I had to leave Liberia in 2005 because it wasn’t safe for me, and I sought asylum in the UK. At first my asylum claim was refused, and for a long time I had nothing and really struggled to get by.
Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom
For over a century, the British Red Cross has been helping protect and support people in the UK and abroad who have been forced to leave their country fearing persecution. Today, we provide a range of services for refugees and asylum seekers and advocate on their behalf.
Explore our interactive timeline to see pictures from some of the situations in which we’ve helped refugees over the past 116 years. More
Pregnant and vulnerable, Christiane really needed a friend when she fled Cameroon two years ago. As we celebrate Refugee Week, here is her story.
I was already five-months pregnant when I had to leave Cameroon suddenly, and it was a very difficult time – I hardly spoke a word of English.
A friend told me about the Red Cross refugee service, and they immediately helped with my language problems and all the things I needed. They gave me food vouchers, clothes for my baby – even a pushchair.
I think they took extra special care of me because I was pregnant – my main contact at the refugee centre was like a father to me. And when I was feeling low and missing home, they told me: ‘We are your family now.’
The Red Cross was also a good link with the authorities and the charity was a big help with my claim application.
I got leave to remain after seven months, and now I’m a volunteer befriender. My role is to welcome people to the refugee centre and, by sharing my own experience, make them feel more comfortable.
While many will recognise these distinguished individuals for their extraordinary contribution to British culture and heritage, their refugee origins are less well known. More
“No one listens to a woman,” said Zarina when she approached the British Red Cross last year. Sobering words to hear in the year 2013, but years of abuse at the hands of her husband, and death threats from his politically connected family, meant Zarina could never feel safe in her home country of Pakistan.
Zarina isn’t alone in her experiences or in her desire to speak out about them. Acts of violence against women aged 15-44 are the cause of more death and disability worldwide than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. And now the world is talking about this in a way that it hasn’t before. More
Learning first aid gives everyone the confidence and skills to save the lives of others. But can it help vulnerable teenagers transform their own lives too? That’s the lesson from young offenders who have picked up vital first aid knowledge thanks to the Red Cross.
Red Cross first aid trainer Lucy Kiddle has seen the transformation for herself. Recently, she went to Newham College in London and asked a group of young people if they had ever used first aid. One teenager said he had once slowed the bleeding of a friend who had been stabbed and slashed, saving his life.
After the session, Lucy went to congratulate the teenager for his quick thinking. But then she made a surprising discovery – she had taught him those life-saving skills when he was a young offender. More
Well, not everyone gets to go – but each year we send a small team of first aiders to provide cover at the big racing event. Here’s what team leader Linda Izquierdo-Ross had to say about this year’s trip:
I suppose most people imagine being a first aider at the Grand Prix involves standing around looking at the nice cars and occasionally waving at Lewis Hamilton as he drives past.
British Red Cross operations director Joy Clift-Hill helps people prepare for emergencies. She shares her experiences of Exercise Georgiana, a simulation that saw the Red Cross and other organisations rehearse what they would do in a disaster.
The adrenaline rush I get when called out to an emergency surprises me every time. After 35 years of responding to emergency situations – first in the health service as a ward sister and nurse manager and now as an operations director of the British Red Cross – that injection of adrenaline enables you to function at a very different level.
Exercise Georgiana was no exception. It was played in real time – and the reputation and expectations of the British Red Cross were on the line.