Taking it to the Plinth

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Sara Bainbridge is one brilliant supporter.

When Sara was awarded a spot on the Fourth Plinth  last Thursday, she decided to use her time publicising the importance of refugee services. The Fourth Plinth is a public art exhibit that gives individuals the opportunity to do pretty much anything they want, for one hour, high above the ground in Trafalgar Square.

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My special days of the week – Part 2

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Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays

We support service users who have been referred to us by different organisations who we work in partnership with. There are, amongst other: the Scottish Refugee Council, the National Health Service, the Medical Foundation, Compass Team and the Tara Group. There are also so many service users who come in our drop-in or self refer.

Sometimes the place is very busy and I feel the rush. And the only dream I have is to go back home and relax in front of the telly, watch my favourite soaps.

And I also get a chance to whisper to myself: Oh what a day!

One of my roles at the Refugee Unit is to coordinate other volunteers.

The service users are assessed individually. Then they are paired with a volunteer according to gender and other criteria. If they need an interpreter then I pair them with a volunteer who speaks the same language from their country of origin. And those who speak fluent or good English are paired with any volunteer.

The volunteers do the general assessment and get all the information we need to help the service user. When service users come in, they do not give everything out on that day. They are traumatised, depressed and scared. But we gain their trust as we create a good working relationship.

Volunteers from different countries

Volunteers from different countries

A volunteer can take a service user for an outing around Glasgow to visit some places, show her/him some drop-ins like Red Cross Monday club, Scottish Refugee Council women’s group, Maryhill Integration network and other relaxing drop-ins depending in which area the service user stays, how to get around Glasgow using maps, buses, register with their local General Practitioners.

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‘You’ve got a (flu) friend…’

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I have Swine flu tablet deliverya flu friend.

Granted, I don’t have any other friends – but one considerate soul has agreed to pop round and drop off the necessary Tamiflu / groceries / vomit bag supplies should I become stricken by the dreaded porcine illness.

Naturally, I’m very grateful. But even more impressive are the Red Cross volunteers – more than a hundred already and counting – who are already acting as flu friends to help people they don’t even know.

Here’s how it works: More

Disaster Strikes: ‘Who ya gonna call?!’

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haitiA natural disaster strikes somewhere in the world, pictures of devastation and stricken people scroll across our news screens. It’s a natural instinct to want to help but you probably won’t call Ghostbusters! You probably will though call the Red Cross, and in some form and in some way we will be involved in providing assistance. Sounds simple doesn’t it? In fairness sometimes it is but more often than not it is anything but simple.

This post forms the first step on a journey as I seek to unravel some of the complexities and mysteries of disaster response for you. I’m the disaster relief manager for the British Red Cross and it is my job to coordinate our response to major international disasters, whether it’s flooding in Namibia, a hurricane in the Caribbean or people displaced in PakistanMore

Disaster Strikes: 'Who ya gonna call?!'

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haitiA natural disaster strikes somewhere in the world, pictures of devastation and stricken people scroll across our news screens. It’s a natural instinct to want to help but you probably won’t call Ghostbusters! You probably will though call the Red Cross, and in some form and in some way we will be involved in providing assistance. Sounds simple doesn’t it? In fairness sometimes it is but more often than not it is anything but simple.

This post forms the first step on a journey as I seek to unravel some of the complexities and mysteries of disaster response for you. I’m the disaster relief manager for the British Red Cross and it is my job to coordinate our response to major international disasters, whether it’s flooding in Namibia, a hurricane in the Caribbean or people displaced in PakistanMore

Guest blogging from St. Vincent Youth Camp – Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Did you know that the British Red Cross has several overseas branches in the Caribbean? As part of the work going on there, the Red Cross is hosting a youth camp for young Red Cross workers in the Caribbean to have an opportunity to interact. The whole idea is to create international friendships, learn from eachother, and work together for the greater good.

Below, are some blog posts sent to me by one of the participants– Jiva Niles of the Anguilla Red Cross. I know this post is quite long, but I hope that it is the most user-friendly way to share his story with you:

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