Covid-19 Tactical Cell

British Red Cross

In 2020, to respond to Covid-19, British Red Cross formed their Tactical Cells team of volunteers and staff from across independent living, crisis response and other services to provide a fully-rounded emergency response. The team saw a 4000% increase in its work to support vulnerable people. It was the single biggest response by the British Red Cross in over 50 years. The team used data and local insight to understand and respond to the issues affecting people due to Covid-19. Since March 2020 they have helped 680,000 people with food, medicines, emotional support, transport to and from hospital, mobility aids and cash grants. They created new projects at speed, including a Coronavirus Support Line to give emotional and practical advice, taking over 25,000 calls. They set up a Hardship Fund, working with 300 local charity partners to give out £3m in emergency cash grants. Winter pressures support to the NHS was extended to help hospitals through the pandemic. Ambulance teams took on extra work to transport Covid patients. Since December, the tactical cell team have helped with vaccinations in 100 locations. In total since March 2020, they have given 180,000 hours support to the NHS.