Reaching people in crisis around the corner and around the world
Donations to our new appeal 'Kindness has no borders' will help people like Natalie from the British Red Cross and Mohammed from the Bangladesh Red Crescent reach those who need them most
Last updated 10 May 2023
Covid continues to make its mark on everyone’s lives, no matter where they are. Whether it’s an isolated neighbour living around the corner from you, or a mother struggling to provide for her children somewhere around the world, the ongoing impact of the pandemic can’t be underestimated.
When 88-year-old Eunice had to start shielding as Covid hit the UK, she was devastated. Ordinarily a sociable person with a packed calendar, she found herself stuck in her flat with no idea when she would be able to see friends and family again.
“When lockdown happened, I cried,” said Eunice, who lives alone in Manchester. “I felt very lonely – to be honest, it felt like being in prison. I just felt I had nobody that I could turn to.”
Fortunately, Eunice was introduced to Natalie from the British Red Cross, who stepped in to help Eunice get to her hospital appointments, as well as regularly checking in with her to make sure she was coping.
IT FELT LIKE BEING IN PRISON. I JUST FELT I HAD NOBODY THAT I COULD TURN TO.Eunice
“The friendliness, the care that I’ve received with that girl, I can’t put into words,” said Eunice. “I came home after the hospital visit [with Natalie] and I rang all my family and told them I feel as though I’ve been on holiday.”
Knowing you have somebody on your side
Natalie, a service manager for the British Red Cross’s independent living service in Manchester and Cheshire, supports vulnerable people in a range of ways – from getting someone to and from hospital, to helping pick up their prescriptions and groceries.
“What's lovely about the Red Cross is that we're given the luxury of time that most organisations and people don't have,” said Natalie. “We have our own designated car parking, because the Red Cross has a great reputation with local hospitals. We're not going to just drop you at the door, we will go in with you, we'll help you. I think it's having that confidence that you've got somebody who's on your side, that's only there for you - so we take away a lot of the anxiety and fear around appointments.”
Eunice and Natalie have developed a close bond since Natalie started visiting.
“When she calls me to say that she might be visiting, I feel euphoric,” said Eunice. “It’s the simple things, that’s all it takes sometimes, that kindness and someone being there. Knowing she is there, it’s a nice feeling.”
Around the corner, around the world
At the British Red Cross, we’re here to look after our local communities at home – but we also believe that we must help the people who need it most, no matter who or where they are.
By making a donation today, you could support someone like Eunice in the UK this winter, and someone facing the knock-on effects of Covid abroad.
Support for those worst affected by Covid
Our International Relief Fund was launched last summer, to reach people around the world who have been worst hit by the pandemic.
Alongside our work in the UK, the British Red Cross partners with other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies all over the world, in areas that face issues like extreme poverty and climate-related disasters on top of Covid.
That includes places like Bangladesh, where poverty and food insecurity have been made even worse by the pandemic.
Red Cross support in Bangladesh during the Covid pandemic
“Catching fish from the sea was first prohibited for 65 days, then banned for another 22 days,” said Mohammed, a field coordinator for the Bangladesh Red Crescent. “People had no source of income – overall, they are living in very bad conditions. Except for the help that the Red Crescent is offering them, they are not getting any help from anywhere else.”
Before the pandemic began, the Bangladesh Red Crescent was already supporting vulnerable households. Families, with elderly people and mothers of young children among them, were given conditional cash grants to help them pursue six different types of trades, including rickshaw driving, farming, fishing, and tailoring.
These households were able to generate income thanks to investments they had made with funds provided by the Bangladesh Red Crescent.
What’s more, families that saw their incomes grow were able to send their children to school rather than into child labour.
“Most of the members in a family were involved in child labour,” said Mohammed. “After we offered support, we were able to move at least two out of three children in a family and get them involved in education.”
These ongoing programmes sponsored by the British Red Cross are there to support people who are getting back on their feet after an extremely difficult year.
Shamshunahar helps her husband run a small shop in Teknaf, southern Bangladesh.
“Before Covid, everything was good, my husband’s family income was good, sales were good,” said Shamshunahar. “Since then, life has been challenging; due to the lockdown, sales in my husband’s shop have been low.”
Shamshunahar and her family have been supported by the Red Crescent with cash support, food, and other much-needed items.
Women's empowerment in Bangladesh
Shamshunahar also runs her local community disaster management committee as a volunteer team leader.
Supported by the Bangladesh Red Crescent, the committee’s work includes disaster-preparation training, focusing on hygiene concerns, women’s empowerment and boosting economic development. Shamshunahar leads around 25 members of the team
WITH THE SUPPORT FROM THE RED CRESCENT I AM EDUCATING MY THREE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL AND WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THEIR EDUCATION.Shamshunahar
“I support women’s empowerment; I think women should support their family monetarily too,” said Shamshunahar. “With the support from the Red Crescent I am educating my three children in school and I would like to continue to support in their education.”
Kindness has no borders
Every donation to Kindness has no borders will help people like Shamshunahar continue to provide for her family, and connect people like Natalie to someone when they need her the most.
“We - Red Cross staff and volunteers – are affected by the pandemic and the challenges it has caused [too],” said Natalie. “But our resilience is also supported by the people we work with, by seeing a good result and by knowing that we've helped someone.”
The goal of Kindness has no borders is to help as many people as possible.
Together we can be a lifeline to someone in the UK, and someone overseas who is affected by the impact of Covid-19 and other disasters.
If you believe that kindness has no borders, please join us today.
How your donation will reach people in the UK and around the world
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Kindness has no borders
Covid-19 has devastated lives in the UK and overseas. We are here to help people in crisis, whether they’re around the corner or around the world. Show the world your kindness has no borders by donating today.DONATE