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British Red Cross launch first ever manifesto

19 March 2010
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Mandy George
020 7877 7524 / Out of office hours pager: 07659 145095

Henry Makiwa
020 7877 7479 / Out of office hours pager: 07659 145095

The British Red Cross has launched its first ever manifesto calling on all political parties to support the Red Cross¡¦ vision of a world where everyone gets the help they need in a crisis.

In the run up to the election, ¡§Saving Lives, Changing Lives: a call to action¡¨ asks for politician¡¦s positive action and support in several key areas including emergency response, overseas aid, health and social care and first aid. The manifesto is in line with the British Red Cross¡¦ new corporate direction of doing more to advocate for services and beneficiaries.

British Red Cross Chief Executive Sir Nick Young said: ¡§Following the recent snowstorms across the UK and the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake, 2010 has already proved to be a busy and challenging year for the British Red Cross. On top of these emergencies, the global economic downturn, climate change and an increasing number of natural disasters mean that it is vital that the Red Cross is prepared and equipped to respond to future challenges: but we cannot do it alone.

¡§We are calling on all political parties to engage with our work. What we ultimately want to impress upon them is that this is an opportunity to reinstate humanitarian values firmly within the heart of democracy. These values are not just a vague concept: they can save lives.

¡§Whether it is through the debate about health and social care provision in the UK, understanding independent humanitarian space abroad, or helping communities to be able to respond to the threats they face, political parties¡¦ support and engagement can make a real difference to improving vulnerable people¡¦s lives across the UK and overseas.¡¨

For more information or a copy of the manifesto go to: or Read our full manifesto on the ePolitix website:


Notes to editors

The British Red Cross is calling on all main political parties to support the following goals:

„« Emergency preparedness: We propose an annual ¡¥Preparedness Week¡¦ to improve the ability of individuals, volunteers, groups and organisations to respond to risks and emergencies in their area
„« First aid in schools: Equip every pupil with basic first aid skills by making first aid education a mandatory part of the school curriculum in primary and secondary schools
„« Better care at home: Provide a care and support system based on dignity and safety that better promotes independence and living at home
„« Asylum without destitution: Achieve an asylum support system that provides asylum seekers with the right to work, access to health care and support until removal
„« Impartial humanitarian assistance: Support the promotion of the international principles of impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian assistance.
„« Resilient communities: Place greater emphasis on helping local communities become safer and more resilient to the range of threats they face.

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.