Volunteering

The curious tale of the ‘black doctor of Paddington’

Dr-John-Alcindor-BLOGA determined doctor who overcame bigotry and prejudice to help others during the First World War has finally won recognition. As Britain celebrates Black History Month, we trace his story.

John Alcindor was a gifted doctor, respected and trusted by his many patients.

Originally from Trinidad, John graduated with a medical degree from Edinburgh University in 1899. He then worked in London hospitals for several years before going into practice on his own.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, he naturally wanted to use his skills to help with the war effort.

But despite his qualifications and experience, he was rejected outright by the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914 because of his ‘colonial origin’.

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Commonwealth games are go!

The ‘friendly’ Games are underway, and we’ve got hundreds of volunteers on hand to make sure everyone has a safe stay in Glasgow. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’re up to.

1. First aiders, first aiders, everywhere…
Commonwealth Games two first aidersYou can barely turn a corner in Glasgow this week without bumping into a British Red Cross first aider. We’ve already been treating quite a few cuts and scrapes, and our teams are providing cover for 16 hours a day at the big BBC riverside festival in the city. More

‘’I was ready to die – but Rebecca brought the whole world back to me’

Kathy Malcolm and Rebecca OwenBLOGFor Kathy, it seemed like things would never get better again.

She had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her kidney failure, due to diabetes, meant dialysis treatment three times a week. She was slowly going blind. And to cap it all, she could no longer maintain her lovely big home.

The 64-year-old, from Llandudno, recalled: “I was at my lowest point – I was basically ready to die.” More

Learn first aid: see the world!

Lauren-Nicol-2-600x337pxLauren signed up to learn first aid in her home city of Glasgow – which led to her helping people across the globe.

When Lauren Nicol went to a local first aid course, she had nothing more ambitious in mind than learning some useful life-saving tips.

She recalled: “I wanted to learn about first aid, and saw in a newspaper that the British Red Cross offered free training if you became a volunteer – so I signed up.”

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How your shopping trolley can help struggling families

FareShare-BLOGOur volunteers are currently collecting food donations at Tesco stores to support families hit by food poverty – and you can do your bit to help.

If you find yourself shopping at Tesco between now and Saturday, you could do someone a very good turn by throwing a couple of extra items in your basket.

A UK-wide food collection drive has just launched today, and our volunteers are on hand in many stores to accept non-perishable items. These include tinned goods, pasta, rice, tea, coffee, cereal and UHT milk. More

Coping as a full-time carer

Angela Brown, who used the Red Cross carers' service, smiles in a garden with a cup of teaDuring Carers’ Week, Angela Brown discusses the challenges of being a carer and explains how her local Red Cross service supported her when she needed it most.

Angela Brown remembers the moment she knew something was wrong. In 2005 she was sitting in the garden with her husband John. He turned to her and asked when his mother was coming home. His mother had been dead for 30 years.

John was soon diagnosed with dementia. More

A student’s story: why I volunteer with refugees

Anna refugee volunteerEvery year, we support thousands of refugees and asylum seekers all over the country. Anna Bromwich, a student, tells us why she volunteers with this particular group – and how there is more to her role than meets the eye…

I volunteer for quite a few reasons. I volunteer to complement my studies. I volunteer so I don’t sit in front of a computer all day!

But I also volunteer because I want to help refugees and asylum seekers. More