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Closing the floodgates

Chloé Valerie Harmsworth explores why the problem of flooding is deeper than we realise

Among all the Brexit and Trump-related propaganda that has bombarded us daily for the last few years, and especially during the last few months, you may have noticed another very worrying piece of news – one that has affected thousands of people across the UK, turning them out of their homes and causing them to lose their personal possessions and livelihoods. This story is a real-life nightmare if you are caught in the middle of it – we’re talking about flooding.

Late last year, much of central and northern England experienced incredibly heavy rainfall, which lead to dramatic flooding, as rivers such as the Severn and Avon burst their banks. The impact was disastrous – towns and villages across Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, the Midlands and Yorkshire were waterlogged and damaged, with properties becoming unliveable and structurally unsound. By 15th November, 145 flood warnings in England were posted by the Environment Agency (gov.uk), for which immediate action was required, and 174 flood alerts were in place, warning of more flooding to come.

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About Be Kind

Hello, If a genie appeared and offered you three wishes, what would you choose? Whilst thoughts of living on a paradise island with a personal chef and marrying Leonardo DiCaprio are tempting, I think most of us would wish for the same thing – good health for ourselves, our friends and our family. You’re very lucky if you haven’t experienced a bout of ill health, or helped a loved one through a bad time with theirs. Most of us can recall a rush to A&E with a broken limb, a hospital birth or a visit to a family member with flowers and chocolates. And, for most of us in the UK, we need to thank the NHS for the care received. The National Health Service was one of the most discussed issues in the last election and every day we hear news of how its future hangs in the balance, with threats of privatisation and further cuts to the service. We are incredibly fortunate to have a service like we do, and whilst there are faults in any huge system, we should be grateful. This issue we’ve taken some time to get to know the people of the NHS – the patients, the nurses, the midwives, the paramedics, the blood donators and the cancer survivors. We take a look at how services compare across the globe and also how climate change is affecting our health (think of the implications of air pollution, flooding and drought), both now and in the future. With the scary changes happening to our planet, it’s more vital than ever that we protect the precious lifeline that is the NHS. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor