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:

Yemen crisis: an urgent plea for change from the Red Cross

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A young girl in Yemen stands on a steep pile of rubble holding a doll

© ICRC

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, spent this week meeting people in war-torn Yemen. He has released the following statement calling on all parties to the conflict to take steps now to alleviate the dire situation. 

I am leaving Yemen profoundly concerned for the plight of its people. The cholera outbreak remains alarming.

With the rainy season approaching, we expect more than 600,000 cases by the end of the year. This is unprecedented.

This outbreak is manmade. It is a direct consequence of more than two years of warfare. The health-care system has collapsed, with people dying from easily-treatable chronic diseases.

Key services like garbage disposal have ceased to function, as I saw all too clearly in Taiz.

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Meet the former heroin addict helping Grenfell Tower fire victims

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Carl volunteers for the Red Cross

Photo credit: Lexi Finnigan / British Red Cross

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

“If you saw me walking towards you at night you would be scared. The tattoos, the shaved head, the missing teeth. I get that, I understand that. People judge me by the way I look but once they speak to me I can explain. I’ve done a lot of taking in my life and now it’s time to give something back.”

Carl Chant is a 43-year-old ex-heroin addict from Llanelli, near Swansea. After being abused at the age of 12, he ran away from home and after living on the streets spent 13 years on and off in prison for robbery, drug dealing and burglary.

Today he sits at a British Red Cross table outside the Westway Sports Centre in west London – registering and supporting those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

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‘There’s no normal life’ – Grenfell fire victims share their stories

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grenfelltowerfire-20

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

Every day a steady flow of people pass through the doors of the Westway Sports Centre seeking help in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Each person has a story to tell. Three local residents share their stories and how the British Red Cross has helped them.

James Woodley

James lives opposite Grenfell Tower. Shortly after the fire broke out, he saw smoke filling the windows of residents’ homes.

“I saw three young children, all aged four to five, screaming for help. It was extremely distressing,” James recalls.

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Why I’m volunteering to help victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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The incredible generosity in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire has seen people from all walks of life volunteering to help. The British Red Cross drafted in trained volunteers from across the country to help. Three volunteers share their stories. 

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

Red Cross volunteer Debie

Debi Haden, 50, a psychosocial support team member, from Norfolk

When you see the enormity of the situation, you can’t be anything but compelled to do something. I can’t change what has happened, I can’t take away the feelings people are experiencing, or what they’ve seen.

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Grenfell Tower fire: Red Cross response

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©MattPercival/BritishRedCross

©MattPercival/BritishRedCross

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

Responding to emergencies in the UK is at the heart of British Red Cross work.

Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers and staff have helped people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire since the immediate aftermath.

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What to do if you’ve been affected by Grenfell Tower fire

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For the latest information on how we are supporting people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

This page is aimed at people directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

It is for residents, friends, family and neighbours. It will be updated with the latest official information about how to get help.

Assistance Centre 

People affected by the fire can go to the Assistance Centre, located at The Curve, No 10 Bard Road, Nottingdale, West London, W10 6TP.

The centre is open 10am to 8pm.

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Community comes together after Grenfell Tower tragedy

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More than 30 Red Cross volunteers have been deployed since the incident started - ©MattPercival/BrtishRedCross

Dozens of Red Cross volunteers have been helping since the fire –
©MattPercival/BritishRedCross

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

 

“The community spirit is incredible, absolutely incredible,” said Phil Osler, reflecting on the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London.

“There is a constant stream of people coming in with offers of help – clothing, toiletries, food – everybody coming together, regardless of background or religion.

“At one point I was talking to a rabbi, an imam, and a pastor. Everyone is there for one thing and that is to help.” More

Loneliness in the UK: “If you’ve got the spare time, what better way is there of using it?”

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Volunteering, loneliness, UK

Gareth Spencer volunteers with the Red Cross in Wales – ©TimMossford/UNP

Whether he’s repairing shoes or volunteering, Gareth Spencer is certainly finding different ways to help people put their best foot forward. 

The part-time cobbler from Pontypridd, Wales, is a volunteer for the British Red Cross. Over the past year, he’s helped many people overcome issues like loneliness. You could too.

“If you’ve got the spare time, what better way is there of using it?” said Gareth. More