Red Cross Focus On Help At Home

A charity often seen to be bringing relief to war zones and international disasters is bringing its message a little closer to home.

In a week-long campaign, the British Red Cross is highlighting the services it provides to communities in the UK such as Newport.

The South Wales city hosts one of 1,000 centres across the UK loaning mobility equipment to patients.

Last year, volunteers raised nearly £800,000 during Red Cross Appeal Week.

One person to benefit was Rebecca Thomas from Newport, after her eight-year-old daughter broke her leg.

“She had broke it so badly she had to have a full leg plaster cast and couldn’t even walk around the house because it was so heavy,” recalled Mrs Thomas.

“We’d made so many plans for the summer holidays and at that point I just thought it would be a total disaster.”

However, she was put in touch the Red Cross medical equipment service by hospital staff, and they loaned the family a wheelchair.

“I’m not joking when I say that wheelchair totally made our summer that year,” added Mrs Thomas.

“We were able to keep all the plans we’d made and took it to Bristol, the beach at Tenby and even to Cornwall where we rented a cottage for a few days.”

Since the start of the year, the Newport Red Cross service has already loaned 400 items of medical equipment.

Service co-ordinator Nicola Kenny said: “When someone has just returned home from hospital or is waiting for an operation, they can often be at their most vulnerable.

“My team of volunteers are just amazing.

“The time they give is so valuable and I often hear stories about how they go the extra mile for someone they help and we always need more people to join our team.”