British Red Cross to stop providing first aid at events amid rising costs

The Red Cross will stop providing first aid at public events. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Red Cross will stop providing first aid at public events. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The charity British Red Cross has announced that it is to stop providing first aid at events in Cambridgeshire in a bid to cut costs.

The charity has said it plans to pull out of attending public events to focus on using funds for other parts of its operations, such as crisis support.

A Red Cross volunteer from St Neots, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Hunts Post that the announcement followed "many years of ineptitude and incompetent management and lack of consideration to volunteers".

There are currently volunteer groups in St Neots and Huntingdon. It is understood that volunteers will continue delivering the service until December 31. In a letter sent to volunteers, the charity said that the decision was "no way a reflection of the value we place on your personal contribution" but the decision had been made to meet the "very challenging financial climate".

Michael Adamson, chief executive of British Red Cross, said: "In recent years, we have seen increasing pressures on both our income and the demands for our assistance, which means we must prioritise how we use every pound donated to us.

"The British Red Cross has a proud history of providing first aid at events and we are extremely grateful to all our passionate and committed volunteers and staff who have dedicated so much time and energy to providing a first-class service to our clients.

"Unfortunately, our event first aid work has been running at a financial loss for some time - the service still requires £1.8million of donations annually to cover the shortfall between income and costs - and this is diverting vital funds from our efforts to provide emergency support for major domestic and global crises.

Most Read

"So, it is with real sadness that we have taken the very difficult decision to close our event first aid service. This is not a decision our trustees have taken lightly. We are acutely aware of the impact this will have on our valued British Red Cross staff and volunteers.

"We sincerely hope our volunteers will consider continuing their journey with us in other ways. We have also agreed a streamlined transfer process with St John Ambulance and St Andrew's First Aid for those volunteers who wish to continue providing first aid at events with another organisation."