Letter: Volunteering is not part of ICRC’s make-up

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I wish I could share Camilla Cavendish’s optimism about a rosy future for the voluntary sector. As the National Trust is finding out, many retirees now prioritise care for their grandchildren over stewarding in NT properties. And with both parents working, there is little time for volunteering (Opinion, August 26).

Concerning the history of the Red Cross, also mentioned by Cavendish, Henri Dunant, a Swiss national, co-founded the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. But ICRC is not a volunteer organisation. Its neutrality is recognised internationally and it operates on both sides of a conflict. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, founded in 1919, comprises 191 national societies. These do use volunteers, as well as having paid employees.

Dee O’Connell
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

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