Badge awards for years of service to British Red Cross

Vera Bloxam, far left, and Robina Methben with other people receving long-service awards from the Red Cross
Vera Bloxam, far left, and Robina Methben with other people receving long-service awards from the Red Cross

TWO Shoreham women have each been awarded long-service badges for their dedication and work within the Red Cross.

Vera Bloxam received her 70-year service badge and Robina Methben was awarded with her 50-year award during a ceremony last month.

More than 100 volunteers and staff of the British Red Cross in Sussex celebrated the achievements and long service of volunteers during the awards night on July 19, at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath.

Robina Methben started as a volunteer aid for the Red Cross in Brighton when she was 27.

She then went on to become an auxiliary nurse in Southlands Hospital, moving to Shoreham.

Years later, she became the hospital liaison officer at Southlands.

Mrs Methben said: “I was basically a go-between for Red Cross and the hospital. There were various disasters during my time. I worked on the telephone lines for 911 and the Boxing Day Thailand tsunami. It was demanding work.

“I had always known about the Red Cross and it was a great opportunity to get the training. My mother was ill at the time I started and I was able to do a lot for her because of the training.”

Mrs Methben previously worked in a bank and volunteered for the Red Cross in her spare time.

Mrs Methben added: “What I enjoyed most was undoubtedly working with people. I felt I was doing some good, it is very rewarding work.”

Mrs Methben remembers going to Gatwick Airport to meet the planes bringing back Boxing Day tsunami survivors which she described as “emotional”.

Mrs Methben said: “I am a very small cog in a big organisation. We rally round in moments of extreme crisis and the work gave me immense satisfaction.”

Vera Bloxam began as a cadet in the Red Cross in 1943 when she was 14, she saw her teacher in a Red Cross uniform and after enquiring joined and enjoyed it.

She ran the blood transfusion service in Brighton for 10 years and still works in Southlands Hospital outpatients unit where she has been for 35 years.

Mrs Bloxam worked in a solicitors office and then when she married stopped working but increased her volunteer hours in the Red Cross.

When moving to Southwick and starting a family, she set up a Red Cross group and gained 50 members, as there was no such association when she moved to the area.

Mrs Bloxam said: “I like being able to help people and being there for others. There are a lot of lonely people out there and it’s so important that they know someone cares. They are a lot of people that need help but don’t necessarily ask for it.

“I was very proud receiving the long-service badge and to have met so many people and helped so many people and achieved so much in 70 years.”

Mrs Methben said: “Vera is an inspiration. She joined Red Cross in the war and has done a tremendous amount of work.”