Football and first aid: ‘I was seconds away from thinking: “This is it”’

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Ryan Gayler stands holding a football. He performed first aid when two football players collided during a match

Up and down the country, people are buzzing with excitement and anticipation – the football season is back.

And while the professionals battle to climb the league tables, we’re enjoying a kickabout, too. Football is part of the weekly routine for over 1.6 million people in England alone.*

Ryan Gayler manages AFC Vardeanians Football Club in Sussex. When his son organised a last-minute friendly between the players from the club, Ryan turned up to watch. He’d hoped to show off his own footy skills with a few minutes of play time towards the end.

But 20 minutes into the match, a head clash stopped play. Ryan was called upon for a different set of skills – first aid.

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World Humanitarian Day: meet the people we all rely on

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Today is World Humanitarian Day. Many aid workers are risking their lives to help people in dangerous places from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan and Afghanistan. Others are volunteering their time and skills to help others in their communities. Join us on a trip around the world to meet the people who are always ready to help in a crisis.

Italy
Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean.

Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean. The work on board the rescue boat is relentless as hundreds of people are rescued from the water every day. Aid workers like Daniela ensure people feel safe and protected. (Photo: Jason Florio / MOAS)

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Olympics 1948: when Team GB were the ‘good losers’

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Women's 800m hurdles race, London Olympic Games 1948

At the 1948 Olympic Games the world was still reeling from the Second World War. The Games had been cancelled in 1940 and 1944. Rations were still in place. But at short notice London agreed to host the Olympics.

Let’s hear from some of the Red Cross nurses who were on hand to give the athletes first aid. More

Ukraine: two women’s stories from a forgotten conflict

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Rayisa in front of house

Rayisa stares through her brightly coloured window frames. They cling on to her home – which now stands in ruins. They remind her of a happier, safer time.

The eighty-year-old was napping in her living room when three bombs tore through her home.

“I did not think I would survive it,” she said.

One left a crater in her garden. The other two smashed into the building – burying her in rubble.

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Interactive map: a snapshot of our work in the Middle East

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For families forced to flee their homes due to conflict, each season brings new challenges and difficulties.

While many countries are known for being very hot, they also have bitterly cold winters.

Click on the map to find out how your support to our appeals for Syria, Iraq and Yemen helps us bring life-saving aid to people across the Middle East throughout the year.