Behind the fun, the fundraising and the baths of baked beans involved in raising money for Sport Relief and Red Nose Day, there's a serious message. And it is this. Poverty and injustice blights millions of lives across the world, including here at home in the UK...
The Syrian people have suffered more than most can possibly imagine. March 15th will mark the third anniversary of this barbaric war on civilians and a campaign is gathering to both show solidarity and inspire political change. Three years of failure by the world to end the appalling suffering.
In the days leading up to 15th March, the third anniversary of the start of the conflict, people all over the world will be holding vigils to remind their governments that giving up on Syria is not an option.
The key to starting to unlock a young person's potential really can be as simple as treating them as such - not succumbing to stereotypes and really listening to them. It may sound obvious but it is a large part of the reason why three in four young people supported by The Trust move into work, education or training.
This week I attended the Commonwealth Observance Day service, where I was privileged to hear from Lord Coe, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Malala Yousafzai. The theme of the event centred around team as the Commonwealth builds up to the 2014 games.
I would like to propose that there are two main styles of campaigning, which are protesting and being political, with a small p. Protesting is about throwing metaphorical, and sometimes actual, stones at the windows of whoever they have an issue with.
Three years ago, a group of school-children scrawled political graffiti on a wall in the remote Syrian town of Daraa. Their subsequent arrest and torture was the spark that ignited the civil war now ravaging Syria and devastating the lives of so many of its 22 million people. This civil war is now thought to have spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Through a collection of photographs and interviews, Crossings: The journey to peace challenges predominant narratives about eastern DRC, which focus on 'conflict trade' and 'rape' above broader lived experiences.
Things are truly desperate. Two out of every three people in Yarmouk are now said to be suffering malnutrition, and at least 128 people have starved to death since last July.
Imagine the horrors of healthcare in a warzone: children having limbs amputated because of a lack of medical supplies and equipment to treat their wounds. Patients knocked out with iron bars, rather than face an operation without anaesthetic. A newborn baby dying in an incubator because of power-cuts... For millions of people inside Syria - this is the reality of their lives now.
The lack of genetic diversity caused by inbreeding greatly increases the likelihood that recessive genes, which cause debilitating afflictions, will be passed along to puppies. As a result, roughly one in four purebred dogs suffers from serious congenital defects, such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cataracts, allergies, heart disease and hip dysplasia - a disease that can lead to crippling, lameness and painful arthritis.
While the day was meant to be an opportunity to inspire a generation to become global and active citizens, the message that the day purported revealed a dark side to our desire to help those in the developing world.
While there is still work to do here too, I easily count myself lucky to be a woman in the UK. I have three grandsons and I hope that my next grandchild will be a girl. If I was a woman in Afghanistan, I would want all my grandchildren to be boys. On International Women's Day let our mantra be that if it isn't good enough for women here then it isn't good enough for women anywhere.
To celebrate International Women's Day I went to Africa with Sport Relief earlier this week to visit two projects working hard to empower young women living in the continent's biggest slum. Here are the eight things that inspired me the most during my time in Nairobi, Kenya...
There are a huge number of activities going on around the world to improve the situation for women, and there are places where men are working with women to achieve this. There's no doubt that this movement is gaining momentum and makes nonsense of the idea that men cannot see women as equals. It's an outdated way of thinking, and increasingly governments, businesses, communities and families are all coming to recognise the positive benefits to be had when women and men are working together and treating each other as equal partners. Of the numerous ways to change women's lives for the better, I've picked out five things that you can do to help make that change today:
It is your first International Women's Day. At seven months old, you are oblivious to the notion that our sex has struggled for equality. You do not know this day has been marked out in calendars annually for over a century. You understand nothing of the battle women fought to be treated fairly.