Laura Oakley

Laura Oakley

Laura brings you all the latest stories from the British Red Cross' work across the UK – from emergency response to health and social care – as well as West and Central Africa.

Posts by Laura Oakley:

Gardening pro: first aid tips for those with green fingers

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Female gardener with her potted plantsWhether your pride and joy is a hydrangea plant or rose tree, if you have green fingers you’ll be welcoming the better weather in your much-loved garden.

The nature of gardening tools and prickly plants means sometimes people accidentally get hurt. But learning a little first aid doesn’t hurt at all.

Here are our top first aid tips for gardeners.

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Why runners should learn first aid

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Red Cross staff and volunteers pose for a photo. They provide first aid during the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon

If you’re taking part in a sporting event this year, you might meet someone like Andy Owen. He’s an event first aid volunteer for the British Red Cross.

Every year, Red Cross staff and volunteers like Andy help out at lots of different events, including sporting ones. So, they know a thing or two about sports injuries.

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‘What happened to me makes me grateful for my family this Mother’s Day’

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Claire Burke and holds almost one-year-old Tori up for the camera

It’s almost a year since Claire Burke went into labour while in traffic during the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon. She feared she’d give birth in the car – until a Red Cross ambulance appeared.

As Mother’s Day approaches, she reflects on that day and how the actions of two Red Cross volunteers mean that this year, she and her family can celebrate it together.   

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Older people and loneliness: five things you need to know

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A Red Cross volunteer provides support to an older personThe hidden epidemic of loneliness is often associated with older people. And while a survey released today showed that over half of Gransnet users who feel lonely have never talked about it, there’s more to understand.

Here are five things you need to know about loneliness and older people in the UK.

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Beating loneliness: “I finally felt like I was getting to grips with things”

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Philip Mead standing in his garden

Things went from bad to worse for Philip Mead after his wife Val passed away. He missed her greatly and began having flashbacks of her death. Then he was involved in an accident that wrote off his car, leaving him completely isolated. But with a little help from the British Red Cross, Phil started to build up his life again.

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Overcome the bystander effect

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A woman approaches a man sat down in the street to see if he is ok

Have you ever seen someone who looked unconscious on the side of the road but walked on by? Or ignored a person who’s fallen over? Maybe when you got home you thought, ‘I really should have done something’. This is the “bystander effect”. But don’t despair: by reading this you’re on track to never walk on by again.

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A defibrillator can save a life – if people feel confident

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Sharon leans on a fence at the pig-breeding farm where she works. She gave chest compressions to a customer, helping to save their life.

Sharon gave chest compressions to a customer, helping to save their life.

If a person is unresponsive and not breathing they are in cardiac arrest. This means their heart has stopped pumping blood around their body. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is used within three to five minutes of them collapsing, it can produce survival rates as high as 50-70 per cent.

There is no denying the life-saving power of an AED – but behind it is the life-saving power of people.
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