This is human kind: connecting communities across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic
From tackling loneliness in lockdown to providing vaccine support, these are a few of the ways our volunteers have been keeping communities connected through the pandemic
Last updated 28 March 2023
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an outpouring of kindness across the country.
From the neighbourly favours that got us through the early weeks of lockdown, to the communities and friendships that blossomed over the year, we have seen human kindness get us through when times are tough.
But kindness is not just about random acts. It’s about the connections that are made and the communities that are strengthened when people come together to support others in their time of need.
At the British Red Cross we understand the strength of a connected community.
That’s why our network of local volunteers continue to bring communities together, providing support in so many ways.
This is human kind. This is coming together and looking out for each other, so that our communities have the strength to get through anything.
Whether it's with a food delivery or a helping hand after a hospital stay, with your help, we can reach those who need it most.
Reaching people in crisis across the country
Across the country, the British Red Cross has…
- Reached more than 710,000 people through our emergency response services
- Supported 590,000 people at vaccination centres
- Supported nearly 80,000 people with food deliveries
- Made over 12,000 medicine deliveries to people who were unable to pick up their prescriptions
- Helped 70,000 people get home from hospital.
The British Red Cross has been a lifeline for people in crisis for over 150 years. Today, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, that lifeline means more than ever.
Thanks to our dedicated team of Red Cross Volunteers, we’re able to provide services specifically designed to help people most in need in the UK.
Find out what help you can get from us, such as hiring a wheelchair, support in your home, emotional support, and help if you’re a refugee.
This is all thanks to British Red Cross volunteers like Tracey, from Stockport. Tracey’s role involves connecting people to local services and activities, and offering support with housing.
Lisa was struggling with her health when the Red Cross put her in touch with Tracey. She was living in supported accommodation, but wasn’t receiving support from staff.
The pair soon realised they had a common interest: their love of dogs.
Due to lockdown restrictions, Tracey was unable to help Lisa find a place where she could volunteer with dogs, so decided to bring her own two dogs along for a walk.
IT JUST BRINGS ME A LOT OF JOY. I'M MORE CONFIDENT AND I FEEL A LOT HAPPIER.Lisa, from Stockport
They now try to meet for a walk with the dogs at least once a fortnight.
“When I come out with Tracey, it gives me a lot more confidence to hopefully own a dog [one day],” says Lisa. “It just brings me a lot of joy. I’m more confident and I feel a lot happier.”
Tracey has been thrilled to notice the difference the dog walks have made to Lisa’s mental health.
“The transformation in Lisa has been unbelievable,” says Tracey. “She’s got a completely different outlook on her life and she’s now really looking forward to her future. It’s really humbling to work with somebody who has been so unwell and opens up and tells you what’s really bothering them and what makes them feel so ill."
Tackling loneliness in lockdown
Raggie, who lives in Cornwall, had been struggling ever since the death of his wife 15 years ago.
“I used to go out on my mobility scooter just so I could be around people,” says Raggie. “I would go to the shop and look around at everyone going about their lives. I wouldn’t buy anything, I’d just come straight home – that’s how lonely I was.”
The Covid-19 pandemic made Raggie, who moved to the UK from Egypt in 1979, feel even more isolated.
“When Covid came, it made the loneliness two million times worse,” says Raggie. “I was desperate, it was like living in an angry ocean of loneliness and despair.”
Do you want to meet new people, learn new skills and help your community? There are so many opportunities to volunteer at the British Red Cross.
However much time you have and whatever your experience, you can make a big difference in your community – especially during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual friendships: a lifeline
It was at this point that Raggie was referred to the British Red Cross. Support worker Charlet listened to Raggie’s story and suggested he joined a social group she was putting together over Zoom.
“If it wasn’t for Covid, I would be meeting people face-to-face and getting them engaged with things going on in their community, but obviously we haven’t been able to do that,” says Charlet. “We have a mix of men and women who call in every week, so I think it is valuable to them. I can’t speak for everyone but I do know that this has been a lifeline for Raggie.”
Bringing communities together to stand strong
Raggie was sold on the idea from the moment Charlet first invited him to join, and says that it has changed his life.
“It’s what I was looking for all this time,” agrees Raggie. “We’re even planning to meet up when it’s safe to do so and I owe it all to Charlet. She’s an angel; she’s given me my life back.”
Lisa’s and Raggie’s stories are just two of many we have heard over the past year. They are stories of the impact of human kindness and connection.
From being there for people who are isolated, to ensuring everyone can access the support they need, we bring communities together to stand strong in the toughest times.
With your help, we can continue to reach those who need it most.
An inside look at how the British Red Cross carried on through the pandemic
This is human kind
This is coming together and looking out for each other, so that our communities have the strength to get through anything. Whether it's with a food delivery or a helping hand after a hospital stay, with your help, we can reach those who need it most.DONATE NOW