"The British Red Cross is proud to be part of BBC's Big Night In"
By Mike Adamson, chief executive, British Red Cross
Tonight, for the first time ever, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief are joining forces to present The Big Night In - an evening of entertainment to raise vital funds to help some of the most vulnerable people in our country during the coronavirus crisis.
It really does show that whilst this virus may keep us apart, kindness will keep us together – and the British Red Cross is delighted to be one of the chosen charities that will benefit from funds raised by the BBC show tonight.
Money raised by The Big Night In will help the Red Cross support communities and people worst hit by the coronavirus crisis – those who are experiencing financial hardship, are isolated or lonely, and refugees and people seeking asylum.
Every kind act matters
Funds will help provide practical support, such as delivering basic supplies and welfare packs to people at home, sorting supplies at food banks and phoning to check in on people who need help. This work complements our year-round essential services, such as helping people return home after a stay in hospital and ensuring they have what they need. A service more vital now than ever.
Right now every kind act matters. We have been supporting people in crisis for 150 years and we know that in an emergency everyone has their own needs, individual to them.
People like 81-year-old Norman from Trafford who sadly has terminal cancer and is no longer strong enough even to hold a pen. When lockdown measures meant Norman’s partner Renee could no longer get to the shops, frontline Red Cross support worker Natalie made sure the couple got all the help they needed. And Norman trusted Natalie enough that on her final visit to see him before the lockdown, he felt comfortable to ask her for help writing a last love letter to Renee.
It is these simple acts of kindness that can make the world of difference to people’s lives during a crisis.
We all have a part to play in supporting each other
There are things we can all be doing to show our kindness – whether it’s checking in on loved ones or reaching out to a vulnerable neighbour - we all have a part to play in supporting each other.
It has been really touching to see the surge in acts of kindness across the country at this time, as people step forward to look out for others. We have been awed by the number of people wanting to help and the outpouring of kindness from across the nation. We now have over 80,000 people signed up to be a community reserve volunteer – on standby in their local area to support with anything from helping at their local food bank, to playing a vital role in easing pressure on the NHS by delivering essential goods and supplies.
We are present throughout the world
The world is facing an unprecedented global emergency. This virus does not respect borders and has already significantly impacted populations around the world. We know our global response will only be as strong as the ability of the weakest public health system to respond. The Red Cross and Red Crescent is present throughout the world, supporting people whoever and wherever they are.
We are really proud to be part of BBC One’s Big Night In and are so grateful to everyone who is able to donate.
To celebrate us all doing our bit, we're staying in. And for one Big Night, all together.
The Big Night In airs on BBC One, Thursday 23 April, from 7pm. #TheBigNightIn
Chief executive of the British Red Cross
Mike Adamson has been chief executive of the British Red Cross since 2014.
UK Coronavirus Response Appeal
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