Feeding 300 people, plus 100 volunteers, three times a day for ten days, isn't a simple task. Food donations (some of surplus food) lined up the dance studio in the college where we were based. Lead chefs, a little like in the invention test on Masterchef, would make up the menu from the produce available.
t is still underfunded, and hopefully the prospect additional funds will be raised during the Third Reading, but it is a step, perhaps only a small step, in the right direction. Charities have accomplished truly incredible feats with limited resources, but now the government needs to take some responsibility.
I've been a nurse for nearly 50 years, many of them on the front line in the care of sick children. It's a proud, positive and much loved profession. But as I write today, children's palliative nursing is facing a crisis: the number of children with life-limiting conditions that need care and support is increasing but the number of nursing posts to provide that support is failing to keep apace.
"He/she is difficult to engage." It's a term that I have often heard used by psychiatric staff when talking about patients. I was described as "difficult to engage" when I was under mental health services and now that I run a Suicide Crisis Centre, I frequently hear the same phrase used by psychiatric staff who signpost to us.
For the first time in the 70-year history of the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has brought together world leaders and the humanitarian community for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, with the aim of making bold commitments to reduce the impact of the unprecedented wars and disasters we are seeing today.
Impossible choices are being made every day by more than 125 million people affected by crises and natural disasters. In fact, we are in the midst of the worst large-scale humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. Not since World War II have more people around the world been in desperate need of assistance as a direct result of ongoing conflict and violence.
Since the conflict escalated in March last year, 30 civilians are made casualties of war every day in Yemen. Houses and hospitals are bombed, whole civilian areas cut-off and under siege, and people are fleeing for their lives on a daily basis. After nine months of fighting, the country is sinking into a disaster of immense proportions and deeply tragic consequences.
It is almost exactly 67 years ago, to the day, that the registrar of Sheffield University wrote to my grandfather offering him a job as a museum technician. This might not be considered significant or life changing until you know that, at the time, he was living in a displaced persons camp. How easily could you compare my grandfather's story to today's refugees, fleeing the horrors in Syria?
Perhaps if we remembered that in this bleak world of ours Britain shines like a beacon of freedom, tolerance and compassion then we can be proud of ourselves, proud to help others and proud to push the international community to do its best. If we can rally round a positive patriotism about the place we're lucky enough to call home then we can drown-out the anti-British naysayers as well as helping those who sincerely need our help.