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It’s that time of year again when everyone eats too much, drinks too much, exchanges presents, gathers around the television to watch mindless rubbish and, if they’re really lucky, spends time with loved ones. I will, of course, be doing at least some of these things and I genuinely hope you are too.

 

But, in a world where so many wish to spread hatred and fear, where someone can say “an armed society is a polite society” and have other people agree, where people fleeing for their lives and for the lives of their children are referred to as cockroaches and treated without humanity, what I hope for most is that there actually is some hope for all of us.

 

And I just hope I’m not the only one.

 

 

I hope that the world stops raining
Stops turning its back on the young
See nobody here is blameless
I hope that we can fix all that we’ve done
I really hope Martin can’t see this
I hope that we still have a dream
I’m hoping that change isn’t hopeless
I’m hoping to start it with me
I just hope I’m not the only one
Yeah I just hope I’m not the only one

I hope we start seeing forever
Instead of what we can gain in a day
I hope we start seeing each other
Cause don’t we all bleed the same?
I really hope someone can hear me
That a child doesn’t bear the weight of a gun
Hope I find the voice within me to scream at the top of my lungs
I just hope I’m not the only one
Yeah I just hope I’m not the only one

Louder, I cannot hear you
How can things be better left unsaid?
Call me, call me a dreamer
But it seems that dreams are all that we’ve got left

I hope that we still have a heartbeat
I hope we don’t turn to stone
At night when you turn the lights off
I hope you don’t cry alone
I hope we stop taking for granted
All of the land and all of the sea
I’m taking a chance on loving
I hope that you take it with me

I just hope I’m not the only one
I just hope I’m not the only one
I just hope I’m not the only one

Hope – Emeli Sandé

 

Every Christmas I make a charitable donation. This year I’m supporting Save the Children, in particular their Syria Crisis Appeal. If you wish to make a donation too, you can do so here:

Save the Children – Syria Crisis Appeal

 

Sending you all lots of love and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, hopeful and peaceful New Year.

 

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I’d already donated money to Comic Relief on Friday night when David Tennant made his impassioned plea, but if I hadn’t, that would have been enough to persuade me.

 

I always try to give to charity where I can, but I’m just as guilty as the next person of sitting complacently on my sofa watching Comic Relief or Children in Need while some celebrity cries on my TV screen. I may even have rolled my eyes. I’ve laughed at the entertainment, I’ve cheered as the total rises and then I’ve slept soundly having given nothing, and all simply because I couldn’t be bothered.

 

I am lucky enough to have never been in a position where I can’t afford to give at least a small amount. Even now, with no job, I can easily spare a little. And it doesn’t take much:

  • £1 will pay for one child in Uganda to be tested for malaria so they can get quick diagnosis and life-saving treatment. Just £1 to save a life!
  • £3 will provide hot meals for 4 children living in extreme poverty in the UK, something most of us take for granted.
  • £5 will buy an insecticide treated bed net – it will protect someone in Africa from being bitten by mosquitoes while they sleep. Malaria kills – the net could save their life.
  • £5 will pay for a vaccine that will protect a child in Malawi against deadly diseases such as tetanus and hepatitis B – here in the UK childhood vaccinations are freely available to all.
  • £10 could provide vital information to 100 armed forces veterans who are experiencing mental health problems, so they know where to turn for help. They risked their lives for us, £10 is a small price to pay in return.
  • £20 will buy a Braille kit enabling a blind child in Kenya to have a proper education. Every child in the UK receives a free and full education regardless of what physical challenges they may face.
  • £30 will pay for the training of a volunteer to provide support to an isolated elderly man in the UK. No-one should grow old completely alone.
  • £50 could keep a homeless child safe, fed and off the streets for a whole month in Uganda. Think about that when you curl up under your duvet at night.
  • £100 will provide vital support to a young woman in the UK who is being sexually exploited, helping her stay safe and healthy, and take the first steps towards a new life. She is someone’s daughter, sister, cousin…

 

I don’t mean to preach, I just never fully appreciated that so much good could be done with so little.

 

If you’ve ever researched your family tree then you will no doubt be aware that the further back you delve into your genealogy the more ancestors you have in each generation, the number increasing exponentially. Just 21 generations back you had over 2 million ancestors. Bearing this in mind, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that somehow we are all related to each other, that everyone in the world is just one gigantic family. We are all connected and we all need each other to survive. This was never more apparent to me than when watching Comic Relief.

 

The stories I saw on the television on Friday night moved me immeasurably: children dying from preventable diseases, mothers dying so their children can live, young people suffering abuse, people living with HIV and AIDS. I am so lucky and so privileged to live the way I do. Watching made me feel ashamed for being dissatisfied with my lot.

 

I can’t promise to never wish for something more from life; that is human nature. But, I do promise that I will never be “that person” again – the one that sits there and watches but does nothing. If all I can afford to give is £1 then I will remember that even an amount as small as that can help to save a life.

 

Give what you can, because every little helps. Don’t do nothing. Don’t be that person.

 


 
 
To find out more about Comic Relief and the work they do, or to donate, please visit their website by clicking here.

There is also information on the Red Nose Day website which you can visit by clicking here.

I obtained the information above about what your money can do from TK Maxx and the Red Nose Day fund-raising kit which can be downloaded from this page.

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