Category: Health

“I loved my wife, she was my life” – The drought threatening lives in Somalia

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Drought and conflict have led to a critical humanitarian crisis in Somalia. Over 6.2 million people are in need of urgent help – more than half the country’s population. The Times photographer Jack Hill visited Sool, in Somaliland, one of the worst affected areas. His images capture the crisis and the Red Cross Red Crescent response.

A dust tornado rips through the arid, desolate landscape.

Photo credit: Jack Hill / The Times

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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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Shot in the leg at seven months old, the nightmare reality of Syria’s conflict

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In Syria, a seven-month-old baby lies on an examining table while an adult hand lifts up his leg to show scars from a bullet wound

Fatma’s seven-month-old grandson was shot in the leg © SARC/Tareq Mnadili

The last thing Fatma expected was for her seven-month-old grandson to be shot in the leg while lying in his bed.

And yet, such is the indiscriminate brutality of Syria’s conflict, Fatma watched this improbable nightmare unfold before her eyes.

“My daughter-in-law had laid the baby on the bed at home and the bullet just came through the window,” Fatma said.

“When we saw what had happened to him we were so angry, we cried.

“We just fled the situation, it was very bad, there was shooting and bombing.”

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“He was always looking after us” – Lee’s journey from Tunisia attacks to London Marathon

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Lee Stocker, wearing a British Red Cross vest top to train for the London Marathon, sits next to his wife Nicole

Lee Stocker and his wife Nicole © Evening Standard

“Without him, I don’t know how we would have coped.”

Lee Stocker is talking about Dr Howie Fine, a British Red Cross psychological and emotional support volunteer.

Lee’s parents Janet and John Stocker were among the 38 people killed during the beach attack in Sousse, Tunisia, two years ago.

To remember his parents and those who died, and to say thank you for Red Cross support, 38-year-old Lee is running the London Marathon.

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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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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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Millions going hungry in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen: how you can help

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A woman in South Sudan holds a huge bag of Red Cross food on her head as two other people stand near her

Red Cross rations are helping to keep people alive in South Sudan – © Alyona Synenko/ICRC

You may have seen the news reports of famine in Africa and the Middle East recently.

Millions of people in four countries are facing relentless, crushing hunger.

Most have not had enough food for months or even years.

Parents are watching their children go hungry.

Here’s how you can help.

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