A gift of hope when all seems lost

Supporting Ukrainian people on the ground

It’s been over a year since the conflict in Ukraine first escalated. During this time, conditions on the ground have become increasingly dire, and the country has changed drastically.

Countless homes, schools, hospitals, and important infrastructure have been destroyed. Millions have fled, leaving everything they have ever known. Tragically, thousands of people have died or been injured.

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 seven million refugees have already left their homes, seeking shelter in neighbouring countries.

But not everyone has been able to escape. Millions of people are sadly unable to flee due to disabilities or medical conditions. They have no choice but to take shelter in damaged and cold buildings.

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 is supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross to help those affected on the ground.

Currently, there are around 71,000 Red Cross volunteers and staff working closely with affected communities to cover their basic needs.

Red Cross teams have provided food, warm clothing, and other vital support to over 14.5 million people. Volunteers are also providing first aid, as well as taking people to the hospital, transporting medical supplies, and helping at blood donation points.

Along with providing urgent aid, our teams are doing what they can to support humanitarian corridors to enable civilians to evacuate.

In March 2022, 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.

Red Cross teams have been providing temporary shelter for new arrivals, creating information points at train stations, and carrying out first aid on those needing medical attention.

In Poland, the Polish Red Cross has been providing round-the-clock health care and psychosocial support, as well as distributing food and basic aid items to people arriving from Ukraine.

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

The Slovak Red Cross have put up tents for Ukrainians arriving at the border crossing in Ubla, along with transporting people with disabilities, and setting up restoring family links services for people looking for their family.

In Lithuania, the Lithuanian Red Cross has mobilised close to 7,000 volunteers. They have been collecting clothing, bedding materials, blankets, and other household items – enough to fill 37 trucks and eight buses – and have delivered them to Ukraine.

Here in the UK, the British Red Cross has assisted over 50,000 people arriving from Ukraine into the country, as well as distributed over 19,000 sim cards so that people can stay in touch with loved ones back in Ukraine.

As the conflict continues in Ukraine, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement remains committed to reaching as many people in crisis as we can. Together, we are the world's emergency responders and your support means we can reach anyone, anywhere, with the help they need to get through it.

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 to 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 11 April 2023.

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