The Trussell Trust is a charity with both volunteers and clients, who take everyone, and help everyone they can. There seems to be a great misunderstanding about what we do, who we are and who we help and how we do so. Offering someone a tea, a slice of cake and asking "How are you" means more than I thought it could.
Until now, we have been spared a major attack on Belgian soil. Sadly, the sickening events of 22 March abruptly changed that. Brussels now joins the growing list of European cities that have been targeted for mass casualty attacks: Madrid, London and Paris. But this week's slaughter wasn't just an attack on Belgium. Maalbeek metro station, where so many innocent men, women and children died, is a key transit hub for the European district. We now know at least 40 different nationalities were caught up in the attacks. This was a strike at the heart of Europe. More than ever, it's clear we are facing a European challenge.
I do believe in today's Britain more people are beginning to understand that those wanting to divide us are not only a tiny minority but more importantly, are not the same as the vast majority of British Muslims. If you want evidence of this, remind yourself of the uniquely British put down, 'you ain't no Muslim bruv'.
Today is World Water Day and this morning over 650million people around the world woke up with no clean water. That's one in ten people. Forced to drink, cook and wash with dirty water, people are at risk of getting sick and missing vital days of work and education, trapped in a cycle of poverty. Last month WaterAid invited me to travel to India with my 12-year-old daughter Glenys to see the situation for myself. I visited Sanabenakudi, a remote village in east India, to understand what everyday life is like for people living without access to safe water...
Most of us remember the image of thousands of Ethiopians starving during the famine of 1984/85, the luckier ones seemingly fed only by the power of the Western media to incite compassion and belated action from international agencies. On a recent visit to the country, I heard how the weather conditions now are as bad as during that terrible disaster...
Today, 15 March, marks five years since the absolutely brutal civil war erupted, leaving Syria a broken and divided country. The figures are shocking: Some 6.6 million people are internally displaced within Syria, and 4.6million have fled, mostly living in neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan.
Five years, for any child, feels like a lifetime. For the millions of Syrian children whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict, these last five years must have felt even longer than that. The conflict in Syria has now raged for half a decade, and in this time the millions of children affected have had to deal with more suffering and heartbreak than most of us will ever experience. The conflict has placed millions of children in terrible danger, and sadly a real end to the turmoil still seems a distant prospect. More than eight million Syrian children are now in urgent need of humanitarian aid in what is the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Clearly, Irish law is massively out of step with majority opinion. So, what if the Irish government offered the chance to vote on this in the same way they did with same sex marriage? If these poll results are anything to go by, then the current Irish abortion laws would be torn up and thrown into the rubbish bin, where they belong. At the root of all of this is the basic human right to control and make decisions about one's own body. Whichever party, or coalition, governs Ireland following recent elections, one thing is clear: amending the abortion laws in that country must be the absolute first priority.
In Syria, massive and systematic violence continues to take place out of sight, in centres of detention away from the war's frontlines. The release of arbitrarily held detainees, including women and children, would be an opportunity to signal a desire to change the status quo and to demonstrate a real willingness to solve the conflict politically.