UK

Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

Red Cross runner raises (and loses) many pounds

Sometimes, running is about much more than just the race. For Liz Strain, it meant laying some old demons to rest – while raising money for the organisation she loves. This is her story.

Liz-Strain-Scottish-runner-BLOGI’ve always battled with my weight. For many years, I had quite an addictive relationship with food. Though I often dieted, I always put the pounds back on later – and even added more.

But losing both my beloved parents a few years ago was a real wake-up call.

It made me question what my life priorities were, and I resolved to finally do something that would have made them both proud: get fit. More

Fact check: asylum seekers

© British Red Cross

© British Red Cross

Recent media stories have attacked the government for putting asylum seekers in hotels while they wait for a decision about their claim. The articles claim that too much money is being spent on temporary accommodation.

Several articles have implied the UK is being flooded with asylum seekers. In fact, the country hosts less than one per cent of the world’s refugees.

We want to set the record straight. More

‘I was so worried about my family, I couldn’t eat’

Saytun Ali As a teenager, Saytun Ali was forced to flee her hometown in Somalia after sudden violence – without even saying goodbye to her loved ones.

Although she soon settled into life in London, she often thought about her family and what had happened – until, after more than two years apart, the British Red Cross helped her find them. More

Art from the past: the statue of a starving mother and child

© Lyn Constable Maxwell

© Lyn Constable Maxwell

Every month, we’re dusting off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. This month, it’s a sculpture that takes a no-holds-barred look at a crisis that touched the nation.

There is something about this sculpture that sticks in the memory.

At a glance, it seems slight and brittle. The concave figure looks like it might snap in two. The head is twisted to one side in exhaustion – with the palms held up. The viewer’s eye flows down the body to the woman’s feet, where a small child lies: curled up and weak.

In fact, the sculpture is made from heavy bronze, measuring 65 by 34 centimetres across.

Its title is ‘Famine’. More

The day my dad disappeared

Credit: Matthew Stewart.

Credit: Matthew Stewart.

Twenty-year-old Doaa thought her father was dead. Her family had been torn apart by the conflict in Syria and her father was missing. She was now living with her mother in the UK.

But two years later, they were all back in contact – thanks to the British Red Cross’ international family tracing service. More

Finding the sister lost during the Second World War

Bozenka Pearson. Credit: Ghee Bowman

Bozenka Pearson. Credit: Ghee Bowman

Every Sunday, Bozenka Pearson settles down with a cup of tea and dials the number of her half-sister in Poland for a catch-up. The sisters chat in Polish, sharing news of their health and families. The conversation is so relaxed that no-one would guess it’s been only eight months since they spoke for the very first time…

“I always wanted to find my half-sister,” says Bozenka. “My father used to talk about her and her mother, and just before he died he said to me that one of the things he really regretted was that he could never trace his oldest daughter. And I just thought I wanted to do it.”

That’s when Bozenka got in touch with the British Red Cross’ international family tracing service. More

Commonwealth games are go!

The ‘friendly’ Games are underway, and we’ve got hundreds of volunteers on hand to make sure everyone has a safe stay in Glasgow. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re up to.

1. First aiders, first aiders, everywhere…
Commonwealth Games two first aidersYou can barely turn a corner in Glasgow this week without bumping into a British Red Cross first aider. We’ve already been treating quite a few cuts and scrapes, and our teams are providing cover for 16 hours a day at the big BBC riverside festival in the city. More

‘’I was ready to die – but Rebecca brought the whole world back to me’

Kathy Malcolm and Rebecca OwenBLOGFor Kathy, it seemed like things would never get better again.

She had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her kidney failure, due to diabetes, meant dialysis treatment three times a week. She was slowly going blind. And to cap it all, she could no longer maintain her lovely big home.

The 64-year-old, from Llandudno, recalled: “I was at my lowest point – I was basically ready to die.” More