Sunday 10th January 2010
For further information please contact
Penny Sims +44(0)0207 877 7044, PSims@redcross.org.uk, out of hours 07659 145 095
or Heron Holloway, HHolloway@redcross.org.uk, out of hours07659 145 095
British Red Cross deliver food and warn of risk to vulnerable people
Volunteers respond as arctic conditions look set to continue
The extreme weather conditions experienced across the UK has resulted in one of the busiest periods for British Red Cross staff and volunteers in 30 years.
As part of a huge response across the country volunteers have been supporting ambulance services, transporting patients and crucial medical staff, helping stranded motorists, using village wardens to check on older people and getting hot water and food to people cut off without power.
Martin Annis, Head of Emergency Planning at the British Red Cross said: “As the freezing conditions continue to affect people country wide we are increasingly concerned about the risk to the vulnerable – such as the elderly, sick and destitute refugees and asylum seekers.
“We have staff and volunteers out in some rural communities checking on older and vulnerable residents as well as teams giving out food parcels to destitute refugees and asylum seekers in Birmingham.”
• In North East Cumbria, the Red Cross are using 4x4s to help district nurses reach urgent cases
• Red Cross volunteers are on standby to assist pregnant women on the Isle of Skye as they reach their due dates and need to be taken to hospital
• In Herefordshire, village wardens have been mobilised to check on older and more vulnerable people in rural communities
• Loans of medical equipment such as wheelchairs and crutches have seen a huge increase due to winter injuries
• 4x4s carrying food parcels have been deployed in the North West to reach destitute asylum seekers cut off by the snow. In Birmingham, the Refugee Service has seen a three-fold increase in demand for food parcels
• As part of a partnership with EDF, British Red Cross volunteers have been providing blankets, food and in some cases delivering hot water to vulnerable people after power cuts in East Anglia, Kent and Sussex
• In Peterborough, volunteers helped to run a soup kitchen for homeless people and gave out blankets and hot drinks
• Extra vehicles have been supplied to the Red Cross by Land Rover, and the Yorkshire and Humberside 4x4 Club are on standby to provide extra support
Notes to editors
For interviews, pictures or more information, please call Penny Sims on 020 7877 7044 or 07659 145 095
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
Land Rover donated 30 vehicles to the British Red Cross for use across the UK as part of a 60 vehicle donation to mark both the 60th anniversary of Land Rover and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Charter being granted to the British Red Cross.