Terry made life worth living again

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Ken sits next to British Red Cross volunteer Terry, who helps support people in his community, and both are laughing

Ken and Terry, © British Red Cross

“I wouldn’t have cared if I lived or died,” said Ken, 92.

Ken was heartbroken when his wife Ann died after over 60 years of marriage.

Sadly, Ann had developed dementia and Ken was caring for her at home. But in January, Ken was in a car accident and had to spend several months in hospital.

Injuries to his neck and ankle meant he couldn’t walk or move around as well as he used to.

Then, while he was in hospital, Ann passed away. Ken returned alone to the home they once shared.

“It was a very, very sad time,” he said. “I couldn’t see the point.”

“But that was when I met this bright chap, Terry.”

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Yemen crisis: “this is reality”

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In Yemen, a man and woman sit on small boxes in a courtyard littered with debris while they watch their young granddaughter sleep on cardboard boxes on the ground

Yemen: grandparents with their sleeping granddaughter © ICRC / Abduljabbar Zeyad

“Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. It’s not just in the media. It’s reality.”

These words from Indra Adhikari in Yemen struck me to the core.

Through one of modern technology’s miracles, Indra, his two colleagues and I spoke from my home and his office.

Suddenly, via a crackling computer audio link, this crisis was no longer half a world away. It was in my living room.

Right now, after more than three years of conflict, people in Yemen could be at risk of facing the worst famine the world has seen in 100 years, according to the UN.

And an average of 75 people are killed or injured every day.

Nearly every child, woman and man in Yemen is affected.

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The Red Cross saved my father’s life in the First World War

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Amanda Nicholson holds her father's First World War flying jacket to show where the bullet went through the cloth

Amanda Nicholson holding her father’s flying jacket with the bullet hole still in the back

“If it wasn’t for the Red Cross I wouldn’t be here.”

For Amanda Nicholson, the ceremonies to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War on 11 November will be especially poignant.

Her father, James Orr MacAndrew – known as Jo – was one of Britain’s first fighter pilots during World War One.

“My father came from a family of six where all three sons served during the First World War,” Amanda said.

“My father was terribly anxious that the war would end before he had a chance to enlist.”

But Jo did manage to join up in March 1918 after leaving school at the age of 17. This was just five months after his older brother, Colin, was killed in action.

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Art from the past: a dangerous journey in the First World War

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Stobart and Serbia retreat in First World War

‘Lady of the black horse’, by George Rankin

Just over 100 years ago, Mabel St Clair Stobart was forced to flee her field hospital in Belgrade, Serbia during the First World War.

One of many women who volunteered with the Red Cross, she was head of a hospital unit on the front line.

Events in the war were escalating. Serbia had been invaded – and lives and vital medical equipment were now in danger.

As head of the hospital, Mabel Stobart had to lead the sick and wounded, and the nurses, on an 800-mile escape over snow-capped mountains.

Yet most people have not heard her name – or know anything about her incredible life. More

Easy peasy cake recipe that’s 100 years old

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A young girl eats a cupcake

© PeopleImages

Let’s face it: cake is cool again.

But at the British Red Cross, we’ve been using cake to help change people’s lives for over a century.

After all, the quickest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach.

If you’re looking for ideas for your own tasty bake, here’s a delicious recipe crafted by some British Red Cross volunteers during the First World War.

They handed out this cake to soldiers on the front line, to line their stomachs and boost their spirits.

And now you can recreate it in just four easy steps.

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Nosebleed: “I knew I had to lean her forward, not back”

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Claire holds her arm around her daughter Bella

Claire and Bella, ©Teri Pengilley/UNP

When it comes to nosebleeds, a lot of people aren’t sure what to do. Luckily, Claire did and was able to use her skills to help her daughter. 

Dealing with a nosebleed might seem simple.

But recently, the British Red Cross asked parents with young children how to help a child with a nosebleed. An astonishing 65 per cent did not choose the correct action to help.*

Learning what to do if a little one has a nosebleed will help you deal with the situation quickly and calmly. Here, Claire shares the story of how she helped her daughter when her nose was bleeding. More

Restart a heart: how Joanna saved her husband’s life

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Joanna and Graham with their arms around each other in their garden

Joanna and Graham, © British Red Cross

On a quiet Sunday morning Joanna’s husband Graham’s heart suddenly stopped. He became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Luckily, Joanna knew what to do and used her first aid skills saved his life.

“My first thought was to run! My daughter was screaming. But then something kicked in and I knew what I had to do,” Joanna said.

“I asked my daughter to call an ambulance and put the phone on loud speaker. Then I sent her outside to wait for the ambulance.”

Luckily, Joanna had learned first aid so she knew how to help her husband.

“I started doing chest compressions (CPR) and the emergency call handler on the phone counted me through sets of 30,” she explained.

“You have to be quite rigorous when you’re doing them, going about a third of the way into the body.

“The ambulance arrived after about eleven minutes and the crew came in.

“I literally remember standing there. I knew my arms were so sore from doing the chest compressions.

“It was the most terrifying eleven minutes of my life, but I would do it again, and again and again.

“And not just for my husband, for anyone who needed it. Because no matter who needs help, someone loves that person, it’s someone’s husband or son or daughter.”

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