Mark Cox

Mark brings you all the latest stories, news and quirky details about the Red Cross' work in the UK.

Posts by Mark Cox:

‘I survived the 7/7 bombings’

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Jacqui-Puttnam-pro-pic-BLOG

Stefan Rousseau/PA

After Jacqui Putnam was caught up in the London Bombings, we helped her deal with the harrowing experience. She became a first aid volunteer with us and has saved many lives. This is her story.

1. The explosion

I was in the front carriage on the Edgware Road train when the explosion happened. The bomb was in the next carriage along.

A lot of things happened in a split second. There was a loud bang – a high-pitched crack – and a flash of light, which illuminated hundreds of tiny shards of glass in the air.

The force of the blast travelled forward along the train. I felt immense pressure on my left shoulder which pushed me violently forward in my seat. More

Beat the hot weather: wear a wet t-shirt

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Man-in-sea-BLOGHere are a few tips for staying (literally) cool-headed during the heatwave – and why you shouldn’t believe some of those hoary old myths.

1. Wet is better

Wet-tshirt-BLOGYes, really! Heat escapes through the skin, so the larger the area being cooled down, the better.
So forget that old myth about rubbing ice cubes on the wrists to cool the whole body. In baking hot weather, wearing a wet t-shirt – and keeping it wet – can be really effective. More

Christmas during the First World War: in pictures

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WW1-xmas-hospital-ward

British Red Cross nurses had to celebrate the festive season hungry and over-worked, yet they were still determined to be cheerful. See the First World War through the eyes of the women who were actually there.

1. The busy life of a nurse

This witty cartoon triptych depicts the typical life of a Red Cross nurse (they were known as Voluntary Aid Detachments) serving abroad during the war. The sketches show how her life officially should be, how she dreams it might be, and how it actually is. Poor woman…

WW1-xmas-triptych More

Dogs of war: the first aiders on four legs

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During the First World War, the British Red Cross got lots of help from an unlikely quarter. As Armistice Day approaches, we sniff around for the full story.

At first, it sounds like a particularly far-fetched episode of Lassie.

A dog, you say, carrying first aid supplies through the whizzing bombs and flying bullets of no man’s land? And all to reach and save wounded soldiers? It sounds preposterous. But it’s true – every word of it. More

The curious tale of the ‘black doctor of Paddington’

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Dr-John-Alcindor-BLOGA determined doctor who overcame bigotry and prejudice to help others during the First World War finally won recognition a hundred years later. 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’.

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Who pays for your wheelchair?

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A British Red Cross volunteer pushes a young man in a wheelchair he borrowed from the Red Cross

This blog was updated on 1 March 2019

If 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 no official body has responsibility to offer help.

That’s a pretty huge gap in the system. It means that – if you’re facing weeks of immobility following a badly broken a leg, serious operation or debilitating illness – there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get a wheelchair.

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Volunteers help Mark to beat the floods

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Flood-Mark-Carpenter-SomersWith the waters rising in Somerset, things were getting tough for Mark Carpenter and his elderly father – until the Red Cross came splashing along.

When you’re cut off by floodwater, there’s a certain irony to living in a cottage next to a pumping station.

But that’s life at the moment for Mark Carpenter and his 84-year-old father, William, who live together along the flooded plains in Somerset.

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