Category: Appeals

Beyond the refugee boats: everybody has a story

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At first it was almost too shocking to believe.

Whole families were putting their lives at risk in flimsy boats, crossing the Mediterranean to Europe.

Then it became a sad but familiar part of the nightly news.

Now, maybe we even take it for granted.

But can we really understand why people would make such a dangerous journey – one that has killed over 8,000 travellers in two years?

Maybe Hannah’s story will help to explain.

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Learning lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire

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Mike at Grenfell Tower

Mike at Grenfell Tower ©BRC

Last year was one of the most challenging times in the history of the British Red Cross.

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire and terror attacks in London and Manchester, we responded on an unprecedented scale.

This included raising £28m for the people affected, sorting through 200 tonnes of donations and managing a 24-hour support line. Overall, we helped almost 2,300 people affected by these terrible tragedies.

From this, the Red Cross and other organisations that respond to emergencies have learned important lessons about how we support people in times of crisis. One of these is that all organisations involved in a crisis must work closely together.

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“I am proud to work here”: a doctor at a Red Cross clinic shares his story

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For many people, the first they see of Dr Mesbha Ahmed is his rainbow umbrella.

Carrying the umbrella, he walks through the sprawling camp that’s now home to almost 700,000 people who fled their homes in Myanmar last August.

In the camp’s heat and dust, diseases can spread quickly.

To help, the Red Cross and our partners the Bangladesh Red Crescent run a surgical field hospital and eight clinics. Together, they treat thousands of patients.

Then one day a week, Dr Ahmed’s mobile clinic reaches people who can’t get to the other health centres.

So when families see the doctor’s bright umbrella, they know that his clinic is ready to help.

Here, Dr Ahmed explains how the mobile clinic helps save lives.

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“It’s been such an amazing journey” – Hollie Booth and RISE in Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals

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Thirteen-year-old Hollie Booth from Sheffield is just like any other teenage girl who loves Ariana Grande and lives to dance.

Caught up in the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May last year, Hollie’s aunt Kelly Brewster was tragically killed, while Hollie herself was left seriously injured.

But she was determined to do all she could to recover and return to her passion of dancing.

Now she and her dance troupe, RISE Unbroken, are preparing to perform live on national TV – on one of the biggest talent shows in the country.

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Why we’re climbing Mount Everest, by Ben Fogle and Victoria Pendleton

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Wearing cold weather gear, Ben Fogle stands at the top of Mount Everest with his arms outstretched

© Fisher Creative

Today, Ben Fogle reached the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal after months of training.

Ben took on this huge challenge in support of the British Red Cross.

Mike Adamson, British Red Cross chief executive, said: “We are delighted, overjoyed and overwhelmed with gratitude that Ben Fogle has conquered Everest.

“All of us at the British Red Cross send Ben our heartfelt congratulations, wish him all the best and look forward to welcoming him home.

“He has managed an extraordinary feat and we are honoured to be part of his effort.”

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Manchester attack survivor Hollie through to next stage of Britain’s Got Talent – thanks to Red Cross

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“It’s been a very difficult journey for us as a family over the last year.”

Last May, Claire Booth, 35, her 13-year-old daughter Hollie and Claire’s sister Kelly Brewster went to see Ariana Grande in concert at the Manchester Arena.

Tragically, it became the scene of one of the UK’s worst terror attacks, claiming the lives of 22 people – including Kelly.

“My own injuries were quite minor, and I was fine after a few months,” Claire said.

“But Hollie was left severely injured as a result of the attack… and my sister sadly lost her life.”

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“We are a family again”: Syrian refugees start a new life in Glasgow

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Syrian refugees now living in Glasgow, Mohamed, Amina and their five children stand togather and smile at the camera

Mohamed, Amina and their children © Emma Levy/British Red Cross

“We are a family again.”

Amina smiled as she described how it felt to be reunited with her husband Mohamed after years of being apart.

“The children were always asking about their dad.

“I sometimes didn’t know how to explain our situation to them. It was very difficult. I felt I wasn’t living – I was just existing.”

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