SUNDAY SERVICES: At Hellingly church 8am Holy Communion, 10.45am Family Service.
MOTHERS UNION: The British Red Cross helps people in crisis whoever and wherever they are. This was the powerful message delivered by speaker Joel Scott, a Health and Social Care Coordinator with East Sussex at a recent meeting of the Hellingly branch. Mary Jones reports: Members were led through a journey in time starting over 135 years ago, when Swiss Business man Henry Durant, having been so appalled by the suffering of thousands of men (on both sides of the Battle of Solferino) being left to die due to lack of care, proposed the creation of national relief societies. The founding charter of the Red Cross was drawn up in 1863 and Henry Dunant further proposed that countries should adopt an international agreement (known as the Geneva Convention) to officially recognise the status of medical services in battle. Forty years on and the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was reconstituted as The British Red Cross Society at the request of Queen Alexandra who became its President. Then came the First World War and the collaboration of the Red Cross with St John’s Ambulance. Volunteers worked in hospitals, convalescent homes, rest stations, packing centres, medical supply depots and drove ambulances. In 1921 the British Red Cross established the first blood transfusion service in the UK with one of their members initiating a panel of donors to give blood during the day or night. When war was declared in September 1939 the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance joined forces again and formed the Joint War Organisation under the protection of the Red Cross emblem. They sent out 20 million food parcels, medical supplies, educational books and recreational material to soldiers, particularly those in camps. All this work was funded by the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross and St John Appeal which had raised over £54 million by 1946. The Red Cross continued to support those post war, by working through a global network helping families separated by war or disaster get back in touch. Support was given to refugees and asylum seekers forced to migrate to help them access essential services and adapt to life in their new country. Currently 125 million people need humanitarian assistance. Over a fifth of the world’s population lives in countries affected by conflict. The Red Cross respond to natural disasters and anyone in crisis. At the present day, the Red Cross still responds to natural disasters and anyone in crisis, for example the Shoreham Air Crash and those affected by recent events in Canada. Abiding by their fundamental principles the Red Cross Volunteers are compassionate, courageous, neutral and impartial. Through their volunteer network, the Red Cross responds to over a million people in the UK every year. They provide a short term carer’s respite service for those unpaid carers caring for the vulnerable; they loan mobility aids and help with transportation, for example, to hospital appointments in return for a small donation. Lastly but just as importantly the Red Cross prepare for emergencies. They offer tips on preparing and coping with all sorts of emergencies from floods to terrorism, getting people ready for winter or coping with an epidemic. They support those in business and help with emergency planning in schools and so much more.
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