11 November 2018

Press release - British Red Cross volunteers march at Cenotaph Parade to mark a century since thousands volunteered in WWI

For immediate release

For further information: Rehema Figueiredo, rfigueiredo@redcross.org.uk, PR Officer, 0207 877 7041, Out of hours, 07719 391703

Photos: https://we.tl/t-km6R9jntKT

 

  • Volunteers joined 10,000 veterans marching past the Cenotaph 
  • The British Red Cross deployed 90,000 volunteers in WWI, most of them women
  • The organisation recently experienced one of the most demanding years in its history 

 

British Red Cross volunteers joined 10,000 veterans at the Cenotaph Parade today as the organisation marked the role of its volunteers in conflict, a century since they supported the sick and wounded in WWI.

The 23 carefully selected volunteers from across the UK formed part of the guard of honour around the Cenotaph and took part in the march past on Whitehall after the Royal Family laid wreaths of remembrance. 

Today marks 100 years since the end of WWI, when the British Red Cross played a key role, with 90,000 of its volunteers carrying out lifesaving work at home and abroad. The organisation continues to rely on the support of its volunteers, having experienced one of the most demanding years for humanitarian support in its history in 2017.

Amongst the volunteers taking part in the Remembrance Day commemorations today, led by the Royal Family, were Louise Dunning, 40, and Alex Bannister, 44, who married two weeks ago after both volunteering for the Red Cross for over a decade. The pair took part in the march past, representing the Red Cross and volunteering together for the first time as a married couple.

Alex and Louise, from Tunbridge Wells, are Event First Aid and Emergency Response (ER) volunteers and are regularly called out to evacuations, floods and fires, supporting the emergency services and providing first aid assistance. 

Event First Aid and Emergency Response volunteer Alex Bannister said: “I’m so honoured to be taking part today. My grandmother was very actively involved with the Red Cross in WWII in Belgium and I still have my great-grandfather's First World War service medals so it means a huge amount to me to have been chosen to represent the British Red Cross today as a volunteer of more than 15 years. 

“Today is about commemorating the thousands of volunteers who put themselves at risk and lost their lives in conflict so that I and others can be here today. It is an honour for Louise and me to represent our fellow volunteers who give their time to help people in crisis.”

Other British Red Cross volunteers wore formal uniform to form part of the Civilian Service Contingent. The official wreath carrier was Pam Hansen, from Nottingham, who has volunteered with the British Red Cross for 12 years as an emergency response volunteer and first aid trainer. 

British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said: “The British Red Cross has been supporting people in crisis for almost 150 years. There are thousands of historic and present day stories which demonstrate the extraordinary power of human kindness upon which our charity has been built.

“Our more than 90,000 volunteers in WWI saved and changed lives, and today more than 20,000 people volunteer for the British Red Cross, helping us continue that incredible legacy. 

One hundred years on from WWI, the lifesaving work we do is still as vital and as relevant as ever. The events of last year saw one of the largest humanitarian responses in our history, and it’s only through the support of the British public, giving their time to support us, that we can continue to help people in crisis in the UK and throughout the world.”

Show the power of kindness and help us continue the incredible legacy of our WWI volunteers by signing up today: www.redcross.org.uk/volunteer 

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

More than 20,000 people volunteer for the British Red Cross. 

In 2017 the British Red Cross experienced one of the most demanding years for humanitarian support since WWI and we need more volunteers to continue to help people in crisis

It is only through the support of the British public, giving their time to support us that we can continue to help people in crisis in the UK and throughout the world.

Show the power of kindness and help us continue the incredible legacy of our WWI volunteers by signing up today: www.redcross.org.uk/volunteer    

The British Red Cross helps 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 to recover and move on with their lives. 
www.redcross.org.uk 

Remembrance Day volunteers