A British Red Cross volunteer from Caldicot was awarded a special edition commemorative coin for her outstanding contributions to volunteering as the charity celebrates its 150th birthday on 4 August 2020.
Sandra Fisher from Caldicot, Monmouthshire has been an Emergency Response volunteer with the Red Cross for over 27 years and recently has been providing practical and emotional support through the national support line for coronavirus.
A former teacher, Sandra has supported people in Wales and the South West caught up in emergencies, like flooding or house fires. She also provided first aid at events and was part of the Red Cross Ambulance Support service for almost 5 years. At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, she was isolating at home but was still keen to volunteer for the Red Cross coronavirus telephone support line.
Sandra said: ‘Volunteering for the support line has been different as it is over the phone rather than face-to-face. I feel I’ve been able to help people, even though I haven’t been able to see them directly. Providing a listening ear and, in some cases, providing practical support and being able to signpost them to other organisations that might be able to help, I think that’s been very worthwhile.’
Sandra’s coin is one of 150 uncirculated £5 coins donated by the Royal Mint to British Red Cross volunteers and staff nominated by their colleagues for going above and beyond during the Covid-19 emergency.
From the Aberfan disaster to responding to an emergency every four hours in 2017, Red Cross staff and volunteers spring into action when crises hit.
Earlier this year, when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, thousands joined the charity to support the most vulnerable. The Red Cross has been at the forefront of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, supporting those hardest hit by providing practical and emotional support through their national support line, getting cash grants, food and other essential supplies to people in urgent need, and helping the NHS to transport patients safely home from hospital. Since the start of the emergency, Red Cross teams have carried out almost 25,000 acts of kindness across Wales, from practical support to food and medicine deliveries.
Featuring bespoke artwork by Henry Gray, the coin bears the words “The Power of Kindness” illustrating the organisation’s ethos of selflessness, compassion and goodwill. The idea of connectivity is central to the coin’s design, with overlapping lines representing what we can achieve when we work together. The edge inscription around the coin bears the powerful words of the Movement, ‘PER HUMANITATEM AD PACEM’, which translates to ‘THROUGH HUMANITY TO PEACE’.
British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said:
“We are honoured that the Royal Mint has chosen to acknowledge 150 years of support by the British Red Cross to people in crisis.
“Today our staff and volunteers are putting kindness in action at the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been supporting the most vulnerable by delivering food and medicine, making sure refugees and people seeking asylum are safe, providing a supportive ear through our national support line and helping the NHS to get patients home from hospital.
“From then to now, it’s all down to the dedication of our volunteers, staff and the generosity of our supporters that we can continue our lifesaving work. And it is the power of their kindness that will ensure we are there for those who need us most for many years to come.”
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said:
“We are proud to be producing a commemorative £5 coin dedicated to the British Red Cross and celebrating not only their 150th anniversary but also the extraordinary efforts of this national institution. At the centre of the coin’s design is the iconic Red Cross emblem in vivid red colour – a symbol synonymous with the charity. For 150 years, the British Red Cross has stood by and supported people through crisis and this year has been no exception. Their constant dedication to supporting the nation during the coronavirus pandemic has been instrumental in making a difference and for that we at The Royal Mint are eternally grateful for the work they do each day.”
On being awarded a coin British Red Cross Emergency Response volunteer Sandra Fisher said:
“It’s an amazing thing that the Royal Mint created a special coin for the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross. It’s a wonderful gesture and it will mean so much to all the staff and volunteers. I’ve been involved with the Red Cross for a long time, I’ve always tried to do everything I can to help people, I’m just very honoured and privileged to be recognised in this way.”
For more information about the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross visit www.redcross.org.uk/150years