Black Friday: how to survive it

Xmas-shopping-crowd-BLOGThe Thanksgiving shopping bonanza is the latest American import to reach these shores – but who knew getting a bargain could be such dangerous work?

They came; they saw; they had a dust-up.

As the clock struck twelve last night, thousands of ravenous bargain-hunters crammed themselves into Britain’s stores – closely followed by scores of police officers.

While speakers rang out with Tis the season to be jolly, numerous scuffles and punch-ups erupted in the aisles as shoppers jostled for heavily discounted goods. More

Cast your vote before the general election

Prime Minister David Cameron chats to British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson at the Conservative party conference 2014.

Prime Minister David Cameron chats to British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson.

As the UK heads towards the general election next year, we’re shouting louder than ever about the issues that matter to you – and we need your help to see things change.

Have you checked out our online ‘pledge’ map?

By filling out a short form, you can pin support for key issues: from asylum to health care.

Around 350 of you have already done just that – and we hope to boost this number over coming months.

After all, the general election is just around the corner (next May), so there’s no better time to make sure parliament’s listening.

Politicians have the power to change policy – but we’re the ones who can push them. Which issues matter most to you? More

Ebola: dignity in death

The Ebola outbreak has dramatically changed funerals in affected parts of West Africa.

Mourners have been replaced by Red Cross burial teams, sealed in sweltering protective suits.

Rituals such as washing the bodies of loved ones before the burial have been abandoned. They are simply too dangerous, as the disease is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. This risk remains even after the person has died.

Since the outbreak began in March, Red Cross teams working across Ebola-hit areas have given more than 5,400 people safe, dignified burials. It’s not an easy task, as these photos of teams in action in Liberia show.
A crowd watches as a body on a stretcher is carried from a house
More

Iraq: Life inside a refugee camp

A boy walking with a crate and large plastic bag

© Raefah Makki/IFRC

Fighting in Iraq has forced more than a million people to flee their homes. The Khanke refugee camp, near the city of Dohuk, is home to more than 1,000 families.

Explore our gallery and discover life in the camp – where the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is helping vulnerable people get vital food and clean water.

More

‘Have yourself a very Red Cross Christmas…’

With only a month to go until the unwrapped pressies and stuffed turkey (and bellies), here are some ways to get into the festive spirit.

1. Buy our Christmas single

A bevy of music stars – going under the name The Peace Collective – have recorded The Farm’s 1990 hit song, All Together Now, to raise money for us. It’s released on 15 December.Xmas-single

Featured stars include Alexandra Burke, David Gray, Gabrielle, The Proclaimers, I Am Kloot, Holly Johnson, and band members from Massive Attack, Cast and The Sugababes. More

Aid worker describes life off the map

A woman stands in front of a painting of a red cross

© Matthew Percival/BRC

The Missing Maps project is urging volunteers to go online and help map some of the world’s most vulnerable countries. This work will make sure communities are better placed to withstand and recover from disaster.

British Red Cross logistician Megan Bassford explains why taking part could make a huge difference to people hit by crisis.

Megan’s job includes getting aid and aid workers past mudslides, military checkpoints and hundreds of other obstacles in the wake of disasters. Without people like her, vital help such as food parcels and blankets would never reach those who need it most. More

Ebola outbreak: “I’m good, don’t worry about me”

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Sylla Fatoumata’s mobile phone vibrates every few minutes, making the table between us wobble.

Occasionally she glances at the screen and smiles. “My boys,” she tells me, shaking her head and laughing. “They contact me every day to see how I am.”

But Sylla is not a mother. The 28-year-old is the youngest of three sisters and, when the Ebola virus disease crept into Guinea’s capital Conakry, in March, she became the Red Cross focal point for safe and dignified burials in the city.

More