A gift of hope when all seems lost

Supporting Ukrainian people on the ground

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, conditions on the ground have become increasingly dire. The harsh reality for millions of Ukrainians who have lost loved ones or been displaced from their homes is that life will never be the same again.

But charities are providing a glimmer of hope to people on the ground.

The British Red Cross, a symbol of hope during some of the world’s darkest moments, is providing vital humanitarian support to Ukraine’s citizens and refugees.

Trapped in their own country

With millions of Ukrainians caught up in the crisis, the conflict has had a widespread impact not just on people’s health and wellbeing, but also on water and electricity supplies.

More than 3.7 million refugees have already left their homes, seeking shelter in neighbouring countries.

But not everyone has been able to escape. There are thousands of people who are sadly unable to flee due to disabilities or medical conditions. They have no choice but to take shelter in basements and metro stations.

These people are unable to retrieve basic supplies like food and water and are unable to go out because of the ongoing bombing.

Yulia, a mother of seven, and her daughter at a shelter in Mariupol where Red Cross teams carried out distributions (Yevgen Nosenko/ICRC)
A shared goal to protect

The British Red Cross are supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross to help those affected on the ground.

Currently, there are around 6,000 Ukrainian Red Cross volunteers on the ground in Ukraine, working to reach as many people as possible.

In metro stations, Red Cross teams have provided food, warm clothing and other vital support to around 8,000 people. Red Cross volunteers are also providing first aid, as well as taking people to hospital, transporting medical supplies and helping at blood donation points.

As well as providing urgent aid, Red Cross teams are doing what they can to support humanitarian corridors to enable civilians to evacuate.

In March, Red Cross teams supported local authorities with the evacuation of elderly people, mothers with children, people living with disabilities, and foreign students, from Sumy to Poltava.

Ukrainian Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing food and other basic necessities to about about 8,000 people who are sheltering in a subway station in Kyiv (Maksym Trebukhov for LB.ua/Ukrainian Red Cross)
Supporting refugees crossing borders

The British Red Cross has also been supporting Red Cross teams in countries that border Ukraine, to assist with arriving refugees.

At the Polish borders, over 2.2 million people have crossed into Poland, where Polish Red Cross teams have been distributing food and providing medical and psychological support.

Along with providing temporary shelter for new arrivals, Polish Red Cross teams have created information points at train stations and carried out first aid on those needing medical attention.

Polish Red Cross staff and volunteers have been working across the country to support those arriving from Ukraine. (Polish Red Cross)

At the Romanian border crossing, Ukrainian refugees are being greeted with SIM cards so that they can contact their loved ones left behind in Ukraine.

In other bordering countries, including Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova, Red Cross teams are continuing to provide humanitarian assistance, including distributing food, warm clothing and hygiene supplies, to people as they cross.

While in Lithuania, Red Cross teams are preparing accommodation for arrivals — at either state-run centres or with individuals who have offered up space within their own homes. In Italy, Red Cross volunteers welcomed several children with cancer, who had been evacuated from Ukraine to receive treatment.

How you can leave a gift of hope for the future

Leaving a gift in your will to British Red Cross is one of the best ways you can support people in crisis, both now and in the future. 

Gifts in wills allow the British Red Cross to mobilise immediately and be at the side of those in need. These vital gifts ensure that no one is left behind, and that vital food, shelter and medical supplies reach those in crisis.

If you’re interested in leaving a gift that reflects your values and gives hope to future generations, visit www.redcross.org.uk/freewill to find out about making or updating your will for free.

*All information is correct as of 25 March 2021.

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