While there has been deliberate targeting of minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, it is clear that acute need exists among people from all religious backgrounds. An estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced across Iraq in the last year and 5.2 million require humanitarian assistance.
Last year when the Manchester dog's home went up in flames I was watching the television and my first thought was how proud I felt that the UK was such a generous nation of animal lovers. However this was swiftly followed by my second, which was, how can we possibly justify raising of £2million for animals when there are children like my eight-year-old son, Harrison, dying every day from fatal illnesses. Harrison has Duchenne, a disease that means he probably won't live to see his 20th birthday. In 2011 I founded Harrison's Fund to raise money to fund research to develop a cure.
It doesn't take much to make a real difference to the lives of many. While we all lead increasingly busy lives, we should not forget the privileges we have. Let's take advantage of the benefits we have in our lives and assist those less fortunate than ourselves. It needn't cost us a thing but the payoff is unimaginably huge.
Fortunately, fundraising societies in most of the UK Universities have recently come up with a plethora of genuinely creative and entertaining ways to raise money for charities. Doing something that you enjoy, and at the same time supporting someone in need, is a win-win situation, it acts as a great motive for you to be part of this.
Scientists too - especially those whose work is more about understanding prostate cancer biology than developing new treatments - can sometimes feel like the clinical sterility of their lab is a long way from the living, breathing men behind the numbers. These men, when you stop to think about it, are the reason they get out of bed in the morning.
In the Arctic, with no reception, your phone is nothing but a poor-quality torch for as long as the battery lasts. By the end of the first day I didn't miss it any more. The world became tightly focused on the trail in front of me, the skis on my feet and the 12 people I was sharing the journey with.
Recent weeks have given us a sobering reminder of the dreadful impact of child sexual exploitation. The further revelations regarding Rotherham coupled with the announcements of new investigations in Manchester, Halifax and Essex, reinforce the belief that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of this emerging national blight.
For the last six years I have worked in the beautiful country of Malawi but this is the first time I'm taking a moment to really try and understand the experience and once again the people of Malawi have enlightened me, educated me. Their strength, their unity and compassion is utterly breath-taking.
I found the statistics really shocking, but mostly as they seem to be totally opposite to my own experience. I was born disabled, and became a wheelchair user at the age of fifteen, yet I can honestly say I have never had any trouble making friends, being invited to social situations or finding love.
This day each year encourages people to take just five minutes out of their day to hold a conversation about mental health with friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else you can think of. Participants can log their five minutes on the Time To Change website in the hope of gaining an idea how how much time was spent on this day talking about mental health.
We all know how quickly little ones grow and often there is plenty of life left in their outgrown clothes. The figures are staggering: parents spend on average, £11,000 on clothing per child as they grow, with a third of clothing in the UK ending up in landfill. Having built JoJo on a "waste not, want not" ethos, we knew something had to be done.