Mark Cox

About Mark Cox

Mark brings you all the latest stories, news and quirky details about the Red Cross' work in the UK.

Posts by Mark Cox:

What the truck..? Big Dave’s 16-ton challenge

Truck-challenge-BLOGPeople have done all kinds of wacky things to raise money for the British Red Cross – but even for us, dragging a truck across a car park might just be a first.

Okay: so the skydiving 86-year-old granny was impressive. And that ‘human hamster’ chap who continuously ran around a track for 24 hours was something else.

But in terms of sheer implausibility, Dave Murray’s Herculean challenge – pulling a 16-ton truck for a back-breaking 60 yards – takes some beating. More

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

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

Why we need money, not goods, for Nepal

Nepal-kid-and-babyWe’ve been inundated with kind offers of all sorts of goods in the past week – but however well-intentioned, such donations won’t help. In big disasters, money talks.

News of the Nepal earthquake was barely out before the first calls came in.

People across the country had been moved by the distressing scenes on television and wanted to help. Many wanted to donate goods to send overseas – sleeping bags, tents, children’s clothes, kitchen utensils and even food.

But while the Red Cross is grateful for these offers, such an approach won’t work. Here’s why: More

Nepal earthquake: story of a village

Boy-doorIn the remote village of Sathighar – four hours north of Kathmandu – almost every house was destroyed. A Nepal Red Cross team was the first to reach the scene since the earthquake struck.

Donate to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Blue-skyIt’s difficult to overstate the severity of the situation. In this village, an overwhelming majority of people lost both their homes and livestock, and now have no way of getting food


The Red Cross arrived to find a scene of utter devastation: 11 people had been killed and many were injured. The surviving villagers were desperate for help. More

Nepal earthquake: then and now

Nepal then and now BLOGAlmost every news outlet is calling this week’s earthquake ‘the worst disaster to hit Nepal since 1934’. But what exactly happened 80 years ago – and how did the Red Cross help?

There’s precious little good news coming out of Nepal this week.

The death toll is rising. Infrastructure is hopelessly compromised. Getting enough food, shelter and medical care to so many people is going to be a huge challenge.

But there are positives in even the grimmest situations. For one thing: modern communications and transport have transformed disaster response in recent years. More