‘When people run from burning homes, I’m waiting to help them’

UNP BRC  32297Whittlesea  Jayne Ross018_600_350What makes someone spend their time helping strangers caught up in house-fires? Jayne Ross describes her high-octane life with our most hardcore volunteer service.

Imagine for a moment your home caught fire.

Imagine the fear of running for your life from a burning building. Imagine the realisation that all your most treasured things are still in there. Then imagine standing out on a cold, wet street at three in the morning in just your night-clothes.

Horrific as it sounds, this actually happens to hundreds of people each year. And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m a fire and emergency support (FES) volunteer. More

World Humanitarian Day: Why we must protect aid workers

Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers in the Occupied Palestine Territory are undertaking vital humanitarian work. They are working to protect the lives of civilians – who make up a disproportionately large number of casualties in this conflict – in the spirit of the Movement’s Fundamental Principles.

On World Humanitarian Day, watch our video and see why it’s crucial aid workers around the world are allowed to work in safety.

Video: Destruction leaves families homeless and frightened

During a brief ceasefire, residents of Gaza return to find their homes reduced to dust and rubble. Heavy shelling in the area of Shijaia has left scenes of appalling destruction. For people searching for personal belongings among the debris, the future looks bleak.

The Red Cross is bringing vital help to the people of Gaza and Israel. Donate to the Gaza and Israel Appeal now.

Supporters Tweet and dig deep for Red Cross in Gaza and Israel


People help an old man to walk


Every day the Red Cross and Red Crescent brings health care, clean water and other vital help to people affected by the crisis in Gaza and Israel. To fund this work, our supporters are digging deep and making donations large and small to the British Red Cross Gaza and Israel Appeal.

People have been making payments online, over the phone, by post and in plenty of other ways too. But how else have they supported the appeal?

As well as opening their wallets, they’ve been asking friends and family to give too – bringing in even more donations. Our appeal launched on July 24, and within hours people were spreading the word on Twitter.


West Africa Ebola outbreak – preserving life after death  

IMG_2345Ebola has no sympathy. In life, it causes untold suffering; in death, it robs you of your dignity.

Where normally the deceased in West Africa could expect a traditional burial, Ebola has denied them that privilege.

Those who have succumbed to Ebola, remain infectious. Instead of a funeral attended by friends and family, theirs is now a discreet burial carried out by men in white overalls wearing masks. They’re buried in body bags, not one, but two.

It’s a morbid task, one that is being carried out by teams of Red Cross workers.


Haunted by death: doctor tells of life in Gaza



For decades Dr David Nott has performed surgery in some of world’s most dangerous places – including Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earlier this month he flew to Gaza to work with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is bringing vital help to people caught up in the ongoing violence. Dr Nott, who also performs cancer and trauma surgery at hospitals in London, describes a day amid the chaos and pain of this weeks-old conflict.


The search to reunite families separated by conflict in South Sudan


You’re at home when you hear the cackle of gunfire followed by shouts and screams.

You run out of your house, grabbing what few possessions you can. Along with your siblings and your father, you flee into the bush.

But you have to leave your grandmother behind; she’s too frail to travel. And your mother? She was at market. When she gets home, all that remains is the charred remnants of what used to be her home.

What do you do? You’re too frightened to go back to your village. So you stay in the bush, searching for food to survive.

Eventually, after weeks without shelter, you arrive at a camp for people displaced by fighting.

You’re given food and shelter, but all you want to know is what’s happened to your mum and grandmother. You hear that the Red Cross could help.

Donate to the South Sudan Crisis Appeal