accessibility & help

British Red Cross van ambushed on way to pick up DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal stock

Monday 26 January 2010
For further information please contact

Laura Hinks

telephone: +44(0)207 877 7463 / mobile: 07921 493560/ email:

• Clothes, shoes, books and household goods now desperately needed at Red Cross shops across the country

• Drop donations at your local British Red Cross shop to help DEC appeal

A British Red Cross van was ambushed yesterday in south-east London (Monday 25 January) on its way to collect goods donated to the Red Cross. The Red Cross is currently collecting stocking for the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

The van was stolen in St Mary’s Road, Nunhead, when a man flagged it down pretending a cat had been run over, before jumping into the vehicle and driving off.

The van (Reg: KD06 EVY) had just dropped off donated goods at a Red Cross shop and was on its way to pick up more when the incident happened at about 11.30am this morning. It was the only Red Cross van covering the London area and crucially needed to collect stock.

Mark Astarita, Director of fundraising for the British Red Cross, said:
“This is a very sad thing to happen and now the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal may miss out on hundreds of pounds which would have gone to help those people struggling to cope following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

I urge the public to clear out their closets and take their unwanted goods to their local Red Cross shop, as now, more than ever, we need to raise as much money as possible.”

This is the first time ever the Red Cross has appealed for stock for its 316 stores for an emergency appeal. Such is the public's overwhelming desire to help, the Red Cross is offering another way to make a difference to the thousands who have been affected by the devastating earthquake. Up until Saturday 13 February British Red Cross shops will be accepting donations of good quality clothing, books, household items and unwanted gifts to sell for the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal.

People can drop off their donated goods at their local Red Cross shop, say they want them to be sold for Haiti and they will be specially labelled for shoppers to see. The Red Cross is part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which brings together 13 leading UK aid agencies at times of major crisis.

To find your local Red Cross shop visit.

If you have any queries relating to the stock appeal call 01883 724 222  Cash is still desperately needed for the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal. To donate visit or call 0370 60 60 900


For more information on the British Red Cross please visit:

Notes to editors
Interviews and filming opportunities are available, please contact Laura Hinks on 0207 877 7463 / 07921 493 560 with any requests.

As part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which brings together 13 leading UK aid agencies at times of major crisis, we are appealing for goods to sell through our chain of shops to support the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal such as quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts. Income raised from any goods expressly donated in support of the appeal and sold in the period Friday 22 January 2010 to Saturday 13 February 2010 will go towards the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal. Any such stock that is unsaleable or remains unsold after this period will be recycled or sold to help raise funds for British Red Cross work, wherever and whenever we are needed. For more information see

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.