How you can double your donations without lifting a finger

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What is UK Aid Match, and what’s our latest appeal about?  

Two women in Barishal, Bangladesh, Josna and Mahmuda, sit smiling with their arms around each other.

Our It starts with her appeal kicked off last month. The campaign, designed to empower women in Barishal, Bangladesh, allows people in the UK to help change people’s lives in one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas.

You may have seen mentions of ‘UK Aid Match’ on our Twitter feed since the launch, but what exactly is it?

Can I really double my donation?

Yes – at no extra cost to you whatsoever! UK Aid Match, run by the Department for International Development (DFID), gives you the chance to help people most in need in developing countries.

Every pound you donate will be matched by the UK Government, so your £1 becomes £2. All donations (up to the total of £2 million) will be automatically doubled – and you don’t have to do a thing besides make a one-off gift.

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Galentine’s Day: share the love while helping our It starts with her appeal

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Two women in Bangladesh lean against each other and make a heart symbol with their hands.

© Rosie Matheson/British Red Cross

When was the last time you told your girlfriends how much they mean to you?

For Galentine’s Day (that’s 13 February, the day before its old-fashioned counterpart, Valentine’s Day), we’ve launched a range of celebrity e-cards to help you do just that.

The cards are a celebration of female friendship and – best of all – are also raising money for our It starts with her campaign supporting women in Bangladesh.

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Clear out, drop off: why sustainable shopping should be at the top of your 2020 list

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A woman in Bangladesh, who has been helped to start her own tailoring business by the British Red Cross, sits at her sewing maching with clothes she has sown behind her.

© Farzana Hossen/British Red Cross

Fact: almost half of women in the UK admit to owning too many clothes.

We’re calling on everyone to clear out for a good cause, and donate to and buy from our charity shops instead – especially with the exciting launch of our It starts with her appeal this month.

Read on for reasons to shake up your shopping habits and opt for a more sustainable route with us.

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It’s time to listen to young people, like me, on loneliness

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Rhianydd Crawshaw, a university student who felt lonely and felt better after volunteering at a British Red Cross book shop, smiles at the camera.

© Rhianydd Crawshaw

 

When Rhianydd, a 22-year-old student, experienced loneliness, she turned to volunteering for the British Red Cross to find friends and feel more connected. Now, she wants people in power to take this issue seriously.

I’ve always been an introverted person, and I really like my own space. But I also do really like talking and hanging out with people, I guess you could call me an “ambivert”.

During my first year at university, I couldn’t drink alcohol due to medication I was taking at the time, so I didn’t go out and I tended to avoid situations where heavy alcohol consumption would be present. And, during freshers week – that’s a lot!

I’m not saying that was the only reason I was lonely or struggled to make many friends at university, but it was definitely a contributing factor. This led to me spending most of my time alone locked up in my room not talking to anyone. I was miserable.

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Decluttering your wardrobe made easy with these three tips

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Having a wardrobe clear-out for charity makes it onto a lot of New Year’s resolutions list, and this year we have an amazing cause to spur you on.

We’re kicking off 2020 with our It starts with her appeal, where through UK Aid Match, every pound spent in our charity shops on women’s clothes and accessories will be doubled by the UK government until 31 March. Together, we can help thousands of strong women to build stronger communities in Bangladesh.

So what are you waiting for? Find your nearest British Red Cross shop and spring your January resolution into action.

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Small acts of kindness become powerful when tackling loneliness

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A British Red Cross loneliness volunteer and an older man stand in a doorway, smiling.

@Simon Rawles/British Red Cross

As we head into the New Year, and with a new government, it feels like the right time to reflect on how far we have come with tackling loneliness in the UK. We know it continues to be one of the biggest public health crises of our times and its effect is especially important during the festive season.

At the British Red Cross, we see through our services up and down the country how Christmas can be an especially difficult time for people who are living with loneliness. Nonetheless, the good news is that together with our partners, we are making big steps towards a less lonely year in 2020.

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How the Red Cross brought Mada’s refugee family back together

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Mada stands hugging her daughter Hala with the UK Parliament in the background. They were helped to join Mada's husband in the UK through the British Red Cross family reunion programme.

Mada and Hala in London

We always hear stories and see emotional refugee family reunion videos but what are the events that lead to this moment of joy? Today I want to share the full story with you.

In 2012 my beautiful country, Syria, was engulfed in war, wages were plummeting and living costs were sky high. My husband lost his job and we could no longer provide for our family or guarantee their safety.

We were terrified our kids would go to school and not make it back home. Living in such uncertainty and danger is devastating for a parent.

The conflict was suffocating us. We had to leave.

The pain of three years of separation

We made it to Egypt, which was also embroiled in conflict, and political and economic instability. My husband decided to seek safety in the UK and left us there temporarily as he feared the whole family would not make the journey.

My husband made the treacherous and, at times, life-threatening journey to the UK. When we said goodbye to him, I could have never imagined that we would not see his face again for three years.

For those three unbearable years I worked two jobs to provide the basics for my two young children who ached for their dad. We felt so alone.

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I knew how to help my daughter when she was choking

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When Gemma’s two-year-old daughter was choking on a plastic brick, she knew what to do and acted quickly. Here, Gemma recalls what happened, and how a video she’d seen on Facebook helped her save her daughter.

Choking is very common with young children and is a frightening thing for any parent to have to face. But if it should happen, knowing the simple skills to help can make all the difference.

When my two-year-old daughter, Seven, started choking, I remembered a British Red Cross first aid video that I’d recently watched on Facebook and immediately knew what to do.

It was a normal morning and I was at home with my five children.

Suddenly, my eldest daughter, Boo, shouted upstairs that her little sister, Seven, was choking.

I rushed downstairs and when I got halfway down, I saw Seven and could see that she wasn’t breathing.

Her eyes were out like dinner plates, her chest wasn’t moving and she wasn’t making any noise at all.

I suppose I always thought that when someone was choking it would be noisy, but she was just silent.

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