First aid

Teacher, dog saver – and London Marathon runner

Demelza crisis 2

This weekend, Demelza will take on the London Marathon. While training, she’s faced everything from rescuing a dog to restarting a woman’s heart.

Demelza, 34, insists she was completely unfit. She is definitely not, what they call, ‘a runner’.

But she’s come a long way – soon it will be 26 miles, in fact.

As we gear up to Red Cross Week 2015, we ask: what made her take on one of the biggest running challenges on the planet? More

Attack of the choking Chinese chicken

Choking-man-BLOGIt sounds like an old joke: what do you get when you cross a Chinese restaurant, a choking diner and a first aid trainer? But luckily, this tale had a happy punchline.

Timing, they say, is everything.

And certainly, if you start choking in public, there are few better times to be sitting opposite a first aid trainer.

Over the years, Sara Hodges has taught literally hundreds of people life-saving skills – including how to help someone who’s choking.

So when her friend, who was facing her in a crowded Chinese restaurant, suddenly took on a surprised look and stopped speaking, she knew exactly what was wrong. More

Cupid strikes at first aid course

Valentine-first-aiders-BLOGHeart rates were racing for all the right reasons when lovebirds Michael and Aurelia first clocked eyes on each other at one of our first aid courses.

Sometimes, love can blossom in the unlikeliest of places.

When Michael turned up for a three-day first aid at work course in 2011, he was ready to roll up his sleeves and learn all about burns, bumps and bandages.

What he didn’t expect was a beautiful French girl to come zooming along on her scooter. But it turned out Aurelia had also been sent along by her company. More

‘I saved my lovely baby’s life’

Baby-lifesaver-Lucy-Smith-BLOGMum really does know best, it seems. Lucy Smith resolved to learn baby first aid while she was pregnant, and it turned out to be the best decision she ever made.

I’d always planned to make learning first aid part of my preparation for motherhood. It just seemed to make sense.

So when I was 14 weeks pregnant, my husband and I attended a Mothercare event for expectant parents.

We were both really eager to go along since the event featured a British Red Cross baby first aid session. More

Art from the past: healthy living for a post-war nation

Healthy body 1934 poster

Every month, we dust off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. After the First World War, the Red Cross switched its focus to getting the British public fit and healthy, with some inspiring posters.  

The Red Cross played a huge role in the First World War. Over 90,000 people signed up to volunteer, helping with everything from nursing to air raid duty.

Once the war ended, we decided to have a big think about how to support the country in peacetime.

In May 1919, we announced that our role now included “the improvement of health, the prevention of disease, and the mitigation of suffering throughout the world”.

Sounds just like a lot of New Year resolutions, doesn’t it? More

‘Oh, yes they did.’ How First World War nurses put on a pantomime

Xmas-pantoOur Red Cross nurses saw untold horrors and worked themselves to exhaustion during the First World War – but many still found time to put on a Christmas pantomime.

As most of us settle in for another warm, well-fed festive season, it seems almost incredible to think of how different life was for many Britons a hundred years ago.

That’s certainly the case for the Red Cross nurses – known as Voluntary Aid Detachments – who served in military hospitals across Europe during the Great War.

These young women (and sometimes they were very young) saw and dealt with scenes that are unimaginable to us now. More