accessibility & help

Birthday honours for three volunteers

21 June 2013

Three British Red Cross volunteers were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013.

Wendy Solesbury was awarded an MBE for services to the British Red Cross, the Olympics and Paralympics. Wendy has been involved with the Red Cross for 39 years, firstly as a volunteer and then as a staff member.

She says: “I feel very humbled. I feel there are others much more deserving of this award than me. It’s very weird as I’m just doing what I was brought up to do by my parents – my dad is the most amazing man who has been a Red Cross volunteer for over 50 years.

“The work I do with young people at the Red Cross is so inspiring. They are the most amazing people to work with and always have such energy, enthusiasm and passion. That’s what drives me every day.

“The Red Cross is one big family and I feel very privileged to be part of it.”

Medals for two volunteers

Norman Woods, who joined the Red Cross in 1965, received a BEM. Norman worked with the Red Cross in Greater Manchester for many years. From 1974 he co-ordinated first aid at numerous major events, including the Pope’s visit to the city in 1981.

Norman also helped to organise a communication and rest centre for local volunteers and emergency services during the First Gulf War. In 2002 he organised volunteers at the Commonwealth Games.

During the 1980s and ‘90s, Norman secured ambulances and volunteer drivers for the Red Cross in Manchester. He attended holidays for disabled people for 25 years, delivered mobility aids and swine flu vaccines, and collected money regularly for the Red Cross.

Norman is now the Chair of Somerset County Volunteer Council and trains volunteers in first aid.

"Truly inspirational"

Jeannette Harrison, who began volunteering for the charity in 1984, was also given a BEM. Jeanette was initially a fundraiser and a first aider. Thanks to her skills and enthusiasm, she became responsible for all the commercial first aid training in Humberside.

Over the years Jeannette has volunteered tirelessly for the Red Cross, from fundraising, training and first aid duties at events and on ambulances to practical help for retired members. She has volunteered with the Fire and Emergency Support Service since it started in 1997, providing practical and emotional support to people made homeless by house fires and floods.

Her Red Cross colleagues describe her as “a truly inspirational person who is entirely selfless and can always be relied upon to help anyone who needs it, regardless of her own needs.”

Find out more about volunteering for the Red Cross.


Latest UK news

A further £5.5 million of funds raised from public donations are to be distributed to survivors of the Grenfell Tower Disaster.

Local authorities are struggling to meet their obligations to prevent, reduce, or delay the need for care, according to a new Red Cross report.

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers are being left destitute in the UK without the support they are entitled to from government.