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23/12/2015, 12:00
Thank you. You’re helping light up Christmas for disabled children. This Christmas, more than 4,000 families will turn to Scope for support. Many will call the Scope Helpline soon after learning their child is disabled. Thanks to your support, we plan to be there for each and every one of them. No one is better placed than Harry’s mum, Jenny, to explain the difference your generosity has made in helping support these families. Jenny found out Harry had cerebral palsy just before Christmas and it came as a huge shock. “The consultant told me I must have fallen when pregnant, scarring his brain....
23/12/2015, 11:52
Portmore Lough nature reserve outside Aghalee, in Northern Ireland, has been proving itself as a global wildlife haven this year, as a flurry of threatened species have turned up. Recent surveys have revealed that the redshank has taken up residence at the RSPB NI reserve! As the name suggests, redshanks' most distinctive features are their bright orange-red legs. These wading birds need damp places to feed and breed – making Portmore the perfect spot. Sadly, redshank numbers have declined significantly in recent years and they are now amber-listed (of medium conservation concern) in the UK and Ireland, making the sighting of a breeding...
22/12/2015, 15:41
One of the best ways we can protect children is by helping their parents. The right support means that parents can give their children the best possible start in life, and a childhood free from abuse. We couldn’t do it without you. This is just one of the ways your support is helping new parents. Photography by Tom Hull.  Child pictured is a volunteer. Baby StepsPregnancy and the first months of a child’s life are crucial – laying the foundations for their future. But parents who most need support at this time are unlikely to get any. Their own circumstances and past...
22/12/2015, 15:19
One day in 2012, Muhammad Al Moukdad, 28, witnessed his neighbour in Syria being shot in the head while he was standing by the window.  Mohammed called for help, but no one could come.  After 16 hours, his neighbour bled to death. Mohammed decided to flee Syria to keep his family safe. The number of people forced to flee violence and conflict today is the highest since World War II.  This year alone, over 590,000 have arrived in Europe.  Horrific journeys across the Mediterranean have cost the lives of over 3,000 people. In September, the British Red Cross launched an emergency appeal...
22/12/2015, 14:22
Christmas is supposed to be a joyful season, when we enjoy the companionship of our closest friends and family. But for some older people who are lonely, it can be a desperate time of year: they might not receive a phone call, a card or a present. Sadly, it’s not just Christmas when loneliness is keenly felt. More than a million older people haven’t spoken to anyone for over a month and over four million older people cite the television as their main form of daily company. ©Age UK Mary’s StoryEarlier this year, one of our advisers answered a call from a lady...
04/09/2015, 15:26
The number of older people who have difficulty with basic tasks such as getting out of bed, washing and dressing but who get no help has now soared to over one million (1,004,000).Each and every day over one million older people who need care are left to the stark reality of battling on alone – over 100,000 more than last year.  These figures reveal the extent to which older people are being left stranded, with nearly a third (31.1 per cent) of all those who have difficulty in carrying out one or more essential activities of daily life not receiving...
04/09/2015, 14:04
Located just 4 miles (6 km) from Trafalgar Square, Hampstead Heath is an island of beautiful countryside, accessible to millions of people. The Heath features lesser spotted woodpeckers, bullfinches, stag beetles and grass snakes.In 2012, The RSPB brokered a partnership with The City of London Corporation, who manages the Heath; English Heritage, owners of Kenwood House; friends group Heath Hands, and the Camden Community Consortium to run Wild About Hampstead Heath.The overall purpose of the project is to encourage local communities to explore the natural world. They can do this by taking part in 30-minute guerrilla interpretation activities from mobile...
04/09/2015, 13:29
David Tait, an NSPCC Trustee and one of the charity’s most inspiring fundraisers, is on his way back from his attempt to climb K2 for the first time, unfortunately cut short due to safety reason. Having climbed Mt. Everest 5 times previously for the NSPCC, David embodies everything you would expect from a fundraising hero: spirit, tenacity and a desire to test the limits. But unfortunately, this has not always been the case. David suffered sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a family friend. His abuser threatened David, leaving him too terrified to tell anyone what had...
04/09/2015, 13:15
As the final stage of our recovery programme drew to a close in Port-au-Prince at the end of last month, the British Red Cross left Haiti, more than five years after the country was struck by a massive earthquake in January 2010.Haiti is by far one of the most challenging emergencies that the British Red Cross has encountered.  The 7.0-magnitude earthquake left 220,000 people dead, 1.5 million people homeless, and a country on its knees.Entire communities were reduced to rubble; in particular a small community in the capital called Delmas 19.  This was where the British Red Cross decided to...
17/07/2015, 11:49
The 100th pair of white-tailed eagles has nested on Hoy - the first white-tailed eagles to nest in Orkney for 142 years.  This milestone comes in a year of significant anniversaries for the re-introduction programme. It is 40 years since the first young white-tailed eagles from Norway were released on Rum in 1975 and 30 years since the first wild chick fledged on Mull in 1985. Image: Ian McCarthy The re-introduction programme run by RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), released 82 young eagles over 10 years on Rum. It marked the return of white-tailed eagles, also called sea eagles, to...
17/07/2015, 11:29
Charli-Mai is a real daddy’s girl. She and her dad Mark have lots of fun playing together and if there’s anything Charli-Mai needs, her dad is the first person she asks for.Mark describes his eight year old daughter as “feisty and independent.” But when he held his newborn baby for the first time, he was filled with worry about Charli-Mai’s future.During the second trimester of pregnancy, Mark and his wife Sarah discovered they were going to have a child with Down’s syndrome. They were told over the phone. After Charli-Mai was born, they were assigned a health visitor but she’d...
17/07/2015, 10:53
Ageing doesn’t come with a manual. There are often times when we may face difficult and challenging situations and have no-one to turn to for help. For thousands of older people and their carers, our advice line experts provide friendly and professional guidance on a range of issues.By 2020 one in five people will be over 65, and as the number of older people increases there will be a greater need for our help and advice. Thanks to the ongoing support of people like you, we are planning ahead to meet this challenge.Age UK’s Advice Line is a critical part...
17/07/2015, 10:31
As exam season gets underway, ChildLine can reveal that for the first time ever school and education problems emerged as a top concern among those contacting the helpline in 2013/14.ChildLine carried out 34,454 counselling sessions mentioning school and education problems with a 200% increase in counselling about exam stress specifically. There were also more than 87,500 visits to ChildLine’s webpage about the issue.Major themes include: • not wanting to disappoint their parents • fear of failure • general pressures linked to academic achievement.Stresses about exams can affect young people's ability to sleep, trigger anxiety attacks, depression and tearfulness, and eating disorders....
16/07/2015, 15:43
Lightning may not strike twice. Unfortunately, earthquakes do. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April was followed by hundreds of aftershocks and a second major earthquake on 12 May, measuring 7.3. These disasters have affected 8.1 million people – killing over 8,600 and injuring over 20,000 – and left 2.8 million displaced. However, the British Red Cross was already present in Nepal, working with the Nepal Red Cross Society to deliver earthquake preparedness training and materials. This project enabled staff to respond immediately to the earthquake, mobilising 7,000 volunteers to perform vital first aid and search and rescue...
01/05/2013, 12:21
Jamie Love is 17. With support from staff at Scope’s Craig Y Parc School in Wales and the right technology, he’s getting the skills he’ll need to live independently when he grows up. Here Jamie talks about how these skills have transformed his life.  “The fact that I can tell you my story at all shows what amazing stuff this school can do. When I first came here, I couldn’t even tell my left and right. Before, I wasn’t very awake or alert. I was a bit dead really. I didn’t feel like I was part of the world. Now everything’s...
13/06/2012, 12:09
The risk of falling increases as we grow older. Falls can compromise independence and lead to isolation, damaging confidence as well as health. But the good news is that most falls are preventable. There are all sorts of measures that older people can take to reduce their risk of falling - from addressing the factors that make them so common to combating their damaging effects. Thanks to the committed support of people like you, we're fighting back against falls. Falls facts• About 30 per cent of all people over 65 fall each year, rising to about 50 per cent for...
13/06/2012, 12:07
RSPB Scotland is championing six areas of sea around important seabird colonies to be designated as Marine Protected Areas. The waters directly around seabird colonies are important to our most familiar sea-faring species like puffins and kittiwakes - this is where they preen, wash, clean and carry out courtship. The Scottish Government has already protected the waters under 31 internationally important 'seabird cities' but our nationally-important colonies of seabirds remain unprotected when they head out to sea.We hoped that when the Marine (Scotland) Act came into force in 2010, these vital areas for 'Scottish specialties' would be among the first...
13/06/2012, 12:06
When Ellis Sheldon's wife was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, the couple struggled to cope in their country home -until the Red Cross' Sue Whalley stepped in. “When I retired, my wife Wendy and I fulfilled our ambition of building a dream home in the Conwy hills. Sadly, after many happy years, Wendy's health began to deteriorate and she was diagnosed with Parkinson's. She found it increasingly difficult to do the things she loved, such as cooking and gardening, and needed carers to visit regularly. During one period of very bad weather, our rural location left us completely snowed in and...
13/06/2012, 12:04
For some children who have been abused, 'talking' is impossible. They may not have the words, or understanding. They may be too afraid. For these children, there are a range of creative therapeutic approaches that may help them to express their feelings.Amy's story: Amy was 13 when she was referred to the NSPCC. Throughout her childhood, domestic abuse between her parents had been a constant feature of family life. She had also been physically and emotionally abused by her father. When he finally left the family home, Amy told her mother that her father had also been sexually abusing her...