British Red Cross
Overview
 

The British Red Cross Society is the United Kingdom branch of the worldwide impartial humanitarian organisation the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

. The society was formed in 1870, and is a registered charity with over 31,000 volunteers and 2,600 staff. At the heart of their work is providing help to people in crisis, both in the UK and overseas.
Encyclopedia

The British Red Cross Society is the United Kingdom branch of the worldwide impartial humanitarian organisation the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

. The society was formed in 1870, and is a registered charity with over 31,000 volunteers and 2,600 staff. At the heart of their work is providing help to people in crisis, both in the UK and overseas. The Red Cross is committed to helping people without discrimination, regardless of their ethnic origin, nationality or religion.

Guiding Ethos

The mission of the British Red Cross is "Caring for People in Crisis", which is the core aim of every part of the charity. In fulfilling this mission, all volunteers and staff must abide by the seven fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which are:
  • Humanity
    Compassion
    Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...

  • Impartiality
    Impartiality
    Impartiality is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons.-Philosophical concepts of impartiality:According to Bernard Gert, "A is...

  • Neutrality
    Neutrality (international relations)
    A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

  • Independence
    Independence
    Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

  • Voluntary Service
  • Unity
    Cooperation
    Cooperation or co-operation is the process of working or acting together. In its simplest form it involves things working in harmony, side by side, while in its more complicated forms, it can involve something as complex as the inner workings of a human being or even the social patterns of a...

  • Universality
    Universality (philosophy)
    In philosophy, universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to relativism. In certain religions, universality is the quality ascribed to an entity whose existence is consistent throughout the universe...



The British Red Cross also has four values, which guide the way they work. These are:
  • Compassionate
  • Inclusive
  • Dynamic
  • Courageous

Formation

The British Red Cross was formed in 1870, just seven years after the formation of the international movement in Switzerland. This followed the outbreak of war between France and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, and a move across Europe to form similar societies. On 4 August 1870, after a public meeting, the 'British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War' was formed. It assisted in providing aid to both warring armies in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and subsequent 19th century conflicts, under the protection of the Red Cross Emblem.

In 1905, 25 years after its formation, the society was reconstituted as the British Red Cross Society, and was granted its first Royal Charter in 1908 by HM King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, who became its president.

First World War

Following the start of the 'Great War' in 1914, the British Red Cross joined forces with the Order of St. John Ambulance to form the Joint War committee. They pooled resources and formed Voluntary Aid Detachment
Voluntary Aid Detachment
The Voluntary Aid Detachment was a voluntary organisation providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. The organisation's most important periods of operation were during World War I and World War II.The...

s (or VADs) with members trained in First Aid, Nursing, Cookery, Hygiene and Sanitation. These detachments all worked under the protection of the Red Cross, working in hospitals, rest stations, work parties and supply centres.

The Joint War committee also provided assistance at the front line, supplying the first motorised ambulances to the battlefields, which were significantly more efficient then the horse drawn ambulances they replaced.

The Joint War Committee was also active in setting up centres for recording the wounded and missing. Red Cross volunteers searched towns, villages and hospitals where fighting had occurred, noting names of the missing, the injured and the dead. This formed the basis of the international Message and Tracing service, still running today.

Inter-war years

In 1919, after the cessation of hostilities, the League of the Red Cross (now the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies) was formed, and the role of national societies increased, with a shift of emphasis from wartime relief to focusing on "the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and mitigation of suffering throughout the world".

In 1941, the British Red Cross set up the world's first Blood Transfusion
Blood transfusion
Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one's circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood...

 service, helping to keep pace with medical advances which required blood, but had no facilities to store it. The British Red Cross stayed involved with blood transfusion past the formation of the National Blood Service
National Blood Service
The National Blood Service is the organisation for England and North Wales which collects blood and other tissues, tests, processes, and supplies all the hospitals in England and North Wales...

 and it remained an ancillary role until 1987.

The British Red Cross was instrumental in starting overseas societies through the Empire and Commonwealth, most of which are now independent national societies.

In 1924, the British Red Cross started its youth movement, helping to promote its values to a younger generation.

Second World War

After the declaration of war in 1939, the British Red Cross once again joined with St. John to form the Joint War Organisation, again affording the St. John volunteers protection under the Red Cross emblem.

The organisation once again worked in hospitals, care home, nurseries, ambulance units, rest stations and more, much of which was funded by the Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross and St John appeal, which had raised over £54 million by 1946.

The Red Cross also famously arranged parcels for prisoners of war, following the provisions of the third Geneva convention in 1929, which laid out strict rules for the treatment of PoWs. The Joint War Organisation sent standard food parcels, invalid food parcels, medical supplies, educational books and recreational materials to prisoners of war worldwide. During the conflict, over 20 million standard food parcels were sent.

Post war years

The immediate priorities for the British Red Cross following the war, were the huge number of displaced civilians caused by forced migration during the war. The Red Cross provided much relief for these people, including basic supplies, and helping to reunite people through the Messaging and Tracing Service. This work led to the provisions in the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to protect civilians caught up in war.

Since then, the British Red Cross has provided relief to people worldwide, including during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, in Vietnam in 1976, Famine in Africa in the 1980s and the Colombia Earthquake of 1999. Whilst the society no longer sends its volunteers abroad, it is a leading contributor of delegates to the international red cross pool of emergency relief workers.

In the UK, the society has been active at many major disasters, from the coal tip slide at Aberfan
Aberfan
The Aberfan disaster was a catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip that occurred in the Welsh village of Aberfan on Friday 21 October 1966, killing 116 children and 28 adults.-Mining debris:...

 in 1966, the Lockerbie
Lockerbie
Lockerbie is a town in the Dumfries and Galloway region of south-western Scotland. It lies approximately from Glasgow, and from the English border. It had a population of 4,009 at the 2001 census...

 air disaster in 1988 to the London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

 in 2005, providing support on all levels, from front line medical provision, to running helplines for worried relatives and long term emotional care for the victims.

In July 2008, the society celebrated the 100th anniversary of the granting of the Royal Charter with a garden party at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

. The party was hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Status and Structure

The British Red Cross is recognised by the UK Government as one of three Voluntary Aid Societies, the other two being St John Ambulance and St Andrew's Ambulance Association. It is the sole Red Cross Society for the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

. The organisation is divided into four territories, then into operational areas, and then further into 'branches', which in most cases represent an administrative county. Services provided by the British Red Cross are thus able to be adapted, depending on the circumstances and needs of the local area.

Territory Operational Area Branches
North North West County Durham & Teeside
Northumbria
Cumbria
West Central Lancashire
Merseyside
Greater Manchester
East Central Lincolnshire
Leicestershire and Rutland
Northamptonshire
Yorkshire North Yorkshire
South Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Hull & East Riding
East Midlands Derbyshire
Nottinghamshire
Cheshire
Scotland, Northern Ireland & Isle of Man Northern Scotland North East Scotland & Northern Isles
Highland & Western Isles
Mid Scotland & Argyll Argyll, Bute & Dunbartonshire
Tayside
Forth Valley
Fife, Lothian & Borders Fife
Lothian
Borders
West Central and South West Scotland Glasgow & Renfrewshire
Dumfries & Galloway
Lanarkshire
Ayrshire & Arran
Northern Ireland & Isle of Man Northern Ireland
Isle of Man
South East East Anglia Cambridgeshire
Norfolk
Suffolk
Thames Valley Berkshire
Oxfordshire
Buckinghamshire
South Central Hampshire
Isle of Wight
Surrey
Beds, Herts & Essex Bedfordshire
Hertfordshire
Essex
London London
Kent & Sussex Kent
Sussex
Wales and Western Wales Mid & West Wales
North Wales
South Wales
South & West Wales
Hereford & Worcester Hereford
Worcestershire
Shropshire
West Midlands Staffordshire
West Midlands
Warwickshire
South West & Islands Cornwall
Devon
Dorset
Somerset
Channel Isles
Avon Gloucestershire
Avon
Wiltshire

Activities

The British Red Cross, as with all IFRC member societies, operate first and foremost an Emergency Response service, which supports the statutory and governmental Emergency service
Emergency service
Emergency services are organizations which ensure public safety and health by addressing different emergencies. Some agencies exist solely for addressing certain types of emergencies whilst others deal with ad hoc emergencies as part of their normal responsibilities...

s in times of crisis, in accordance with the duty of Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies to be auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments.

The British Red Cross provides a wide range of services to assist the emergency services and statutory authorities, ranging from first aid support and distribution of aid during a crisis to managing a disaster appeal scheme and providing telephone support lines in its aftermath. Notably, all services of the British Red Cross can be utilised for the emergency response service, as the situation demands. For example, the thereaputic care service can provide support at a rest centre for survivors, while Ambulances can assist the NHS
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 in caring for the injured.

The emergency response service has been present at most types of major emergency such as the London bombings
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

, rail crashes, fires, and floods. The British Red Cross operate this service throughout its territory, available 24 hours a day but, contrary to popular opinion, does not send its volunteers abroad, as overseas disasters will be dealt with by the society in the country affected.

In addition to this core service, the British Red Cross operates in other areas, both at home and abroad as part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human...

 to help people in crisis:

First aid and ambulance provision

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest provider of first aid in the world. The British Red Cross is possibly most recognised in the UK for its work as a leading provider of first aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

 at public events across the UK. Thousands of volunteers give care to the injured at events of all sizes including Premiership football games, concerts and State events.

The training undertaken by First Aid Service volunteers varies, and advanced training is available to those volunteers who wish to undertake it, which includes rising to the level of Ambulance
Ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 Crew. These ambulance crews undergo national standard training and examination and are then qualified to offer an advanced level of care to sick and injured patients. The training is of a sufficiently high standard, that in many areas, along with the other main medical service provider, St. John Ambulance
St. John Ambulance
St John Ambulance, branded as St John in some territories, is a common name used by a number of affiliated organisations in different countries dedicated to the teaching and practice of medical first aid and the provision of ambulance services, all of which derive their origins from the St John...

, British Red Cross ambulance crews work on behalf of the NHS
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 Ambulance Service during particularly busy times or whenever requested, responding to 999 calls from members of the public.

First aid training

The British Red Cross is one of the leading providers of first aid training in the United Kingdom. It trains people both on a community and commercial basis. The commercial training teams run nationally recognised First aid courses specifically designed to provide skills for use at work. The British Red Cross have been running these courses for 25 years and over 120,000 people are trained each year. Courses range from a basic Emergency Life Support to a three-day First Aid at Work (FAW) course recognised by the Health and Safety Executive
Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety Executive is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom. It is the body responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in England and Wales and Scotland...

.

On a community basis, the British Red Cross also is well known as providing many first aid courses across the country to members of the public, as well as reaching out to schools, community groups and minority groups. One of the projects of the British Red Cross is Inclusive First Aid, which seeks to provide training to those who would not otherwise get the opportunity to undertake such training, such as people with disabilities.

First aid training programmes delivered by the Red Cross are renowned for giving participants both the skills and confidence to use what they have learnt, with a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical sessions.

Fire and emergency support

Formerly known as Fire Victim Support, this service is one of the more recent to be started by the British Red Cross. Covering most, but not yet all, of the UK, the British Red Cross provide assistance at the request of the local Fire and Rescue Service to those in the immediate aftermath of emergencies such as a house fire or road traffic accident. Typically a team of two volunteers with a customised vehicle will respond to victims and provide them with shelter, food, first aid, clothing, toiletries, washing facilities and moral support. Volunteers will assist with the process of dealing with local authority housing departments or insurance companies to enable rehousing.

In addition, these teams are frequently called out to major incidents to provide support to the firefighters and other emergency services, from simply making refreshments available, to providing a confidential listening service for those members of the emergency services traumatised by what they have just seen.

They also are key in many Local Authorities' emergency plans and may be given the role of helping at or running Survivor reception centres, setting up Friends and Family reception centres and providing first aid at them, and sometimes the providing first aid at the incident site (such as during the London bombings on 7/7) – thus freeing up more highly trained Paramedics. The Red Cross also are able to set up a number of help lines in connection with major incidents.

Humanitarian education

This service provides a way of learning about and understanding the world – best thought of as a form of citizenship education. It is not religious or political, but is centrally concerned with our shared humanity. At the core of humanitarian action and thinking is a desire to contribute to saving lives and reducing suffering. Humanitarian education invites exploration of those actions and thoughts. Humanitarian Education helps students examine what motivates people, including themselves, and extends to other societies, times and cultures. It explores the wider issues, sometimes surprisingly complex, that arise when people help each other.

The British Red Cross provides educational resources for teachers and trained peer education volunteers. In September 2008 the British Red Cross launched an alternate reality game
Alternate reality game
An alternate reality game is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions....

 called Traces of Hope to help educate people about the work the Red Cross does in conflict areas and the effect war has on civilians.

Health and social care

Skin Camouflage

The British Red Cross also provide skin camouflage
Camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

 creams and training for people with skin deformities. These creams are colour matched by the British Red Cross and later available, on prescription, from the NHS
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

. The creams are designed to cover burns, scars and other skin irregularities which may cause discrimination in society, including scars caused by self-harm
Self-harm
Self-harm or deliberate self-harm includes self-injury and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal intentions. These terms are used in the more recent literature in an attempt to reach a more neutral terminology...

.



Care in the Home

The British Red Cross, in some areas, provides short-term care and support for people recently returned from hospital, or recently having suffered an injury which otherwise would result in a hospital or care facility admission. Volunteers enter peoples' homes and help them with the every day tasks which would otherwise be impossible or pose difficulty for them, such as shopping and getting prescriptions, helping them maintain their independence and dignity, while preparing them for living independently and offering companionship.

While referrals for this service can come from health and social care professionals, people can also self-refer.



Therapeutic care

British Red Cross volunteers in the Therapeutic Care Service are also active in hospitals and other care settings, such as care homes, where they enter and give patients a therapeutic massage of the head, neck, shoulders and hands through the patient's clothing, to help relax them, particularly at stressful times, and encourage a sense of wellbeing. Referrals for this service usually come from healthcare professionals, but people can self-refer, as the service can also be provided at community meeting places and homes.



Transport Service

The British Red Cross provides a number of transport schemes to get people with limited access to transport, either with their own car or public transport, from place to place. Services can be provided by car or minibus, with an escort if appropriate, in order to help people lead a normal life, such as journeys for medical appointments and to shops. This includes in some areas 'Dial-a-Ride' schemes, where elderly or disabled people can phone and are transported by specially adapted minibus door to door.

In addition, the British Red Cross also provides, in some areas, ambulance
Ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 transport, either seated or stretcher, between places of treatment, or for admissions and discharges of patients at hospital. This is operated by the trained ambulance crews also used for emergency ambulance provision.

In 2008 as part of their 60th Anniversary celebration land rover
Land Rover
Land Rover is a British car manufacturer with its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom which specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is owned by the Indian company Tata Motors, forming part of their Jaguar Land Rover group...

 donated 60 freelander vehicles to the British Red Cross for use in the UK and around the world.

Refugee services

Since 1989, the British Red cross has provided a range of services to refugees, including managing a number of refugee reception centres nationwide. The work includes providing refugee orientation services and ensuring that life essentials, such as shelter and food are provided for. In cases of destitution, the British Red Cross can provide short-term emergency help, and advice on accessing other services. A peer befriending service also exists to provide help to vulnerable refugees, such as young people and women. The British Red Cross can also assist in cases of large-scale arrivals to the United Kingdom.

As of September 2008 the British Red Cross is a member of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
European Council on Refugees and Exiles
The European Council on Refugees and Exiles is a pan-European network of refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations that promotes a humane and generous European asylum policy...

.

International tracing and messaging service

This is another specialised international service, operated by the majority of national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide. Started to help the refugees of war, this service now extends to any person, who has lost touch with family through war or disaster. The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network uses local volunteers to find relations, put them back in touch, or simply pass messages.

The British Red Cross also provides this service to those separated by the Second World War.

International disaster relief

Since the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is worldwide, there are volunteers in the nation affected that can provide help in disaster situations. However, the British Red Cross, in common with other national societies, sends paid personnel abroad, called delegates, who have specialised skills such as in logistics, to assist the agencies in the aftermath of a major international disaster. This is in addition to resources the British Red Cross can provide, in co-operation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The British Red Cross also provides assistance in recovery after the immediate post-disaster situation, helping prepare communities for future emergencies and facilitating long-term development.

As the largest charity of its type, it is also part of the UK Disasters Emergency Committee
Disasters Emergency Committee
The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella group comprising fourteen UK charities. These charities are all associated with disaster related issues such as providing clean water, humanitarian aid and medical care....

, which is a group of large charities who fund raise for major disasters, such as the Boxing day tsunami
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...


Health and care abroad

The British Red Cross works closely with other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to improve the health and care situation of vulnerable communities abroad.

The British Red Cross has been supporting HIV work internationally since the mid-1980s, for example in China, South Africa and Ethiopia. The charity helps combat Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 in Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, including supporitng programmes involved in raising awareness and supporting those affected in their homes. Furthermore, it supports water and sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

 activities in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Cambodia, by providing safer drinking water and sanitation facilities and educating populations.

The British Red Cross also supports programmes assisting healthcare in conflict areas, such as Iraq and Sudan.

HIV awareness

The British Red Cross supports the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's mission to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS worldwide. The society works with groups of young people to fight discrimination and stigma as well as reducing complacency about catching the disease. On World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day, observed December 1 every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Government and health officials observe the day, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an...

 (1 December) 2007, the society launched an on-line campaign called "HIV: What's the story?" to target young people in the UK and overseas. The campaign also makes extensive use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo
Bebo
Bebo is a social networking website launched in July 2005. It is currently owned and operated by Criterion Capital Partners after taking over from AOL in June 2010....

.

Example of annual activity

In 2010 the British Red Cross carried out the following activities:
  • provided water, food and shelter for over 420,000 people affected by 25 overseas disasters
  • trained 221,970 people in first aid
    First aid
    First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

     (in the UK)
  • provided first aid services at 9,533 public events
  • responded to 2,102 emergencies in the UK
  • helped 7,109 victims of fire

Fundraising

As a charity, the British Red Cross relies heavily on voluntary contributions from members of the public and organisations, in order to carry out its work. In addition, it does also make money from its commercial services, including First Aid Training (for the workplace), First aid provision at events and providing auxiliary crews to the ambulance services.

Whilst personal donations are important, the scale of corporate donations can make a huge difference to the society, and initiatives such as being the Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

 charity of the year in 2007 make large contributions to central funds.

Every year, many events are held, including sponsored bike rides, walks and even skydives. Red Cross Appeal Week (formerly known as Red Cross Flag Week), is held annually in May, to coincide with the birthday of Red Cross founder, Henry Dunant
Henry Dunant
Jean Henri Dunant , aka Henry Dunant, was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern day Italy...

. This is a week where staff and volunteers are asked to donate two hours to run street and private premises collections.

The British Red Cross helps to fund, and is aided with funds raised by, the national will-making scheme Will aid
Will Aid
Will Aid is a charity will-writing scheme designed to reinforce the need for everyone to have a professionally drawn-up will and to raise funds for the participating charities....

, in which participating solicitors waive their usual fee to write a basic will and in exchange invite the client to donate to charity.

Celebrity links

In order to help boost support for the cause, the Red Cross has a number of celebrity ambassadors which include Michael Buerk
Michael Buerk
Michael Duncan Buerk is a BBC journalist and newsreader, most famous for his reporting of the Ethiopian famine on 23 October 1984, which inspired the Band Aid charity record.-Early life:...

, James McAvoy
James McAvoy
James McAvoy is a Scottish stage and screen actor. He made his acting debut as a teen in 1995's The Near Room and continued to make mostly television appearances until the early 2000s. His notable television work includes State of Play, Shameless, and Frank Herbert's Children of Dune...

, David Bull
David Bull
David Bull is a British physician, author, and host and commentator on a variety of British television programmes, such as Newsround, Living's Most Haunted Live!, Channel 4's Richard & Judy, the BBC's Watchdog, Watchdog Healthcheck, Tomorrow's World, and Sky's The Breathing Life Awards...

, Josie D'Arby
Josie D'Arby
Josie d'Arby is a Welsh actress and television presenter from Newport, Wales.-Biography:d'Arby went to Lliswerry High School in her younger years then went on to attend the Anna Scher Theatre School, and later the London School of Journalism.d'Arby began a presenting career while still a student...

, Nancy Dell'Olio
Nancy Dell'Olio
Annunziata Dell'Olio, better known as Nancy Dell'Olio, is an Italian-American property lawyer who first came to public notice as the girlfriend of Sven-Göran Eriksson, then manager of the England national football team.-Early life:...

, Konnie Huq
Konnie Huq
Kanak Asha "Konnie" Huq is a British television presenter, who is best known for being the longest-serving female presenter of Blue Peter, having presented it from 1 December 1997 until 23 January 2008...

, Craig Gannon
Craig Gannon
Craig Gannon , is an English guitar player. Previously best known for being the second guitarist in The Smiths, he is now a composer for film and television.-Career:...

 and Dougray Scott
Dougray Scott
-Early life:The son of Elma, a nurse, and Alan Scott, an actor and salesperson, Stephen Dougray Scott was born in Glenrothes, Fife and attended Auchmuty High School...

.

British Red Cross Museum

The British Red Cross runs a museum containing a variety of materials from its beginnings in 1870 to its modern activities. The collections include posters, photographs, badges worn by Society members, medals awarded to Society members, medical equipment and fundraising materials. The museum and archive collection are available to view by appointment only.

External links

  • Official website
  • Registered Charity No. 220949
  • British Red Cross on Flickr
    Flickr
    Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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