Reception To Mark 150 Years Of The British Red Cross Hosted At Plantation House

Governor Rushbrook, Patron of the St Helena Branch of the British Red Cross, held a reception at Plantation House on Tuesday evening, 4 August 2020, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross.

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, responding to disasters, conflicts and individual emergencies in the UK and across the world. Her Majesty the Queen has been the Patron of the British Red Cross for the past 65 years. The British Red Cross was originally called the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in Wars.

In Britain, the 150 year celebrations have had to be virtual because of the social distancing, whereas on St Helena we were fortunately able to have a normal celebration. Prince Charles, at the event in Britain, described powerfully the fundamental quality possessed by all who gave their time and effort freely to the Red Cross.

Prince Charles said:

“The British Red Cross has for 150 years shown just how powerful kindness can be.”

At Tuesday’s reception on St Helena, Governor Rushbrook welcomed everyone and spoke of the important contribution of the Red Cross to our Island:

“The Red Cross is an institution we all know and respect for its unquestioning dependability to be there whenever extra medical assistance may be needed. It is nothing less than part of the fabric of St Helena life in the same way as it is in Britain. This anniversary is the right moment for us to show our appreciation to its dedicated volunteers, the hands-on medical services it offers and the knowledge it passes on to improve personal skills. Congratulations to the British Red Cross for 150 years of service and congratulations to the St Helena Branch for its contributions to this proud tradition.”

The St Helena Branch strives to assist the Island’s Emergency Services with humanitarian support in times of crisis, support casualties and victims after an incident, and provide a range of services to the community, especially the vulnerable.

Other activities of the St Helena Branch include providing passengers and crews of cruise ships with water at the top of Jacob’s Ladder or first aid support if needed, providing first aid support for a range of events and organisations on the Island and selling Red Cross merchandise including their locally produced Little Red Cook Book; as well as hosting a variety of successful fundraising events such as tea parties, family bingos and quiz nights. All of these activities have helped to raise the profile of the local branch both within the community and internationally.

In 2019 much of the St Helena Branch work was dedicated to the Tristan Appeal following the devastating hurricane experienced by our sister Island Tristan da Cunha. Over £5000 was raised during the Appeal which focused on providing help for the school and the crèche which suffered some of the worst damage.

If anyone is interested in joining the St Helena Branch of the British Red Cross and learning practical medical skills, they should contact Chairman Pamela Ward Pearce via tel: 22445.

Notes to Editors

There had been an active St Helena branch of the British Red Cross in the 1950s through to the early 1970s. The local branch was re-established in April 2017 at a launch at Plantation House.

The need to re-establish was first recognised following a 2009 disaster management audit. It found that St Helena would benefit from a volunteer organisation to assist the emergency services and the community in times of any major incidents. A group was formed in early 2016 to promote and recruit volunteers to re-establish the St Helena Branch.

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7 August 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470