Your chance to be one in a million for charity

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THE Red Cross has launched its annual fundraising drive in a bid to raise more than £1million to finance its work at home and abroad.

This year, the campaign theme for Red Cross Week is “Be One In a Million” – the idea being that, if one million people donate £1 each, the ambitious target can be achieved, helping the Red Cross continue its humanitarian work.

During Red Cross Week 2012, which runs until May 12, Scotland’s 5,500 volunteers will be staging a huge variety of fundraising events and street collections all over the country.

For thousands of vulnerable people in Scotland, elsewhere in the UK and abroad, the Red Cross is a sign of hope in crisis, meeting both immediate and longer term needs. Red Cross Week donations will go directly to providing help where it’s needed most.

Many people are familiar with the work the Red Cross carries out in disaster zones around the world.

But, closer to home, the charity also lends much-needed support to local communities providing help to vulnerable individuals in their own homes.

Now the Red Cross is to expand its Medical Equipment Loan service in Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway – thanks to the generosity of a private donor.

The service, led by volunteers, provides wheelchairs and other equipment on a short-term loan basis to patients who might otherwise be housebound. Now, the equipment can be delivered directly to the doors of those who need it.

Thanks to the Evelyn M Murdoch Trust, which donated more than £20,000 to the Red Cross, the charity has commissioned a specially-equipped Transit van which will now take the service across the south-west of Scotland.

Red Cross Senior Service Manager Liz Docherty said: “The new van will help us fill a gap in providing a service for housebound clients in the area.

“There is a high demand for wheelchairs on a short-term basis and it is thanks to the generosity of the Evelyn M Murdoch Trust that we are able to extend our loan service into Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.” Loans are generally for a period of up to 12 weeks and are subject to a nominal delivery charge.

The Evelyn M Murdoch Trust has made regular donations to the charity’s transport and escort service over the years.

It is one of a number set up by private individuals who wish to provide support for charities of their choice. Such trusts manage investments to provide an income for specific good causes identified by the donors.

Ms Docherty added: “This donation will help us support hundreds of new clients. Anyone who wants to enquire about the new Medical Equipment service should contact their local Red Cross branch.”