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Volunteer issue: our response

4 November 2014

Flags showing the red cross and red crescent

Following the Daily Mail article (1 November 2014)  we want to reassure people that the British Red Cross would not ever take a decision to ask a volunteer to relinquish their duties lightly or without very good cause.

Our 30,000 volunteers in the UK make a vital contribution and we value them enormously. It is with reluctance that we have had to take action in this case, not least because of this volunteer’s long service record.

Of course we cannot discuss individual cases in detail but we want to make it absolutely clear that the Red Cross did not dismiss this volunteer specifically because of the views he has on same-sex marriage.

Volunteers have a variety of views on a wide range of topics. The Red Cross respects the right of individuals to hold differing views so long as this does not affect their ability to deliver our services impartially to all who need our help, as enshrined in our fundamental principles.

Where there are serious concerns that certain attitudes will have – or have had – a negative impact on the way services are delivered to a particular community then the Red Cross has no option but to act.

We always respect and follow our own rigorous processes in dealing with matters like this. Our volunteer complaints policy clearly states that the British Red Cross expects behaviour that is non-discriminatory and promotes equality. We seek to ensure that our organisation and our services are relevant and accessible to all.

Our volunteers uphold and share these principles of equal and fair treatment and we want to take this opportunity to thank them and to pay tribute to all our supporters for their continued backing.

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