As vice president of the British Red Cross, I have seen first hand the extraordinary work the charity does both internationally and right here, in communities throughout the UK.
Many will know that the Red Cross is among the first on the ground when crisis strikes abroad; helping people devastated by natural disasters like the tsunami in Japan or conflict, like the continued trauma suffered by the people of Syria.
But we work at home too. In the past year alone, we helped over 1.1million people in the UK.
So when the country is ground to a halt by snow, the Red Cross ensures cancer patients still get life-saving treatment. When flooding strikes and people are forced from their homes, the Red Cross helps them put their lives back together again. Or, when the elderly or vulnerable return home after a long stint in hospital to a cold and empty home, it is Red Cross volunteers who help them get back on their feet.
It might not always make the headlines, but the Red Cross is there every day, helping people just like you and me.
That is why I am urging people to get involved in Red Cross Week 2013 – the British Red Cross’ annual fundraising drive. This year it takes place from 5 to 11 May and the charity aims to raise over £1million to help people in crisis both in the UK and abroad.
Whether you shake a bucket outside your local supermarket, organise a pub quiz or go for a good old fashioned bake sale – every effort counts.
With just a little help from you, the British Red Cross can raise the funds it needs to continue its vital work.
Refuse to ignore people in crisis and get involved this Red Cross Week, or to donate visit redcrossweek.org.uk or phone 0844 412 2811.
Angela Rippon, OBE
Red Cross vice president