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:

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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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 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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Shop for Grenfell: Why we’re turning donations into cash

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The Red Cross is selling excess donations made in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire – ©BritishRedCross/MattPercival

The local community response in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire has been awe-inspiring. Tonnes of clothes and other items have been donated to help victims of the London fire.

The council asked people to kindly stop donating as they soon had more than enough donations.

Now the British Red Cross has been asked to help turn some of the remaining donated clothes into cash for people affected by the fire.

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Grenfell Tower fire: How to help London fire victims

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For the latest information on how we are using your donations to support people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, click here to read our update.

There has been an overwhelming response from the UK public to help those affected by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Here’s what you need to know about the situation and how you can help.

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Raising money for Manchester and London attacks – how your donations will help

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unity-blogWithin the last two weeks we have seen two terrible attacks in the UK. Amid the terror and horror there have been multiple acts of kindness and generosity as communities across the cities, country and the world have rallied.

Members of the public, celebrities, businesses and sports stars have all given generously to two funds to support those affected – the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and the UK Solidarity Fund.

But what’s the difference and how will your donations be spent? Here’s all you need to know about them.

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