Over recent weeks, the plight of Syrian Refugees has dominated the headlines. The harrowing pictures on our television screens highlight the desperation of countless families fleeing war and unimaginable terror in their homeland. It has become the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War.
As a Country, the United Kingdom is one of the richest economies in the world and as such has a moral duty to help. Our nation has given shelter to the persecuted for centuries and we as a country should be proud of that record. We must now be true to our values and history and cannot turn our backs on human beings in such obvious distress.
Last week hundreds of thousands of people signed an online petition calling on the Government to do more, hundreds more took part in marches and vigils. Unfortunately the Prime Minister has been lacking in leadership and it seems was only shamed into finally taking some action last week following the groundswell of public opinion. That said, his pledge for the Government to accept more refugees is welcome. The British Government must now work alongside other European Governments to have a coordinated EU wide strategy to provide a longer term solution.
I was privileged to attend the Volunteering Awards Event organised by Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil at the Old Town Hall last week. Numerous certificates were awarded to volunteers to thank them for the service they provide to our communities. The contribution volunteers make is often overlooked so events like this are important to ensure that the commitment of volunteers isn’t taken for granted.
This week, our Queen has made history by becoming the longest reigning Monarch in British history. This is a remarkable achievement for someone who has dedicated her life to the service of our country.
This article was originally published by the Merthyr Express and the Rhymney Valley Express. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised or would like to know more, feel free to contact Gerald using the contact tab above.