Category: UK

The British Red Cross is there for people in the UK. We can help with a wide range of things, from hiring a wheelchair to getting home from hospital. This mixture of useful information and true stories about our work shares information about our impact on individuals and communities.

Beyond Panorama: a volunteer’s view of helping people home from hospital

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British Red Cross volunteer John Cooper helps a woman shop for food in a supermarket after she come home from hospital.

British Red Cross volunteer John Cooper helps a woman go shopping after a hospital stay

British Red Cross volunteer John Cooper tonight features in the second part of BBC Panorama’s Crisis in Care programme. 

Here, John explains how and why he supports people to live independently at home after a hospital stay.

I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly remarkable and, before volunteering for the British Red Cross, I had very little experience of working with vulnerable or older people.

I am a retired engineer and project manager who decided to volunteer because I have always been an active person.

I’m nearly 70 myself now and, though I am retired, it’s always been part of my nature to be doing something so I’ve been a volunteer for the last four years.

I’ve learned a lot in that time but it is certainly a challenge because, when people come out of hospital after an illness or injury, they can sometimes be starting from the beginning.

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D-Day: How the Red Cross helped in World War II

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A truck with the words American Red Cross clubmobile painted on its side drives down a ramp from a boat onto a beach in Normandy just after D-Day.

A Red Cross clubmobile lands in Normandy, July 1944

My first impression of the beach is that there were very few people there.

Then, on landing, I could see hundreds of soldiers scattered out and lying flat.

Every now and then a few would get up, run forward and fall flat again. My first shell came whistling in and I hit the sand too…

– Field director, American Red Cross

 

D-Day. Even 75 years later, it brings up strong feelings and, for some, strong memories.

D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history. On 6 June 1944, over 150,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in France.

Combined with major Soviet military action on the eastern front, it helped end the war in Europe.

The Red Cross was there, too, and we were involved at every stage, from planning supply chains to caring for wounded soldiers.

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Welcome back to life: Andy’s story

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We’ve been asking you to do #OneKindThing to change someone’s world.

And we know, changing someone’s world can seem like a huge, sometimes impossible, task. But we know it can be done, because of stories from people like Andy and Ian.

Coming home after a tough time in hospital can be quite an isolating experience. Only you know what you’ve been through, and you can feel quite different within yourself. This is exactly what happened to Andy.

Andy’s from Bristol, and he’s living with bowel cancer. After his diagnosis, he had to undergo surgery at the hospital before returning home – which is when he began to feel lonely, and as if he had no one to turn to.

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Kindness: decoded

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A British Red Cross volunteer sits inside a van and speaks to another volunteer through the window. They are planning their activities for the day.

 

We admit: here at the British Red Cross, we’re always talking about kindness.

It’s because we believe it has the power to change someone’s world – and we see it happening, day in day out, through our incredibly selfless volunteers.

So, to kick off OneKindThing, we wanted to dig a little deeper and see what you thought about kindness. We sent a survey out to over 2,000 people in the UK, and we’ve decoded its results.*

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Help change someone’s world with OneKindThing

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A young woman British Red Cross volunteer walks with an older man holding her arm for balance while they talk to each other.

We’re grabbing our aprons, clearing out our wardrobes and starting conversations. We’re getting on our bikes, we’re walking for miles and we’re training for events. We’re donating, supporting, helping.

All to do OneKindThing that makes a difference.

When someone’s going through an incredibly difficult time – maybe the worst situation of their life – even the simplest things can change their world for the better. We all have the power to help a person in crisis.

And when we work together, we are powerful. If we all chose to do one kind thing today, imagine the impact it could have.

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First aid for family days out

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A man holds a toddler as they lean together over a shallow stream and drop something in the water - first aid for family days out.

As spring finally brings warm and sunny weather, and even summer seems just around the corner, many of us are getting out and about with little ones.

It’s hard to beat spending time with the family. You could be visiting an attraction, taking a trip to the park or just having a picnic in the back garden.

But with excitement levels running high, trips and tumbles can be common on days out. Fortunately, with some simple first aid know-how you can feel confident that you could help should you need to.

Read on for our handy first aid tips for days out.

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From Corby to Mozambique: behind the scenes at the Red Cross after Cyclone Idai

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What images does the news of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique conjure up for you?

Charity emergency teams giving out supplies to people who fled their homes? Aid workers with food for hungry children?

All of this does happen. But for every emergency worker on the ground, many more work behind the scenes.

Their role is vital in making sure all the emergency supplies and equipment get to the right place at the right time.

As a logistics officer based in the UK, Gemma Blakey’s job is crucial to relief operations.

A self-confessed spreadsheet lover, she uses her meticulous planning and organisational skills to spring into action.

“I immediately check our stock and start talking to colleagues about who is available to respond, and what information we are getting about the needs on the ground,” she said.

“Then we can decide how the British Red Cross can best support the people in crisis.”

Gemma was already getting ready to help just a day after Cyclone Idai hit southern Africa.

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Emotional support in an emergency: top tips on how you can help

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After an emergency, a young woman provides emotional support to comfort an older man as they both sit on a sofa and hold cups of tea

© John Eccles/British Red Cross

We can all imagine how hard it must be to deal with an emergency. A flood, fire or accident can change lives in minutes.

But do we think enough about the emotional impact?

It doesn’t just affect those who are hurt, see the emergency, or face damage to their homes or businesses.

The ripples can spread to relatives, neighbours and even entire communities, and last for months or years afterwards.

New British Red Cross research shows that emotional support for people affected by a crisis is crucial. It can feel as important as helping with essentials like food, clothes and a place to stay.

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