Kindness in a crisis

Laszlo from Leytonstone helped terror and disaster victims

Laszlo Kelemen

Laszlo Kelemen, a British Red Cross volunteer (credit Rankin)

Renowned photographer Rankin has captured the extraordinary kindness shown by British Red Cross volunteers who helped victims of last year’s terror attacks and Grenfell Tower disaster.

One of more than 1,000 British Red Cross volunteers who worked alongside the emergency services was Laszlo Kelemen from Leytonstone. The 33-year-old intensive care practitioner has been a Red Cross volunteer since he was 15, starting in his home country of Romania, before joining the British Red Cross two years ago.

Laszlo was part of the charity’s response to the London Bridge attack on 3rd June 2017, Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June 2017, and Finsbury Park attack on 19th June 2017; providing psychosocial support to those affected.

“The Red Cross is part of who I am,” said Laszlo. “Like many other people who live in London, and across the UK, I couldn’t believe the horrific series of incidents that unfolded last year.

“Before last summer I felt like someone who just lived in London but now I feel that I’m part of this city because I was able to help. I’ve experienced its very worst but also its best.

“When the devastation happened last year communities across London united. That’s the real feeling of London, and being able to help as part of the British Red Cross was the proudest moment of my life.”

Following the emergencies last summer British Red Cross volunteers provided first aid at the scene; emotional and practical support at rest centres; helped people who were bereaved or searching for missing loved ones; managed a 24-hour helpline; and sorted through 200 tonnes of donated items.

Zoë Abrams, executive director, said: “For the British Red Cross, last year was unprecedented in our peacetime history in the UK. In the space of just a few weeks we deployed more than 1,000 volunteers to help those affected. It is through incredible kindness and compassion that we are able to continue supporting people whenever and wherever crises happen.”

For more information on volunteering for British Red Cross: