Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

Why people are scared of growing older

Worried-old-man-profile-BLOGOur elderly population is on the rise, and increasingly depends on the charity sector for support – so the government needs to stop taking us for granted.

So much for peace of mind and tranquillity in one’s twilight years.

A major new study, commissioned by 75 organisations (including the British Red Cross), shows that one person in four is worried about receiving proper care in their old age.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out why. News bulletins show elder abuse in care homes, bed-blocking, MRSA, over-stretched A&E departments – all against a backdrop of government cuts. More

‘I saved my lovely baby’s life’

Baby-lifesaver-Lucy-Smith-BLOGMum really does know best, it seems. Lucy Smith resolved to learn baby first aid while she was pregnant, and it turned out to be the best decision she ever made.

I’d always planned to make learning first aid part of my preparation for motherhood. It just seemed to make sense.

So when I was 14 weeks pregnant, my husband and I attended a Mothercare event for expectant parents.

We were both really eager to go along since the event featured a British Red Cross baby first aid session. More

Home alone: the real story

Old-woman-home-alone-BlogMany older people find a hospital stay traumatic and unsettling. But for those who live alone, the real problems often start once they’re discharged.

Christmas was coming, but Sylvia Darby was feeling anything but festive.

After six long weeks in hospital being treated for double pneumonia, the Ipswich pensioner was finally ready to be discharged – but there was a big problem. More

Art from the past: healthy living for a post-war nation

Healthy body 1934 poster

Every month, we dust off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. After the First World War, the Red Cross switched its focus to getting the British public fit and healthy, with some inspiring posters.  

The Red Cross played a huge role in the First World War. Over 90,000 people signed up to volunteer, helping with everything from nursing to air raid duty.

Once the war ended, we decided to have a big think about how to support the country in peacetime.

In May 1919, we announced that our role now included “the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world”.

Sounds just like a lot of New Year resolutions, doesn’t it? More

Christmas during the First World War: in pictures

WW1-xmas-hospital-wardBritish Red Cross nurses had to celebrate the festive season hungry and over-worked, yet they were still determined to be cheerful. See the First World War through the eyes of the women who were actually there.

1. The busy life of a nurse

This witty cartoon triptych depicts the typical life of a Red Cross nurse (they were known as Voluntary Aid Detachments) serving abroad during the war. The sketches show how her life officially should be, how she dreams it might be, and how it actually is. Poor woman…

WW1-xmas-triptych More

All Together Now for a Christmas number one!

No, you didn’t misread that title. This year, the British Red Cross is aiming for the top of the charts.

Many members of Britain’s rock royalty have come together to record a Christmas song for the British Red Cross – and you can buy a copy now!

A host of music stars – going under the name The Peace Collective – have recorded The Farm’s 1990 hit song, All Together Now. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross and Shorncliffe Trust.

Fittingly, given the Red Cross’ leading role in commemorating the First World War centenary, the song was inspired by the famous Christmas Day Truce that occurred in the trenches in 1914. More

‘Oh, yes they did.’ How First World War nurses put on a pantomime

Xmas-pantoOur Red Cross nurses saw untold horrors and worked themselves to exhaustion during the First World War – but many still found time to put on a Christmas pantomime.

As most of us settle in for another warm, well-fed festive season, it seems almost incredible to think of how different life was for many Britons a hundred years ago.

That’s certainly the case for the Red Cross nurses – known as Voluntary Aid Detachments – who served in military hospitals across Europe during the Great War.

These young women (and sometimes they were very young) saw and dealt with scenes that are unimaginable to us now. More

Our transport volunteers: a million miles of goodness

Volunteers Eric Beckley, Sue Hartley and Geoff Vaulter (with service user Valerie Sharp seated in car).

Volunteers Eric Beckley, Sue Hartley and Geoff Vaulter (with service user Valerie Sharp seated in car).

Meet the unsung heroes who clock up half a million miles every year taking cancer patients to hospital – and find out how you could help too.

Most people don’t even know the British Red Cross has a transport support service. But we do, and it’s a real cracker.

In Somerset, there’s an especially nice project that helps cancer patients who are either without transport or too unwell to drive.

On a daily basis, our volunteers drive people from their homes to two cancer treatment centres in Bristol and Taunton. And just check out these figures. Each year:

70 volunteer drivers help…

1,000 cancer patients, clocking up…

500,000 miles in the process. More