How Red Cross volunteers responded to the WW2 bomb in Birmingham

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A Red Cross volunteer helps a woman in a rest centre set up for those evacuated from their homes.

Photo credit: Tom Pilston / Panos / British Red Cross

An unexploded World War Two (WW2) bomb was found at a construction site near Spaghetti Junction on Monday. For the next two nights, volunteers from the British Red Cross ran a rest centre to support people evacuated from the local area.

“My experience for the night I’ve been here has been fantastic,” said Sarah, from Aston.

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No money for milk: the new mums neglected by UK asylum system

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woman holding toddler

© Chris Leslie

They say everything changes overnight.

All of a sudden there’s a new person in the world. Your person. A little boy or girl that makes your every other care melt away.

It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life, and for most new mothers the experience is exactly that.

But what of those women in the UK’s asylum system? How does motherhood treat them?

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Red Cross figures reveal new mums and pregnant women left destitute by admin delays

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woman looks forlornly out window

© Chris Leslie

Pregnant women and new mothers were among thousands of destitute refugees and asylum seekers supported by the British Red Cross this year.

Between January and March, the Red Cross helped more than 5,400 people without adequate access to food, housing or health care.

Among them were 70 women who received nappies from the Red Cross, and nearly 100 women who were given baby packs.

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“There is a big need for nutritious food here” – overcoming drought in Zimbabwe

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people in garden

The midday sun is fierce as we arrive in Chibuwe, but this hasn’t deterred the Red Cross volunteers who have been hard at work ploughing the land for hours.

It doesn’t look much at the moment, but in a few months it is hoped the earth will provide a rich bounty of tomatoes, spinach, onion, carrots, and aubergines.

“This is our wonderful nutrition garden which will benefit the whole community,” explained Zimbabwe Red Cross volunteer Lucky Mazangesure.

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“They took her mother” – Coming to the aid of South Sudan’s refugees

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boy looks on in refugee camp

© Emily Gilbert/British Red Cross

The ever-growing Imvepi refugee camp in Uganda is home to nearly 60,000 people. Aid worker Emily Gilbert has just returned from the camp and explains how Red Cross volunteers are playing a vital role in keeping people safe and healthy.

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“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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‘The people we treat have nothing’ – caring for the victims of a forgotten conflict

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hospital-fighting-children-conflict-south-sudan-kodok_02

In the far-flung corners of South Sudan, health care is all but impossible to find. People often walk for days to get the care they need to survive. Hope comes in the shape of the Red Cross’ surgical unit in a hospital in the remote town of Kodok. Oxford nurse Robbie Gray is part of the team and is no stranger to South Sudan, but that doesn’t make medical care in the world’s newest nation any easier.

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