Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Sam brings you the latest stories, interviews and updates about British Red Cross work in Syria, Africa and the Americas.

Posts by Sam Smith:

100 years since Passchendaele – through the eyes of Red Cross ambulance drivers

By

passchendaele-3

The Battle of Passchendaele has become synonymous with the horrors of World War One and human sacrifice.

The incessant bombardment and heavy rain turned the Belgian battlefield into a quagmire. Tanks became immobilised, while soldiers and horses drowned in the mud.

More

How to volunteer to help your community in an emergency

By
Community reserve volunteers at a response exercise in Southampton - ©BritishRedCross/Andrew Hasson

Community reserve volunteers at a response exercise – ©BritishRedCross/Andrew Hasson

An exciting new campaign launches this week and we need your help.

The British Red Cross is aiming to recruit 10,000 volunteers across the UK who can help out when disaster strikes their local community.

The ‘community reserve volunteers’ will work together as a team during major emergencies, such as flooding.

They could also help out during other incidents such as a terror attack, or a major fire.

More

From pillowcase to grab bag: preparing youngsters for natural disasters

By
©BritishRedCross/ChrisBull

Westholme Junior School – ©BritishRedCross/ChrisBull

The world is reeling from a series of devastating natural disasters. From Hurricane Harvey and the flooding in South Asia, to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

We can’t avoid natural disasters, but through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement we can help people prepare for them – such as by teaching people to have a grab bag ready.

When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the American Red Cross noticed children using their pillowcases to carry their possessions to the rest centres.

Cue the Pillowcase Project: now even UK children are getting ready to face the worst with their pillowcase ‘grab bags’.

More

Widowed, homeless and hungry – the desperate plight of people fleeing Myanmar

By
©IFRC/AJGhani

Rajuma Khatun fled Myanmar with her two children – ©IFRC/AJGhani

Life for people fleeing violence in Myanmar does not get any easier when they reach Bangladesh, as Corinne Ambler reports.

At the age of 25, Rajuma Khatun is a mother, a widow, and without a home. She is also exhausted.

The mother-of-two has barely eaten or slept since arriving in Bangladesh, having fled the violence in Myanmar.

It took her family seven days to travel from their home in Rakhine State to the relative safety of a settlement in Thangkhali, near the border.

More

‘Hurricane Maria is slowing the relief effort, but it won’t stop us’

By
Volunteers register people in need of help

Volunteers register people in need of help

Hurricanes Irma and Maria have brought widespread destruction to the Caribbean. Trevor Queeley, from the Anguilla Red Cross, says Maria is delaying the aid effort, but his teams are eager to get back to helping people.  

Hurricane Maria is battering our shores, less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma brought devastation to Anguilla. As I write this, people are sheltering from powerful winds and tropical storm conditions.

We don’t have any reports of injuries on Anguilla as yet, but that could change. I know some people have lost their temporary shelter materials, such as tarpaulins, so we’ll need additional supplies.

But we’re lucky that we’re only experiencing the outer edges of Hurricane Maria.

More

From discussing beans on toast to campaigning against landmines, memories of Princess Diana’s work with the Red Cross

By
Diana visiting children at Hindleap Warren in 1985

Diana visiting children at Hindleap Warren in 1985

Next week marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death. Throughout her life, the Princess was a dedicated humanitarian who championed causes in the UK and overseas. We look back on her journey with the Red Cross.

Princess Diana was always committed to using her public profile to bring about positive change.

A firm believer in the power of young people, she became patron of the Red Cross Youth in 1983, which gave her an increasingly visible role with the British Red Cross.

In July 1985, Diana visited a Red Cross adventure camp for disabled children at Hindleap Warren, in East Sussex.

Barbara Summerfield, 85, from Saltdean, was a youth officer at the time and has fond memories of Diana’s visit.

“What went down well, more than anything else, was that Diana was a real person who the children could talk to,” said Barbara.

Diana spending time with children at Hindleap Warren in 1985

Diana spending time with children at Hindleap Warren in 1985

More

India partition – looking back at the Red Cross response to the refugee crisis

By
Milk is distributed at refugee children at a camp in Multan, Pakistan

Milk is distributed to children at a refugee camp in Multan, Pakistan – ©BritishRedCross

India and Pakistan are celebrating 70 years of independence next week. While their new-found independence was a cause for celebration, the partition of British India in August 1947 triggered one of the largest population movements in history as millions were displaced. We take a look at how the British Red Cross responded to the crisis.

The partition of India and subsequent creation of Pakistan came after years of campaigning for Indian independence from British rule.

Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, who would become India’s first prime minister, and Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the first governor general of Pakistan, lobbied and protested tirelessly along with countless others for the sovereignty independence offered.

More