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:

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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Home from hospital: “Breaking my hip was the best thing that happened to me”

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Carol Looby

Carol Looby is now a volunteer for the British Red Cross, helping others through one of our home from hospital services.

Four years ago, Carol Looby passed out while walking home after giving blood. She broke her hip – but says it’s the best thing that ever happened to her.

That’s because Carol’s accident led her to a British Red Cross home from hospital service. We not only helped with her recovery, but became a new venture for her too – Carol now volunteers for the service.

“It’s changed my life totally,” she said.

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The Lake Chad crisis from Cameroon: “Home is home. We want peace.”

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Modou, pictured centre wearing a yellow shirt and blue trousers, fled when his village was attacked.

There is a crisis in the Lake Chad region. Years of conflict have forced people to leave their homes and search for safety and food. In many areas, cut-off from the outside world, the extent of human suffering remains largely unknown, but predictably desperate.

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10 things you didn’t know about the Red Cross’ health and social care work in the UK

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From helping people home from hospital to loaning wheelchairs, the British Red Cross does a lot more to promote health and wellbeing in the UK than you might think. In fact, we have been providing health and social care services for around 70 years.

Here are ten things you may not know about our health and social care work in the UK.

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