Emergency appeal questions

What happens to your donation in an emergency appeal, the best way to support people and why cash is best for emergencies.

How do I donate to the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal?

Thank you for wanting to support our relief efforts in Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria.

Quick links:

Arrow icon What's the best way to support people in Türkiye and Syria?

Arrow icon What's the best way to fundraise for the Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Appeal?

Arrow icon Where can I donate physical items?

What's the best way to support people in Türkiye and Syria?

As with our other appeals, we are not accepting physical donations such as blankets, clothes, blood or medicines. Donated items need to be sorted, cleaned and transported, which would take volunteers away from relief efforts.  

The best way to donate is through our Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. Cash donations are by far the quickest, safest and most direct way to help people and to support the work of the Red Cross in Türkiye and Syria.  

It means we can help with whatever is needed, source things locally and transport them quickly.

All money donated will cover countries currently affected and those potentially affected in the future.

In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

What's the best way to fundraise for people in Türkiye and Syria?

To discuss holding a fundraiser for the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal, please get in touch by calling us 0300 456 1005 (calls charged at standard UK landline rate). You can also email us at getfundraising@redcross.org.uk to register your interest in running a fundraising event.

Here are some popular fundraising ideas:

  • Swapping your skills for donations, by holding an online or in-person tutorial. Share your cooking, language or music skills and raise money at the same time
  • Streaming or gaming, via a gameathon or live stream
  • Hosting a cake sale
  • Hosting a Red Cross ‘cup of kindness’ tea party (online or in person)
  • Sponsored challenges – hold a sponsored silence, sponsored walk or think up your own challenge
  • Bag packing at supermarkets in return for donations
  • Setting up a Facebook fundraiser to raise money from your social network

Find more fundraising ideas in the British Red Cross fundraising packs. You can also learn more about virtual fundraising.

Where can I donate items to people in Türkiye and Syria?

While the British Red Cross is not accepting physical items like blankets, clothes or medical equipment, there are collection points around the country:

In London, you can drop off items at the following addresses:

  • South London - SE1 5TY
  • Hackney - E8 4FF
  • West london - TW4 5NP
  • Beyzade Restaurant, Southwest London - SW15 2SR
  • Cafe Joice, Stoke Newington - N16 OUL
  • Rosy Lea Cafe, Putney - SW15 2SP
  • The Highcross centre, Fountayne Road - N15 4QN

The North West Turkish Communities Association has sites in Liverpool and Manchester which are welcoming donations for the affected.

  • Senol & Senol Ltd t/a GOSS OutdoorUnit C Canalside North John Gilbert Way Trafford Park, Manchester M17 1UP (next estate to Manchester United football ground N3 Car Park - from 09:00 - 16:00 on weekdays)
  • UK FatMilk-Lab UK building, Sadler Street, Middleton, M24 5U (from 09:00 - 16:30 on weekdays)
  • Taste of Malpa 62-66 Oxton Road, Birkenhead, CH41 2TW
  • Anar Restuarant, 130 Prescot Road, Fairfield, L7 0JB

Anyone based in the Cambridge area can donate via the Cambridge Central Mosque.

What happens to my donation in an emergency appeal?

We don't wait around! Nearly every country in the world has a Red Cross or Red Crescent, meaning that staff and volunteers are almost always on the ground making a difference straight away after a disaster.

In support of this, we release some funds immediately, before we've even launched an emergency appeal or asked for donations. 

Where we send money within the Movement

The British Red Cross is one of over 190 Red Cross or Red Crescent societies. When there’s a major disaster, we all work together as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC).

This collective, the IFRC, ensures that we all work together effectively, pooling our resources to make the maximum impact – this is where the British Red Cross sends most of its money following a crisis.

Deciding how the money is used

A detailed plan of action is developed, focused on how we’re going to support vulnerable people to cope with the crisis.

Typically, this plan is for a year or even longer, and details how we’ll support people to recover and get back on their feet.

Making sure it gets spent the right way

National societies, like us, can pledge funds and deploy teams or goods to support the plan.

We almost always deploy British Red Cross teams, who help make sure the money is spent effectively on the ground. We also work closely with country’s government, the UN and other charities.

Checking for fraud

We have a comprehensive fraud, bribery and corruption policy in place to prevent, detect and manage the risk of these in our operations, both in the UK and internationally.

Reporting back

We send people to carry out detailed reviews of the work that has taken place, to ensure money has been spent effectively and made a difference to people's lives.

These reports and reviews are all published online.

Why are only cash donations accepted for emergency appeals?

Many people want to donate blankets and food when disaster strikes. But giving money is the best thing you can do.

In most cases, donating items doesn't help those affected by disaster. At worst, it can slow down our ability to save lives. 

Transport costs are high for donated goods and donated items need to be sorted, cleaned and transported.

Delivering these items means we spend more on our relief efforts. This leaves less money to help those in crisis.

Cash donations mean we can give help fast

Cash can be instantly transferred to areas where it’s needed. It can be used to buy whatever those affected by disaster need most.

This helps to rebuild communities. We can support nearby markets and traders.

In overseas emergencies, cash donations also allow us to be sensitive to local traditions and culture.

We get better value for money when we buy goods locally

When disaster strikes, we buy and source goods locally. This supports local businesses through difficult times - and it’s also more cost-effective.

On average, it costs four times more to source and buy goods here in the UK and send them overseas than it does to buy the same items locally.

Donated goods can block aid

Disaster areas are hard to reach if roads and bridges are damaged.

It’s vital that emergency teams can reach the people who need them. Roads should not be blocked by trucks carrying donations.

We know where donated money goes

Money donated to the British Red Cross stays within our Movement. We use our network to make sure help is given to the people who need our support.

We have staff at the scene during emergencies. They make sure your money is used properly.

The British Red Cross is also a member of The Cash Learning Partnership. This ensures that transfers reach the people who need them.

If you are near an area hit by disaster, specific donations can help

Are you close to an area hit by disaster? Then you can help by responding to requests for specific donations from food banks and shelters. Always check first to see what they need.

Please donate any other items to a British Red Cross shop. We can sell your gift to raise money that funds our work in the UK and overseas.

Can I donate medical items to emergency appeals?

We can only accept money for emergency appeals. This allows us to support the people who need our help most.

Are there other ways I can help support emergency appeals?

You could organise a fundraising event. To discuss this, please get in touch by calling us 0300 456 1005 (calls charged at standard UK landline rate). You can also email us at getfundraising@redcross.org.uk to register your interest in running a fundraising event.

How do I support the Ukraine crisis?

Find out how much of your donation will go to Ukraine and other information about our appeal. 

Information about donating to Ukraine

Donate to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal

Got a question about emergency appeals?

Call us:

0300 456 1155

Calls charged at your phone operator’s UK landline rate