Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

How a former patient became a volunteer

Carol-Looby-kettle-BLOGWhen she broke her hip, Carol Looby wasn’t just impressed by how the British Red Cross helped her – she vowed to become a volunteer once she was better.

“I love my uniform. I always say to people: ‘Don’t you think it looks friendly?’”

Carol beams with pride as she shows off the kit she wears while volunteering for the British Red Cross’ support at home service in Leeds.

Over the past 18 months, she’s helped more than 40 people at home, often visiting them many times over the course of several weeks.

Her visits enable vulnerable people to leave hospital earlier – and sometimes mean they don’t need to be admitted in the first place. More

Attack of the choking Chinese chicken

Choking-man-BLOGIt sounds like an old joke: what do you get when you cross a Chinese restaurant, a choking diner and a first aid trainer? But luckily, this tale had a happy punchline.

Timing, they say, is everything.

And certainly, if you start choking in public, there are few better times to be sitting opposite a first aid trainer.

Over the years, Sara Hodges has taught literally hundreds of people life-saving skills – including how to help someone who’s choking.

So when her friend, who was facing her in a crowded Chinese restaurant, suddenly took on a surprised look and stopped speaking, she knew exactly what was wrong. More

‘Volunteering landed me a job’

Sarah-Coull-BLOG2Young mother Sarah Coull was fed up with being unemployed, so tried her hand at volunteering – and hey presto, it soon landed her a job. Here’s her story.

After leaving education, I spent a while struggling to find work. Like lots of people my age, I kept trying but the jobs just weren’t out there.

While I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do for a career, the prospect of care work had always interested me. I think older people are often marginalised, which isn’t fair. More

Cupid strikes at first aid course

Valentine-first-aiders-BLOGHeart rates were racing for all the right reasons when lovebirds Michael and Aurelia first clocked eyes on each other at one of our first aid courses.

Sometimes, love can blossom in the unlikeliest of places.

When Michael turned up for a three-day first aid at work course in 2011, he was ready to roll up his sleeves and learn all about burns, bumps and bandages.

What he didn’t expect was a beautiful French girl to come zooming along on her scooter. But it turned out Aurelia had also been sent along by her company. More

Hope FC: why this man thinks football can change the world

David Feindouno

David Feindouno is using football to unite refugees and locals in his community. He’s just won an award from Prime Minister David Cameron – but there are more goals to come.

When he grew up, David wanted to be a footballer. Like many boys, he was obsessed with the ‘beautiful game’ – but then other ambitions took over.

While studying economics at university in Guinea, his life changed dramatically. David had to flee his home country, during the second year.

And football was going to be at the heart of a big new chapter. More

Five reasons why the NHS needs the Red Cross

1. We keep people out of hospital

Granny-in-and-out-hospitalOlder patients needing minor treatment often end up being admitted to hospital simply because doctors are worried about how they’ll cope alone afterwards.

But if our support at home volunteers promise to call round regularly and check all is okay, that worry disappears. Result: happy patients who don’t need to stay away from home, less pressure on over-worked medical staff and more available hospital beds. More

Art from the past: a health service that comes in all shapes and sizes

Diorama intensive care ward

Every month, we dust off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. These miniature models of hospital scenes were made after the Second World War – in those early days of the NHS.

Can a diorama be a piece of art – and a history lesson, too? We think it can.

Back when our health and social care services grew after the Second World War, the British Red Cross figured they were just the thing to promote all the things we did.

That’s how we ended up bungling them into the back of a van and travelling around the country with a mobile exhibition – and these ‘model patients’ in tow.

The timing was important. The country’s health service was changing too – and on a far bigger scale. More