28 December 2023

New Year's Honours 2024: Red Cross volunteer recognised for six decades supporting the people of Cumbria

Red Cross volunteer Graham Hundley, who won a BEM in the New Year Honour's List 2024

Graham Hundley has volunteered with the British Red Cross for more than 60 years.

  • Embargoed: 29 December 2023 (22:00)
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  • Contact number: 020 7877 7557

A British Red Cross volunteer of six decades, who has been serving his community since he was 11 years old, has been recognised in the 2024 New Year’s Honours List.

Emergency response volunteer Graham Hundley joins the other distinguished public servants who are to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of the outstanding work he does helping people during emergencies in the UK. This includes fellow British Red Cross volunteer, Gloria Moss.

Graham, who lives in Kendal, Cumbria, joined the British Red Cross when he was 11 as a young cadet receiving training about what needed to be done in the event of a nuclear strike, and this inspired him to develop a career in training people.

Sixty-four years later, he is still as active as ever, having supported major emergency events across the UK.

Graham has been a driving force behind the Red Cross’ Emergency Response in Cumbria initiative, which responds to emergencies such as flooding as well as supporting communities to build resilience.

During the 2009 Cockermouth floods, he supported the evacuation of residents, organising volunteer rotas to staff the rest centres and supported the drop-in hub.

During the 15-month recovery phase, he often drove an hour from home to home, delivering food parcels, prescriptions, and checking on people who had been left without power.

During the Covid pandemic, Graham coordinated NHS volunteers from his home after been seen as vulnerable to the virus. He rostered the volunteers into two local hospitals where they organised PPE and helped to staff the meet-and-greet service.

Graham Hundley said: “The British Red Cross is a very satisfying organisation to volunteer for. It gives me a great personal sense of satisfaction and benefits the community as well.

“I am proud of everything I have done and feel humbled to be awarded a British Empire Medal for my work.”

British Red Cross Chief Executive, Béatrice Butsana-Sita, said: “Every year, the New Year’s honours list gives us an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary contributions made by our amazing volunteers and this is no different.

“For decades, Graham has gone above and beyond, repeatedly there to provide emergency support to the communities of Cumbria.

“We thank him for his kindness, courage, and tireless dedication.”

Notes to editors 

  • Photos attached of Graham Hundley
  • For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped 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 recover and move on with their lives. www.redcross.org.uk