accessibility & help

Arthur and Esther’s story: 'We wanted to say thank you'

After our volunteers helped 94-year-old Arthur Phillips recover from a house fire, his six-year-old granddaughter started fundraising for the Red Cross to say thank you.

Arthur was at home in his Yorkshire flat when his faulty kitchen freezer went up in flames. Luckily, the fire service arrived quickly, and Arthur and his neighbours escaped unharmed.

However, Arthur’s daughter Judith – the usual contact in an emergency – was on holiday at the time and couldn’t be found. This left the pensioner in a bit of a pickle, until the fire service called the Red Cross fire and emergency support service (FESS).

Ongoing support

Our FESS volunteers are trained to support people following domestic fires and other emergencies. They travel in a special vehicle, which is equipped with a shower, fresh clothes, food, drink and other emergency supplies.

Since Arthur’s kitchen had suffered some damage from the smoke and flames, the volunteers helped guide him through his insurance claim. They also regularly checked up on the pensioner in the days afterwards to make sure everything was going smoothly.

The volunteers even organised a meals-on-wheels service, so he’d have one less thing to worry about.

Little fundraiser

When Judith returned from her holiday and found out what had happened, she was so relieved that the Red Cross had been there for her dad.

She said: “The Red Cross have been incredibly helpful. I was completely unaware of this particular service but am so impressed by it.”

She added: “My daughter Esther so pleased with how the Red Cross had helped her granddad, she decided to sell some fruit cocktails and homemade lemonade to raise money for them.

“She made £8.60 and was very pleased! We’ll be adding some extra money to Esther’s donation, and think it’s very well deserved.” 

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