souls spend a weekend trekking up to 55 miles across the desolate slopes of Dartmoor and over several ‘tors’ [small hills]. The ground’s uneven. The terrain’s hard to navigate. Weather conditions can be treacherous.

Even worse, the teenagers carry heavy backpacks. They sleep out in tents, whatever the weather. Oh, and they’re trekking against the clock. More

Volunteering in the worst crisis most people have never heard of

©ICRC/AnnibaleGreco

©ICRC/AnnibaleGreco

In this personal and poignant account, a Red Cross volunteer speaks about the attacks and intimidation she and her colleagues face in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Edwige Marina has helped countless families torn apart by conflict in CAR, but the Red Cross volunteer never envisaged that her own family would become victims of the violence.

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Tents, tarpaulins and tigers: mountain communities in Nepal struggle to cope

What remains of a home in Khalckok - ©IFRC/MerlijnStoffels

What remains of a home in Khalckok – ©IFRC/MerlijnStoffels

To the casual observer, the road between Kathmandu and Kavere gives a misleading impression of the destruction caused by April’s earthquake.

Life goes on as normal and homes and shops are untouched. It’s not until you turn off the road at the town of Sangha and travel two miles up a bumpy dirt track into the surrounding hills that the true picture of this disaster unfolds.

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How the ‘Facebook for refugees’ will help reunite families

@ICRC/Pawel Krzysiek

@ICRC/Pawel Krzysiek

When conflict erupts in your community, it’s all too easy to become separated from your family in the rush to safety.

For those who manage to escape, their relief is often tempered by concern for missing loved ones.

Helping to reunite families separated by conflict or disaster is a core Red Cross service, and a new website has given our work a huge boost in South Sudan.

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The secret to surviving a severed hand

Photograph: BBC Wales News

When Edryd Jones accidentally power-sawed off his own hand, he thought it was curtains. But he had a secret weapon: quick-thinking neighbours.

It sounds like something from a shlock-horror movie.

Late last year, retired teacher Edryd Jones was cutting through wooden planks in his bedroom as part of a DIY project, when the unthinkable happened.

He told The Guardian: “I didn’t realise my hand had gone until I went to pick up a piece of wood and it wasn’t there. It was on the floor. I thought I was going to bleed to death.” More

Thanks for another brilliant Red Cross Week

Team Red Cross

You did us proud with your fundraising prowess last week – and there’s still plenty of time to send in your life-saving cash.

Red Cross Week may be over for another year, but that doesn’t mean the fun ends here.

You can still get your fix of amazing challenges and events over the coming months: from family-friendly walks to moonlit cycle rides.

In the meantime, let’s look back on what you got up to over six action-packed days.

Hair-raising antics

You certainly pulled out all the stops to raise money. Some of you lost hair, dignity and the ability to sit down in your bid to help out a good cause. More