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:

Disabled and lonely? The Red Cross can help

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Sue Seers received support from the British Red Cross

Isabella is a life-line to Sue Seers. She’s not her carer, support worker, or even a family member – but a wheelchair.

For two years Sue was unable to leave her house due to deteriorating health. But then the British Red Cross helped her get a wheelchair and start a journey away from loneliness and social isolation.

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Four things to know about care

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An older lady is helped down a path

At the British Red Cross, we want everyone to get the support they need to live as independently as possible. This is why we’ve been asking people to share their care stories with us.

Your good, bad and mixed experiences help us to understand how the health and social care system is working – or isn’t. The more we know, the more we may be able to help make it better.

Here are four key things we know about care based on the stories shared so far.

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Five things you should know about drowning

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swimmers in open water

From toddlers to grandparents, lots of us love to jump in the water for a spot of swimming. And at some point in our lives, we may have learnt something about how to help someone who’s drowning. But do you remember it?

While there are lots of beautiful, open water swimming locations where you can go for a dip safely, drowning still accounts for more accidental deaths in the UK than road cycling accidents.

So what’s going on? Here are five things you should know about drowning.

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Connecting communities: meet two women on a mission

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Nazia providing support to an older woman

Back in December 2016, the British Red Cross in partnership with the Co-op, revealed epidemic levels of loneliness and social isolation in the UK.

Now we’ve started to roll out connecting communities: the name of our brand new services designed to help tackle these issues head on.

At the heart of these are an inspirational team of individuals, people like Vicky Day and Nazia Rehman.

Both these women know what it is like to be lonely and are on a mission to ensure others in a similar position get the help they need and deserve.

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Learn and share: learning first aid your way

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Red Cross trainers and the pledge board

At the beginning of this year, we set you a challenge: make 2017 a life-saving year by taking part in learn and share.

We asked you to learn one simple first aid skill and share it with others.

From watching first aid videos on our website to taking a first aid course, hundreds of you have responded. Here’s how.

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Health and social care: small things that make a big difference

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Mrs Bennet and Red Cross volunteer Janet

Breaking a bone can make everyday activities particularly tricky. Especially when it’s your dominant arm and you live alone. Just ask Mrs Bennet who badly broke her right arm last year.

But thanks to a close group of good friends and a little help from British Red Cross volunteer Janet Shaw, Mrs Bennet got the person-centred support at home she needed.

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Disabled people are a diverse group – but loneliness is a common experience

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loneliness-blog

Loneliness and social isolation can affect anyone, but some people are more vulnerable to it than others – like disabled people.

Anyone can experience the life transitions that our research has shown can trigger loneliness, like retirement or bereavement. But disabled people often face barriers in daily life that can make them more likely to be chronically lonely than non-disabled people.

A new report by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities, from the perspective of disabled people. It claims over half of disabled people report feeling lonely.

While each disabled person is unique in terms of the impairments and personal circumstances they face, loneliness is an experience that many disabled people will have in common. Getting the right support is so important.

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