UK

Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

Top spring tips for your garden

Garden alfresco blog

There’s still plenty of time to get your garden looking glorious this summer, even if you’ve not mown your lawn yet. We spoke to expert Tamsin Westhorpe about where to start first.

Gardener Tamsin Westhorpe knows her stuff. She started her career working in parks, more than 20 years ago. Today, she spends half the week as editor-at-large on The English Garden magazine. The rest of the time, she’s busy creating the kind of outdoor idyll that’s a mere dream for most of us.

But don’t be intimidated. Tamsin’s also championing our Open Gardens programme and wants everyone to be proud of their outside space. No matter how big or small, you can bring a little colour to your home – even if it’s just a few window boxes.

Follow these tips below, and your balcony or backyard will look picture-perfect in no time. More

Why prevention really is better than cure

Homeless-BLOGThey sound worlds apart, but a homeless programme in the USA and our social care work here in England share one big idea – tackling problems early makes sense.

A few years ago, the state of Utah launched a novel strategy to combat its chronic homeless problem. It just gave everybody a home.

On the surface, this sounded like a crazy move. Most of the state’s 2,000 chronically homeless population had significant mental health issues and substance addictions.

Frankly, they didn’t seem like ideal candidates to be trusted with the keys to a house. (The traditional approach had always been to place the homeless into shelters until they were deemed ‘housing ready’.)

And yet, the idea worked like a dream. More

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