British Red Cross

British Red CrossVirgin Money Giving is the preferred online fundraising website of the British Red Cross, and they have hundreds of fundraisers raising money through Virgin Money Giving every year. 2011 has been no exception, and sadly with the natural disasters that shook Christchurch, New Zealand and devastated Japan, there have been even more reasons for people to set up a page and support their work.

One of the people who helped to support this recovery was Hilary Bloor, who faced the huge undertaking of running the Marathon des Sables for the British Red Cross’s New Zealand Earthquake appeal. The description on her page only goes some way to describing her challenge “7 gruelling days, hottest temperatures on record (54C), longest MdS to date, l took 54hrs 21mins carrying all my food and equipment, being totally self supported. My rucksack weighed 13kgs on day one when l crossed the highest dunes in the Sahara. I’m both exhausted and elated. Now is the time to let my feet repair and drink coffee before my next adventure!”

Hilary raised a fantastic £1,760 through her Virgin Money Giving page, with an extra £425 raised through Gift Aid.

Another individual who was touched by the crisis in Christchurch was Matthew Whitaker who, with a phenomenal group of 71 friends, cycled 65 miles from London to Christ Church (the one in Oxford, UK).

The team raised a phenomenal £23,330, with almost £5,000 extra raised in Gift Aid.

Hilary and Matthew’s admirable efforts helped to fund the emergency response in Christchurch. The earthquake left some survivors stranded in damaged homes with no power, no water, no sewerage and no way of contacting anyone. In response to the disaster the New Zealand Red Cross sent out volunteer emergency response teams to conduct urban search and rescue, door-to-door outreach and psychosocial support. Following the earthquake more than 45,000 people registered with the Red Cross, which worked to reconnect families separated in the disaster.

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