Category: Volunteering

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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Loneliness in the UK: “If you’ve got the spare time, what better way is there of using it?”

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Volunteering, loneliness, UK

Gareth Spencer volunteers with the Red Cross in Wales – ©TimMossford/UNP

Whether he’s repairing shoes or volunteering, Gareth Spencer is certainly finding different ways to help people put their best foot forward. 

The part-time cobbler from Pontypridd, Wales, is a volunteer for the British Red Cross. Over the past year, he’s helped many people overcome issues like loneliness. You could too.

“If you’ve got the spare time, what better way is there of using it?” said Gareth. More

Why runners should learn first aid

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Red Cross staff and volunteers pose for a photo. They provide first aid during the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon

If you’re taking part in a sporting event this year, you might meet someone like Andy Owen. He’s an event first aid volunteer for the British Red Cross.

Every year, Red Cross staff and volunteers like Andy help out at lots of different events, including sporting ones. So, they know a thing or two about sports injuries.

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‘What happened to me makes me grateful for my family this Mother’s Day’

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Claire Burke and holds almost one-year-old Tori up for the camera

It’s almost a year since Claire Burke went into labour while in traffic during the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon. She feared she’d give birth in the car – until a Red Cross ambulance appeared.

As Mother’s Day approaches, she reflects on that day and how the actions of two Red Cross volunteers mean that this year, she and her family can celebrate it together.   

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Home from hospital: “Breaking my hip was the best thing that happened to me”

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Carol Looby

Carol Looby is now a volunteer for the British Red Cross, helping others through one of our home from hospital services.

Four years ago, Carol Looby passed out while walking home after giving blood. She broke her hip – but says it’s the best thing that ever happened to her.

That’s because Carol’s accident led her to a British Red Cross home from hospital service. We not only helped with her recovery, but became a new venture for her too – Carol now volunteers for the service.

“It’s changed my life totally,” she said.

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