Category: Volunteering

The curious tale of the ‘black doctor of Paddington’

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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!

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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’

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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!

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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 to take the perfect portrait photo (in six easy steps)

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Canon-young-photographerWant to know the score before entering our young person’s photography competition? Canon’s resident expert, David Parry, has some top tips.

1. Watch the background.
Pay close attention to what’s behind your subject. Bright colours and patterns can be distracting, and will take away from the impact your shot will have. More

How your shopping trolley can help struggling families

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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

A student’s story: why I volunteer with refugees

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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

Red Cross nurses recall D-Day landings

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On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings we take a look back to the mission and the aftermath during the Second World War with two former Red Cross nurses (VADs).

 An eventful 70 years have passed since Judy Stokes first signed up to be a Red Cross volunteer. Perhaps none more so than her first summer as a 19-year-old Red Cross nurse (VAD) in 1944 when the D-Day landings changed the course of the Second World War.

“I’ll never forget that wonderful announcement [of a second front],” said Judy. “It was a frenzy of excitement. The only thing like it was when the war had ended, and there was such, such happiness.”

 Judy Stokes in her Red Cross nurse uniform

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