Category: UK

Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

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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For Mother’s Day, a mum-of-four opens up about how she overcame loneliness

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Sarah, a mother who was helped by the British Red Cross loneliness service and Home-Start, sits and looks into the distance

Sarah, © Percy Dean/British Red Cross

Sarah was 24 when she had her first child. Now, she is 32 and a mother to four.

Looking back, Sarah says she realises she had been feeling lonely since the birth of her first baby. Things came to a head two years ago when she moved to a new area and didn’t know anybody.

Research by the British Red Cross and Co-op has shown that many young parents find themselves in the same position as Sarah. Despite its joys, becoming a parent is one of the big life transitions that can lead to loneliness.

“How do you make new friends when you don’t know anyone?”

“It was very scary to move somewhere where I didn’t know anybody, I’ve never been alone like that before,” Sarah said.

“At first it was very difficult. I didn’t have anyone to talk to or anyone who could come to visit me. I was just spending most of my time at home, I didn’t have anyone to see or anywhere to go.

“It sounds weird but I didn’t know how to socialise, how do you make friends when you don’t know anyone in this city? I didn’t even have any way of meeting people.”

Luckily, joining a support group for young mums run by family support charity Home-Start helped Sarah make new connections.

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International Women’s Day: an ‘ordinary’ woman speaks up for refugees

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Shamila Dhana wears a British Red Cross jacket with the refugee women's group sitting at a table in the background

Shamila Dhana, an ‘ordinary’ woman doing extraordinary things

“I believe in … making ordinary people extraordinary.”

Every day, Shamila Dhana does this as a volunteer at a women’s group for refugees and asylum seekers run by the British Red Cross and our partners Stop Domestic Abuse.

Together, they tackle some of the most difficult issues these vulnerable women face.

Hate crime, honour, domestic and gender-based violence, social isolation, mental health and education are all on the agenda.

“To me, ordinary women are unsung heroes,” Shamila said.

“They are the woman that must get up and take the kids to school despite her period pains.

“The woman struggling to put food on the table because she is unable to work.

“The woman who is trying to navigate a complicated asylum process when she speaks little English. These women inspire me every day”.

As someone who considers herself to be an ‘ordinary woman’, Shamila felt shocked and honoured when she won the Pamodzi Creative ‘Inspirational Women’ award.

Many people had nominated the 36-year-old for Portsmouth’s first Inspirational Women Award to mark International Women’s Day 2019. 

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Letting the breaks off: why wheelchairs matter

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A British Red Cross volunteer kneels and speaks to a woman sitting in wheelchair that she borrowed from the Red Cross

Imagine you have just had surgery on your hip after a bad fall.

You’ve been in hospital recovering and you’ve been told you mustn’t put any weight on your leg. You are ready to go home and you can’t wait to get back, make your own dinner, see your friends, go to the shops.

With your crutches in hand and longing for home, you’re on your way. But it’s much harder than you expect and you realise crutches aren’t a suitable aid for you.

You try to explain this, but are simply told that is all that’s on offer. Gradually you realise you are going to struggle.

Many people just accept that they are stuck at home. They may be unable to get out or go to work, and have to depend on others. Some face days or months of isolation, loneliness and even depression.

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Reuse, recycle and volunteer: three resolutions that will help you, the Red Cross and the planet

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Three British Red Cross volunteers (a man and two women) make a toast with their teacups in a Red Cross charity shop stock room

Volunteers at a British Red Cross charity shop © Anna Gordon/British Red Cross

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

Many of us have already given up on the resolutions we made only a month ago.

Maybe you are not going to run that marathon after all. Or even walk the dog for five more minutes each morning. Not today, anyway.

It’s easy for good intentions to get lost in everyday life.

But here are three ethical resolutions you can make at any time. And they will help you, the earth, and people who need British Red Cross support.

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Homeless people in Nottingham helped by the sit-up service

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Ruth Salter, a volunteer in the sit-up service for homeless people in Nottingham, holds a rucksack

Ruth Salter, sit-up service volunteer, © British Red Cross

As snow and cold weather blow in across the UK, everyone’s feeling the bite. But people sleeping rough have to face the cold in a way most of us can’t even imagine.

The British Red Cross helps in Nottingham by running a ‘sit-up service’ in partnership with Nottingham City Council, the community protection team and Framework Housing Association.

Sit-up gives homeless men and women a safe and warm place to go when temperatures are forecast to fall below zero.

I’ve been volunteering for the sit-up service since it started last year.

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