24 October 2019

Red Cross set to help anyone who may be affected by the Essex lorry tragedy

British Red Cross Director of Refugee Support & Restoring Family Links, Alex Fraser, said:

“Each of the 39 people that have died has a family and friends that will be devastated by their loss or uncertain of whether it is their loved one. 

It’s possible that some of those people are in the UK, as well as overseas. Through the work we do on the ground, we are putting the word out that we are here to offer support in any way that we can.

The British Red Cross is also working with international colleagues to promote ways loved ones may be able to come forward to let the authorities know their relatives could be amongst those who died in yesterday’s tragedy.

In the past 24 hours, our staff have been liaising with counterparts around the world to encourage anyone concerned to contact us for support and, if they feel safe and able to do so, to get in touch with the police. 

There is likely to be a level of fear about coming forward in this case because of the circumstances.  Those who are bereaved may have been exploited themselves or feel that speaking up could put them in serious danger. We would hope that by continuing to treat the bereaved and their families with dignity and compassion, it will make it possible for relatives to reach out to seek advice and enquire about missing loved ones.

We have a long history of reconnecting family members that have been forcibly separated for whatever reason, or helping them to confirm whether their loved one is still alive, through our ‘Restoring Family Links’ work. 

As part of this, people looking for family members or wanting to be found can upload photos of themselves to a Red Cross website called ‘Trace The Face’, where all other information about them and the missing person is kept confidential.”

Spokespeople available. For more information, please contact:

Matthew Carter, MatthewCarter@redcross.org.uk, 07557802463 

Claudine Frisby, ClaudineFrisby@redcross.org.uk, 0207 877 5051 

Out-of-hours – press@redcross.org.uk,  07710 391703 

If you have been affected by this tragedy, you can find more information about support for you here.