TODAY, Wednesday, August 13, is the Red Cross’ official 100th birthday; it is exactly 100 years after Lady Helen Munro Ferguson began the Australian Branch of the British Red Cross Society after the outbreak of World War One.
Since then Red Cross has grown to provide a diverse range of programs in emergency services, social services, community development and overseas aid programs, plus deliver first aid training and provide a world-class blood service.
Coincidentally, the Narooma branch of the Red Cross on Monday hosted the Country Zone 8 conference at Club Narooma.
Among the 44 volunteers and workers attending was Narooma’s Rachel Niemoeller who works in the Narooma Red Cross Hub office.
“We run community engagement programs,” she said.
“We run a Red Cross community alarms service, a community visitor’s scheme, and Tele-Cross/Tele-Chat services. They are telephone services for people who live alone; to check they are okay.”
Regional manager Judy Harper explained that the Tele-Cross service provided an important sense of security, as participants know that help is never far away.
“People can have alarms in their house,” she said.
“If they have a fall or need assistance in the night, they have an alarm on them and can press the button.
“It’s a back-to-base system, so we then respond. We average three activations a month through the Tele-Cross service – where people haven’t answered.”
The Red Cross is calling on everyday Australians to join, share, grow the power of humanity and continue the story of the Red Cross for the next 100 years.
South Coast Zone representative Pam Hamory said volunteer numbers were dwindling, because of the maturing community.
“But we’re getting revitalised as people are getting to retirement age, moving to the area and are able to give their time,” she said.
She explained that they find a niche for people, regardless of their expertise.
Volunteer activities have recently included cake stalls, a barbecue at Bunnings in Batemans Bay, and a coin table at Bega on Tuesdays, which all raised essential funds for the local branch.
For more information on how to join your local branch contact representative Pam Hamory on firstname.lastname@example.org or to learn more about the services offered on the South Coast, visit the Red Cross Hub in Narooma (Shop 4 in the mid-town arcade Narooma, near traffic lights and opposite the Commonwealth Bank) or contact Tom Noonan on email@example.com
Donations are also accepted on online at www.redcross.org.au