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In a colder world, Red Cross volunteers spread warmth

Monday May 8, 2006

A Red Cross survey has found that two thirds of Red Cross volunteers believe that the world is a less caring place today than it was ten years ago.

However, the poll also found that an overwhelming majority of those surveyed were motivated to volunteer their time because of a desire to contribute to their community.

The results of the email poll of volunteers have been released to mark World Red Cross Day (May 8) - a day being used to highlight the work of Red Cross volunteers in Australia and around the world.

'Although many of those polled find the world to be less caring than it was a decade ago, the overwhelming majority of them said that they were still motivated to make a contribution to their community,' said Robert Tickner, CEO of Australian Red Cross.

'They are motivated out of a basic wish to make a difference, to help the most vulnerable. Today we see more people living in isolation, more people suffering out of loneliness, or because of natural disasters or even conflicts. But Red Cross volunteers refuse to simply accept this.'

World Red Cross Day will also see the launch of 'Close my eyes', a new song penned specifically for the Red Cross by Things of Stone and Wood front man, Greg Arnold.

'Greg's song speaks of the same themes that were identified in the survey,' continued Mr Tickner.

'Wherever they are, and whatever role they play, Red Cross volunteers share a commitment to work with the most vulnerable people in their communities. They refuse to turn away.'

Around Australia, some 26,000 people regularly give their time to support the work of the Red Cross in providing more than 60 vital community services. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Australian Red Cross volunteers are joined by an estimated 97 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, working tirelessly in almost every country in the world.

'Close my eyes' will be launched at 10:30am Monday 8th May in the Dixon room of the Mitchell Building, State Library of New South Wales.