When many people think of the British Red Cross, their thoughts turn to Emergency Response work overseas or First Aid. The emblem is recognised all over the world and it symbolises impartial help and assistance to those in need. However not everyone will be aware that there is a huge range of services helping people in crisis, right here in the UK; from supporting people after a stay in hospital, preparing and responding to emergencies, to reuniting families across the globe.
In East Sussex services include Crisis Response, Support at Home and Mobility Aids. Like any charity, the British Red Cross is dependent on fundraising and donations to survive, as well as the amazing efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers across the county.
Independent Living Services in East Sussex
In October 2019, the British Red Cross teamed up with East Sussex County Council, Hastings and Rother CCG to offer two new services. The Assisted Discharge Service and the Home from Hospital/ Carers Crisis Response Service.
The Assisted Discharge service transport patients home from Hospital and provides a resettlement service. This could be in the form of practical and emotional support easing the transition back into their home environment.
The Home from Hospital service provides patients, who are over 65, with short-term support to smooth the process of settling back into a normal routine and enabling people to regain confidence and independence.
The Carers Crisis Response service is available to informal carers and provides them with additional support to manage in their caring role. This can include weekly respite, companionship, assistance with shopping and support to access the community.
These services aim to:
• Reduce the risk of re-admission to hospital
• Reduce social isolation through signposting to longer term support
• Reduce pressure on the hospital
The Home from Hospital and the Carers Crisis Response Service offer up to four visits using our person centred approach.
Shila Patel who is the Service Manager says “Sometimes the support can be taking the time to chat and listen over a cup of tea during a visit. Something so simple can make such a big difference”.
“If my volunteer had not have taken me to my appointments I would not have been able to go. She has made me feel like laughing again and made me realise I am a person not just a carer” Anonymous (Service User)
Anyone can become a volunteer, we are all individuals and come with our own strengths. People appreciate the support from the British Red Cross, they are happy to accept help from our amazing volunteers. Without the time that our volunteers give to others, we wouldn’t have this service here in East Sussex. Our volunteers are compassionate, caring and willing to support those in need.
You can help support people in the local community by becoming a volunteer for the British Red Cross. If you have a couple of hours to spare each week, we have a wide range of volunteering roles that we are currently recruiting for in East Sussex.
To find out more about volunteering visit www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/support-people-to-live-independently or email [email protected] . Or for information email [email protected] or call 01273 227 800.
Written by Ella Coates (Engagement & Development Manager, South West)