A manager at The Children’s Centre was one of three Red Cross volunteers from the Island’s branch of the charity who attended a Buckingham Palace garden party to celebrate the humanitarian organisation’s 150th anniversary. Val Culligan, who is EPIC Manager at The Children’s Centre, was joined by Michael Solo and Lucy Barlow at the event.
Val and Michael are Red Cross volunteers for Event First Aid, Lucy is a volunteer at the Red Cross shop in Strand Street, Douglas. The garden party was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Charles in his role as President of the British Red Cross Society, and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Society’s Deputy President.
“It was an absolute honour to be invited to Buckingham Palace and a day I shall never forget. We ate afternoon tea on china plates and listened to the band play it was a very serene occasion. Prince Charles and Princess Alexandra spent some time talking with us before they also enjoyed afternoon tea. We were all gathered there together because we had one thing in common – the Red Cross motto ‘helping those in crises’. Volunteering is a very rewarding vocation, and as a volunteer myself I respect those who give their time to The Children’s Centre, the Red Cross and other venues and charities. Time is precious to all of us, but sometimes just giving a couple of hours to those in need can make all the difference.”
The modern day Red Cross began 150 years ago with the founding of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which was inspired by a Swiss businessman, Henry Dunant. It is now the world’s largest independent humanitarian network. The Isle of Man branch is affiliated to the British Red Cross which is part of this international network.