UK

Post relating to the British Red Cross in the United Kingdom

Halloween: a survival guide

Halloween-scary-kidsThe whole point of Halloween is to be a bit ghoulish, but it’s better if the blood remains fake and the looks of shocked horror are tongue-in-cheek. Here are some tips to keep you and your little monsters safe.

1. Pumpkin alert!

Everyone worries about the children at Halloween, but they’re generally not the ones wielding a sharp knife and trying to cut intricate holes into a big, slippery orange vegetable.

Halloweeen-pumpkinIn the USA last year (where pumpkin-carving is almost a national sport), around 4,400 people turned up at emergency rooms with genuinely scary injuries. Be careful, parents. More

The curious tale of the ‘black doctor of Paddington’

Dr-John-Alcindor-BLOGA determined doctor who overcame bigotry and prejudice to help others during the First World War has finally won recognition. As Britain celebrates Black History Month, we trace his story.

John Alcindor was a gifted doctor, respected and trusted by his many patients.

Originally from Trinidad, John graduated with a medical degree from Edinburgh University in 1899. He then worked in London hospitals for several years before going into practice on his own.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, he naturally wanted to use his skills to help with the war effort.

But despite his qualifications and experience, he was rejected outright by the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914 because of his ‘colonial origin’.

More

The A&E team: always on call

Swansea-A&E-BLOG

Smiles ahead: Roxane Dacey, staff nurse Corrina Newman and Zaneta Podgorska.

Our crack team is easing the pressure on over-worked staff at a busy hospital, while ensuring patients get the individual attention they deserve.

It’s no secret that life is incredibly busy at an accident and emergency (A&E) department.

British hospitals are famously struggling to cope with ever-rising numbers of patients, and A&E departments are typically in the eye of the storm.

But now doctors and nurses at one Swansea hospital are breathing a little easier, after the British Red Cross set up a support service right in the heart of the building. More

Cardiac arrest runner gets lucky escape

Sean-Deans-BLOG

Sean Deans with first aid volunteers David Hart and Steven Gay. PIC: Alasdair MacLeod

When a young athlete collapsed at the end of a half-marathon, our cool-headed volunteers saved his life.

It was only as he crossed the finish line that Sean Deans realised all might not be well.

The 29-year-old, who had just completed the Great Scottish Run, recalled: “I just felt as if I needed to catch my breath. Next thing I know, I woke up in an ambulance.”

It turns out the army reservist had suffered cardiac arrest. As he lay there on the ground in Glasgow, he actually ceased breathing and his heart stopped. There seemed little hope. More

Red Cross runner raises (and loses) many pounds

Sometimes, running is about much more than just the race. For Liz Strain, it meant laying some old demons to rest – while raising money for the organisation she loves. This is her story.

Liz-Strain-Scottish-runner-BLOGI’ve always battled with my weight. For many years, I had quite an addictive relationship with food. Though I often dieted, I always put the pounds back on later – and even added more.

But losing both my beloved parents a few years ago was a real wake-up call.

It made me question what my life priorities were, and I resolved to finally do something that would have made them both proud: get fit. More

Fact check: asylum seekers

© British Red Cross

© British Red Cross

Recent media stories have attacked the government for putting asylum seekers in hotels while they wait for a decision about their claim. The articles claim that too much money is being spent on temporary accommodation.

Several articles have implied the UK is being flooded with asylum seekers. In fact, the country hosts less than one per cent of the world’s refugees.

We want to set the record straight. More

‘I was so worried about my family, I couldn’t eat’

Saytun Ali As a teenager, Saytun Ali was forced to flee her hometown in Somalia after sudden violence – without even saying goodbye to her loved ones.

Although she soon settled into life in London, she often thought about her family and what had happened – until, after more than two years apart, the British Red Cross helped her find them. More

Art from the past: the statue of a starving mother and child

© Lyn Constable Maxwell

© Lyn Constable Maxwell

Every month, we’re dusting off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. This month, it’s a sculpture that takes a no-holds-barred look at a crisis that touched the nation.

There is something about this sculpture that sticks in the memory.

At a glance, it seems slight and brittle. The concave figure looks like it might snap in two. The head is twisted to one side in exhaustion – with the palms held up. The viewer’s eye flows down the body to the woman’s feet, where a small child lies: curled up and weak.

In fact, the sculpture is made from heavy bronze, measuring 65 by 34 centimetres across.

Its title is ‘Famine’. More