British Red Cross
The British Red Cross Society is the United Kingdom branch of the worldwide impartial humanitarian organisation the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 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.
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 services 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 therapeutic care service can provide support at a rest centre for survivors, while Ambulances can assist the NHS in caring for the injured.
The emergency response service has been present at most types of major emergency such as the London bombings, 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 to help people in crisis:
- First Aid and Ambulance Provision
- First Aid Training
- Fire and Emergency Support
- Humanitarian Education
- Health and Social Care
- Refugee Services
- International Tracing and Messaging Service
- International Disaster Relief
- Health and Care Abroad
- HIV awareness