As President of the British Red Cross, I just wanted to take this moment to thank all the wonderfully dedicated volunteers and staff for their vital work during the Covid-19 crisis. For 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped our country through its darkest times, and this has been no exception.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the British Red Cross has been supporting the most vulnerable people across the United Kingdom. You have been working tirelessly to reach those most in need — delivering over 30,000 food and medicine packages; ensuring refugees and those seeking asylum are safe, and supporting the N.H.S. to bring over 10,000 patients home from hospital.
As we mark Loneliness Awareness Week, current circumstances have made us all more conscious than ever of the importance of simple human contact. As a new survey by the Red Cross has revealed, 41 per cent of adults feel lonelier since lockdown began and a third fear their loneliness will only get worse. For those who have been bereaved as a result of the crisis, the dangers of loneliness are, of course, even greater.
This is why I am so very proud of the marvellous work the British Red Cross is doing, and how you have adapted your methods to the new conditions — through contacting people via phone and online; delivering well-being packages; staffing a national support line which provides callers with additional support in their local area, and through encouraging the public to carry out acts of kindness to make this whole challenge easier to bear.
The coronavirus may have kept us apart physically, but kindness has surely brought us even closer together. The work of the British Red Cross is a shining example of compassion in action. Thank you more than I can possibly say for everything you have done, and are doing, to help all those who need it most.