Volunteering

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.

More

Watch: How a Red Cross volunteer helped save lives in Nepal

Sameer is one of over 8,000 Red Cross volunteers in Nepal. Here, he describes how the Red Cross helped people prepare for, cope with and recover from the 2015 earthquakes. 

Imagining the unimaginable: coping with a disaster

A fake disaster scene as part of the Exercise Unified Response training exercise.

Unfortunately disasters do happen. And when they do, you can rely on our help thanks to some gory make-up, a bunch of actors, and a pretend tube train…

You know what they say: practice makes perfect. When disaster does strike, we must be able to co-ordinate with the emergency services to reduce casualties and distress.

That’s why we travelled to Kent to put our volunteers’ skills to the test in Exercise Unified Response – Europe’s biggest emergency training exercise organised by the London Fire Brigade.

More

Fireballs, burns and broken bones: why I love volunteering

Red Cross ambulance support volunteer Terry Alexander in front of her emergency vehicleAs you can imagine, Terry has seen a lot in 20 years of first aid volunteering. But last summer was a first.

Terry Alexander was an ambulance volunteer at the Shoreham air show when the plane came down.

“I don’t remember hearing much sound but there was a huge amount of smoke and flames from the explosion,” she recalled. More

Falling in love with Derby: a refugee’s story

British Red Cross volunteer Reem Ahmed and sons

When Reem Ahmed and her family fled bombs in Iraq, they had no idea they’d end up falling in love with Derby.

After eight years on the move, Reem has finally found a home – and is now making a life for herself and her children while volunteering for the British Red Cross.  More

Stop food waste and help hungry families

Red Cross volunteer holding a Fareshare hopping list for Tesco shoppersFrustrated by food waste? Now you can do something simple to help hungry families.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has reduced the nation to tears over a pile of parsnips.

Why? Because these veggies, along with thousands of wonky carrots and misshapen courgettes, were all going to waste.

A staggering 3.9 million tonnes of food are wasted every year by the food and drink industry. Fareshare estimate 10 per cent of this hasn’t gone off – it is still good to eat.

That means enough food to make 800 million meals goes straight in the bin.

That seems mad, doesn’t it? More

It’s not just the man on the moon who needs a friend this Christmas

Artwork showing two children trying to reach the moon with a ladder

Image by Philip Edmondson

Have you seen the John Lewis Christmas advert? It’s the heartwarming story of a little girl befriending the lonely man on the moon. It’s a reminder that this is the perfect time of year to bring some comfort and joy to people’s lives. But the good news is, you don’t have to go the moon (or even buy a gift) to help lonely people. There’s something you can do in your own community – and it’s totally free…

Barbara knows what it’s like to feel lonely. She spent time in hospital after a nasty fall. When she was finally allowed home, her joy at leaving hospital was mixed with sadness that she had to return to an empty house.

“I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or what. When you come to be on your own, it is awful. You think, well, nobody’s coming.” More