Category: Volunteering

A kitten called Nazia

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Gerald Green lives in a small cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Oldham.

After the death of his wife Gerald had relied on his cat, Lucky, to keep him company.

But when Lucky died, Gerald became increasingly isolated, and his health began to suffer.

That changed when he met Nazia Rehman, who works with the British Red Cross.

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“How a wrong number changed my life”: a disabled volunteer’s story

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Mark Belton, a disabled volunteer, wears a British Red Cross t-shirt and smiles

Mark Belton, Red Cross volunteer © British Red Cross

“I think back on how I felt six or seven years ago and so much has changed,” Mark Belton said.

Mark first noticed that his sight was getting worse in his teens. His mum, nan and sister all had an inherited eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa.

“By the age of 18 or 19 I knew I had it too.

“My eyesight was deteriorating,” Mark said.

“It was a real blow, it was half expected but it sort of knocks you back. I had just got my new job then as an upholsterer.”

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How to volunteer to help your community in an emergency

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Community reserve volunteers at a response exercise in Southampton - ©BritishRedCross/Andrew Hasson

Community reserve volunteers at a response exercise – ©BritishRedCross/Andrew Hasson

An exciting new campaign launches this week and we need your help.

The British Red Cross is aiming to recruit 10,000 volunteers across the UK who can help out when disaster strikes their local community.

The ‘community reserve volunteers’ will work together as a team during major emergencies, such as flooding.

They could also help out during other incidents such as a terror attack, or a major fire.

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Disabled and lonely? The Red Cross can help

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Sue Seers received support from the British Red Cross

Isabella is a life-line to Sue Seers. She’s not her carer, support worker, or even a family member – but a wheelchair.

For two years Sue was unable to leave her house due to deteriorating health. But then the British Red Cross helped her get a wheelchair and start a journey away from loneliness and social isolation.

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Connecting communities: meet two women on a mission

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Nazia providing support to an older woman

Back in December 2016, the British Red Cross in partnership with the Co-op, revealed epidemic levels of loneliness and social isolation in the UK.

Now we’ve started to roll out connecting communities: the name of our brand new services designed to help tackle these issues head on.

At the heart of these are an inspirational team of individuals, people like Vicky Day and Nazia Rehman.

Both these women know what it is like to be lonely and are on a mission to ensure others in a similar position get the help they need and deserve.

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Health and social care: small things that make a big difference

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Mrs Bennet and Red Cross volunteer Janet

Breaking a bone can make everyday activities particularly tricky. Especially when it’s your dominant arm and you live alone. Just ask Mrs Bennet who badly broke her right arm last year.

But thanks to a close group of good friends and a little help from British Red Cross volunteer Janet Shaw, Mrs Bennet got the person-centred support at home she needed.

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Disabled people are a diverse group – but loneliness is a common experience

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loneliness-blog

Loneliness and social isolation can affect anyone, but some people are more vulnerable to it than others – like disabled people.

Anyone can experience the life transitions that our research has shown can trigger loneliness, like retirement or bereavement. But disabled people often face barriers in daily life that can make them more likely to be chronically lonely than non-disabled people.

A new report by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities, from the perspective of disabled people. It claims over half of disabled people report feeling lonely.

While each disabled person is unique in terms of the impairments and personal circumstances they face, loneliness is an experience that many disabled people will have in common. Getting the right support is so important.

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Pride: how promoting diversity helps people in crisis

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A sticker reading 'All Different British Red Cross' is affixed to the palm of a hand

Being inclusive is a Red Cross value © British Red Cross/Diana Shaw

If you’re going to Pride this weekend, look out for the British Red Cross and say hello! Evy Bauwens and Olivia Cummins, who will be at Pride in London, explain why they are going.

“One of the Red Cross’ core values is to be inclusive,” Evy said.

“I think Pride is a key way to show our staff, volunteers, service users and donors – and the world – that inclusion is really important to us.”

Pride is an annual celebration for every part of the LGBT+ community and everyone who supports them.

Pride events throughout the UK give people the chance to celebrate what the LGBT+ community has achieved and what is yet to be done. Events include people of every race and faith, and disabled and non-disabled people.

Around 30 British Red Cross staff and volunteers from across the UK are coming together at the London Pride parade. More