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'I remember the Red Cross saving lives at Aberfan disaster'

Dorothy Jennings relaxes at home in Wales

Almost 50 years ago, Dorothy Jennings witnessed our volunteers helping at the Aberfan disaster in Wales – and now we’re supporting her.

Although she’s now 83 years old, Dorothy still gets emotional when recalling the Aberfan disaster – the terrible landslide in Wales that claimed 144 lives in 1966.

As a child, Dorothy had gone to both the schools that were caught up in the disaster, and she knew many of the victims and their families. 

‘Courageous’ volunteers

She recalled: “I can still see it all vividly in my mind right now – all those buildings just buried under a sea of dust and sludge. My nieces and nephews were attending one of those schools, so the disaster is very close to me.”

But there is one memory she still treasures: “The one positive experience from that horrible episode, for me, was seeing the courageous Red Cross volunteers at work, trying to save lives.”

Following the disaster, Dorothy started supporting the British Red Cross – which became her ‘adopted charity’. And when she started struggling to cope at home recently, she knew there would be one organisation she could count on.

‘Priceless’ service

Dorothy said: “The Red Cross’ support at home volunteers have become my friends and family. They help with everything – from doing the groceries and programming my central heating, to checking my voicemails on the mobile phone.”

Dorothy added: “Most importantly, the Red Cross was there to help me cope with the loss of my husband.

“I’m at home by myself for most of the time, so the support at home service has really been priceless to me. I hope many more people in my situation may benefit from it.”

Find out how we helped a traditional woodsman in Wales

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