What, and you didn’t even get us cake? That’s right, the fine charitable organisation for whom I plough my daily toil this week celebrates its 140th anniversary.
And, it should be said, for an institution that’s just turned seven-score years old, the British Red Cross isn’t at all in bad nick. Far from being a bit toothless, achey around the joints and in gradual decline, the old trooper is in the first bloom of health – helping people both here and all across the world, advocating on worthy causes and seeing volunteer numbers rise steadily.
If you want to find out more about the Red Cross’ history, just check out our photo galleries, blogs, podcasts and historical factsheets. It’s been a long, eventful life so far and there’s a fascinating story to tell.
Plenty has changed, mind. For example, we now have a much broader range of services that are craftily tailored to help all kinds of specific people and needs. So besides the old staples – step forward, first aid and emergency response – we also have more recent additions such as our refugee and skin camouflage services.
Equally impressive, those old, ever-so-slightly-formal Red Cross uniforms have now given way to a swanky new range of casual wear which, for my money, makes our volunteers look just a teeny wee bit like extras from the Eighties Star Trek films. It’s the Red Cross, Jim, but not as we know it.
Still, in the most important way, nothing’s really changed at all. After all this time, the British Red Cross is still all about helping vulnerable people when they need our help, whoever and wherever they are. Here’s to the next 140 years!