Fundraising and events

In the nick of time: ‘I feared giving birth in the car’

Red Cross volunteers Nigel and Stuart with Claire and baby Tori

As thousands of runners’ feet pounded the roads in the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon on 10 April, an expectant mum was desperately trying to find a way through the resulting traffic.

Claire Burke had gone into labour.

She had been driving to her mum’s for breakfast with her eight-year-old daughter Mia when she’d started to feel the contractions.

“At first I thought they were Braxton Hicks (false labour),” Claire said.

But as she tried to navigate through the road closures and diversions, the contractions grew stronger and stronger. Before long they were coming every minute.

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Circle of friends: the women supporting women

Mina Mondol at a community meeting in Bangladesh

On a typical day, Dr Sindy Newman sees patients, provides clean water for families in Bangladesh, feeds women refugees in the UK and sets up tents in freezing Mongolia. Then she has lunch.

How can one woman achieve all this in a morning? Well, Sindy is a member of our women-only fundraising group: the Tiffany Circle.

Sindy became the group’s first chair when it began in 2012. Since then, Tiffany Circle members have helped people across the world by funding a whole range of projects.

Sindy explained why she leapt at the chance to join the group. More

How to make the most of your garden this winter

Robin on snow

Robin by Frank Vassen

The days are getting shorter, but there’s no need to give up on your garden just yet. Here are a few simple tasks to get it spruced up for winter from our green-fingered ambassador Tamsin Westhorpe.

With a teeny bit of work, you can make the most of the season’s fresh air and rich colours.

There’s still a lot you can do as the weather turns according to Tamsin Westhorpe, garden writer and lecturer.

So pull on your fleeces, get your hands dirty and cross these jobs off your checklist. More

I’m dreaming of a Red Cross Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving – and you can enjoy both through our wide range of Christmas events and shopping opportunities.

Unique and delicious shopping days

Get inspired by the fashion show at the City of London Christmas market or sample Gluhwein and Bratwurst at the Christmas food market in Guildhall Yard. Across town in Kensington, taste some luxurious but fat-free chocolates at the London Christmas Fair.

Want to try your luck in a raffle for a fabulous hamper? Then visit the Hexham Christmas Fair where you can shop for unique presents.

If you love Christmas carols, join us for songs by the Bedford Prep School and Pilgrims School choirs while browsing the stalls at the Bedfordshire Christmas Fair.

And if all of this Christmas shopping makes you feel hungry, stop into a Co-op store ­where their range of festive sandwiches will support us to provide health and social care services in the UK.  More

Strictly come dancing: 100 years of Red Cross dance

Men in fancy dressStrictly fever is back and here at the British Red Cross, we love a bit of ballroom dancing. In fact, we’ve seen people hit the dance floor for over a century. From fundraising balls to hairy fairies and prisoner of war performances, join us for a waltz through the archives.

“Ballet Nonsense”

Our records show that many prisoners of war and internees turned to dance when they needed a little light entertainment. Many used their Red Cross food parcels to create props and costumes. More

Run the London Marathon in seven steps

Runner celebrates after completing the London Marathon for the British Red CrossThe London Marathon ballot has closed: are you in or out? If you didn’t get a place, you can run with Team Red Cross. Apply to run the London Marathon 2016.

If you were one of the lucky folk who got a place, why not use your run to raise money for a fantastic cause? All your training can help people in crisis when you fundraise for the British Red Cross.

Demelza ran for Team Red Cross this year. If you’re running in 2016, read her seven top tips for taking on one of the world’s biggest – and best – races.

STEP ONE

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The man who’s putting himself in a refugee’s shoes

David after a rainy walk

Think your commute’s a bit rough? Well, David has given up trains and buses and now walks the 12-mile journey home after work. But it’s not in protest of public transport – it’s all to raise money for refugees.  

David Farrow has a busy, demanding job. For the last four years, he has been working as a medical photographer at Epsom and St Helier hospitals in Surrey.

But after he clocks off work, he now faces a daily challenge before he can go home, eat some dinner and switch on a box set.

Whenever he can, he walks the three-and-a-half hour journey home to where he lives in Reigate.

Why? David is raising money for refugees. He’s doing it by covering the distance someone from Syria would have to walk from Damascus to London, in the anxious search for a safer home.

And he has another 4,060 kilometres (2,523 miles) to go.

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The student who fought Ebola fear with facts and plantain

© Stephen Ryan and IFRC

© Stephen Ryan and IFRC

When Rachel went to Liberia last year, she watched as Ebola spread across the country. Back in the UK, she knew she had to do something to help all the friends she had made there.

While student Rachel Ayrton was in Liberia last year, she saw cases of Ebola crop up around the country.

She didn’t know then that it would spiral into a devastating outbreak of disease across most of West Africa.

Nor that she would end up pausing her PhD to raise thousands of pounds to help. More