Category: Volunteering

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

‘We all have to work together’ – teaming up with local volunteers after Grenfell Tower fire

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Photo credit: Matt Carter / British Red Cross

Tanya Hedges sorting through donations at the Westway Centre. Photo credit: Matt Carter / British Red Cross

 

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, read our update.

In the shadow of the Grenfell Tower is Westway Sports Centre, where people affected by the fire have been receiving support.

Two weeks after the fire, families are still coming to the centre to get the emotional and practical help they need.

Standing side-by-side with them are community volunteers like Abraham Chowdhury, who have helped collect donations and distribute to help the victims and their families.

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Meet the former heroin addict helping Grenfell Tower fire victims

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Carl volunteers for the Red Cross

Photo credit: Lexi Finnigan / British Red Cross

For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

“If you saw me walking towards you at night you would be scared. The tattoos, the shaved head, the missing teeth. I get that, I understand that. People judge me by the way I look but once they speak to me I can explain. I’ve done a lot of taking in my life and now it’s time to give something back.”

Carl Chant is a 43-year-old ex-heroin addict from Llanelli, near Swansea. After being abused at the age of 12, he ran away from home and after living on the streets spent 13 years on and off in prison for robbery, drug dealing and burglary.

Today he sits at a British Red Cross table outside the Westway Sports Centre in west London – registering and supporting those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

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Grenfell Tower fire: How to help London fire victims

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For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

There has been an overwhelming response from the UK public to help those affected by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Here’s what you need to know about the situation and how you can help.

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Help at the hardest time: supporting families after the Manchester bombing

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Woman holds a sign reading I love Manchester

Photo credit: Xinhua/Han Yan: Alamy

“Last Monday night, my mum texted me knowing that I was on shift,” said Amy Weston, a Red Cross emergency response volunteer.

“Something’s happened at the MEN [Manchester Arena].’

“I ended up ringing the person who was managing our volunteer shift that night. She said ‘you just need to stop, to chill out, get some rest and get ready just in case.”

The Red Cross works alongside the emergency services, councils and other voluntary sector partners in emergencies. The next day, the local authority asked the Red Cross to support the response efforts.

“On the way to work the next day, I got a call saying we’re going to need some support today, we’re opening up at the Etihad,” Amy said.

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How Red Cross volunteers responded to the WW2 bomb in Birmingham

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A Red Cross volunteer helps a woman in a rest centre set up for those evacuated from their homes.

Photo credit: Tom Pilston / Panos / British Red Cross

An unexploded World War Two (WW2) bomb was found at a construction site near Spaghetti Junction on Monday. For the next two nights, volunteers from the British Red Cross ran a rest centre to support people evacuated from the local area.

“My experience for the night I’ve been here has been fantastic,” said Sarah, from Aston.

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Men and loneliness: “I miss my wife a great deal… I just miss having company”

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Sarah-Jane with Desmond Gregory

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has released new research showing that millions of men are experiencing loneliness but suffering in silence – men like Desmond Gregory.

When Desmond’s wife passed away in 2015, his world fell apart. After nearly 60 years of marriage, the 89-year-old from Midsomer Norton, in Somerset, was suddenly alone.

Despite his daughter visiting regularly, his grief was overwhelming and he began to feel increasingly lonely.

“Some days I didn’t see anyone at all. I miss my wife a great deal. I miss going to work. I just miss having company,” Desmond said.

Fortunately his health worker spotted the signs and was able to introduce him to the British Red Cross – we offer services for those experiencing loneliness and social isolation.

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“He was always looking after us” – Lee’s journey from Tunisia attacks to London Marathon

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Lee Stocker, wearing a British Red Cross vest top to train for the London Marathon, sits next to his wife Nicole

Lee Stocker and his wife Nicole © Evening Standard

“Without him, I don’t know how we would have coped.”

Lee Stocker is talking about Dr Howie Fine, a British Red Cross psychological and emotional support volunteer.

Lee’s parents Janet and John Stocker were among the 38 people killed during the beach attack in Sousse, Tunisia, two years ago.

To remember his parents and those who died, and to say thank you for Red Cross support, 38-year-old Lee is running the London Marathon.

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