Category: Health

How John got his mojo back…

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John-Roy-hairdresser-BLOGAfter a career spent hob-nobbing with movie stars, John found himself widowed and losing a leg in quick succession. It was a really low time – but we helped raise his spirits.

John Roy had one of those jobs.

As a props lorry driver for international blockbusters – such as Batman, the James Bond movies and The Da Vinci Code – he travelled the world. It was an adventurous and exciting life.

But then, in the space of just a few years, he was hit by a cruel double blow. More

Pictures and play help Nepal’s children find their voice

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©Eliza Cheung/IFRC

©Eliza Cheung/IFRC

Three months after the Nepal earthquake, the Red Cross is helping traumatised children rebuild their lives.

In a health centre in Nepal, Eliza Cheung leafs through page after page of drawings. They are of all the same subject; a detailed Buddha. Sketches in crayon, pen and pencil.

The mother of the 12-year-old boy who created them died in April’s earthquake. Now the boy’s father has abandoned him.

The boy was brought to a health clinic in the village of Melamchi and eventually to Eliza, a Red Cross clinical psychologist.

“I’m not quite sure what it means yet, but [his drawings] really touch me,” Eliza says. “This is not a simple picture. I think he is trying to find ways to remember his mother. It is quite a traumatic experience for someone so young to go through.” More

Video: ‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside’

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Brighton-promenadeGrannies splashing in the sea? Eighty-year-olds on helter skelters? Welcome to a day at the seaside with the British Red Cross – Sixties style!

This’ll gladden your heart and warm your cockles – it’s a lovely film showing a Red Cross trip to Brighton 50 years ago (full video below).

Brighton-telescopeBack in 1965, our volunteers took a group of older women, many of whom lived alone and didn’t get out much, for a day trip to the coast. It was a highlight of their year.

You can see the happiness etched on their faces. As the narrator says: “One of [the ladies] said she couldn’t sleep for thinking of it.” More

I thought: ‘Volunteering? I could do that…’

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Yvonne-Croft-WEBMeet the woman who was so inspired by our support during her own hour of need that she now wants to become a volunteer.

Sometimes, the most rewarding relationships begin in the strangest places.

When Yvonne Croft first came across the British Red Cross, she was recovering from a broken ankle at Leeds General Infirmary.

Doctors had judged her fit to leave hospital, but she was still a bit uncertain on her feet.

And because she lives alone and has steps leading up to her flat, hospital staff were very concerned about her returning home alone. More

Violence pushes Yemen’s water supply closer to the brink

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A concrete tower in the desert

© ICRC

As fighting rages in Yemen, water networks have been disrupted by long and frequent power cuts – bringing more misery for the country’s people.

Damaged pumps and pipes make people turn to dirty, disease-carrying water, or leave them without anything to drink at all.

This would be a terrifying prospect in any country. But Yemen has been on the brink of a water crisis for years – if the supply dries up further, the results could be catastrophic.

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Who pays for your wheelchair?

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WHHEL_OF_FORTUNE_600x337If you come a cropper and need a wheelchair, your best bet is to either get injured just a little or quite a lot. Confused? You should be.

Here are three interesting health facts you probably don’t know:

1. If you twist your ankle or get a small mobility injury, hospitals in the UK have to provide you with a ‘minor aid’ – such as crutches or a walking frame.

2. If you have a serious illness or injury that will mean long-term use of a wheelchair, hospitals are similarly obliged to provide the equipment. But…

3. If you need a wheelchair for a ‘short-term’ ailment (officially, anything lasting less than six months), then good luck. No official body has any responsibility to help.

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10 things you didn't know about the Red Cross

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1. During the Second World War, as well as sending food parcels, we sent artificial limbs to wing commander Douglas Bader in a parcel while he was a prisoner of war. We also sent more than 14,000 musical instruments to POWs, resulting in orchestras at 100 camps. Books were also provided for recreational and study purposes.

2. When celebrity supporter Stephen Fry tweeted about our Pakistan Floods Appeal recently, he helped us reach 2.5 million people on Twitter.

3. We have one web-footed volunteer – a dog called Loki. The Newfoundland is a member of the water rescue team in Northern Scotland and prized for his life-saving prowess in water, in case of  floods.

4. Agatha Christie was a voluntary aid detachment for the Red Cross during the First World War  and Second World War.

5. As well as donations to our emergency appeals, we receive some more unusual things in the post from the public, such as a prosthetic leg..and tea bags.

6. Our fourth most profitable charity shop – taking nearly £100,000 profit already this year – is situated in a sunken car park, off the beaten track, in Banchory, Scotland.

7. Percy Lane Oliver, a British Red Cross volunteer, set up the UK’s first blood collection service in 1921. The Red Cross supported the NHS with blood transfusion until 1987.

8. Rudyard Kipling helped with our war library, which supplied free books and magazines to sick and wounded soldiers and sailors in the UK and abroad during the First World War.

9. The Red Cross worked with the Department of health to produce dressings made of moss throughout the Second World War. There was substantial demand from hospitals which led to a huge saving in the use of cotton wool. The dressings were made by Red Cross work parties throughout Scotland. By June 1945, there were sufficient stocks. During the war 83,616 dressings were dispatched from Ayrshire, 35,475 from the Glasgow regional centre, and 35 sacks and 2037 dressings from Lanarkshire.

10. It may only be October, but our Christmas cards are already available  online.