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:

We Love Manchester Emergency Fund grows to £4.1million

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Crowds gathered for a vigil in Manchester's Albert Square to pay their respects following the terrorist attack on Manchester Stadium.

Credit: Jacob Sacks-Jones/Alamy Live News.

Love and support for the people of Manchester continue to shine through as more and more people give to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

In its first 24 hours after launching, the appeal reached £2 million. Now it has reached over £4 million, thanks to generous donations from the public and Manchester’s two major football clubs. Manchester United and Manchester City joined forces to pledge £1 million to support survivors of the attack.

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How Red Cross volunteers responded to the WW2 bomb in Birmingham

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A Red Cross volunteer helps a woman in a rest centre set up for those evacuated from their homes.

Photo credit: Tom Pilston / Panos / British Red Cross

An unexploded World War Two (WW2) bomb was found at a construction site near Spaghetti Junction on Monday. For the next two nights, volunteers from the British Red Cross ran a rest centre to support people evacuated from the local area.

“My experience for the night I’ve been here has been fantastic,” said Sarah, from Aston.

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Men and loneliness: “I miss my wife a great deal… I just miss having company”

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Sarah-Jane with Desmond Gregory

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness has released new research showing that millions of men are experiencing loneliness but suffering in silence – men like Desmond Gregory.

When Desmond’s wife passed away in 2015, his world fell apart. After nearly 60 years of marriage, the 89-year-old from Midsomer Norton, in Somerset, was suddenly alone.

Despite his daughter visiting regularly, his grief was overwhelming and he began to feel increasingly lonely.

“Some days I didn’t see anyone at all. I miss my wife a great deal. I miss going to work. I just miss having company,” Desmond said.

Fortunately his health worker spotted the signs and was able to introduce him to the British Red Cross – we offer services for those experiencing loneliness and social isolation.

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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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