Star comment: Making a difference to those affected by war

Ukraine is not the only battleground - there are war zones around the world.

Ukrainian refugees
Ukrainian refugees

We live in uncertain times. The war in Ukraine is our war too, it is an attack on Western values, on democracy and freedom.

The humanitarian cost is astronomic. Vast swathes of a large European country are being destroyed by forces intent on havoc and anarchy.

Yet Ukraine is not the only battleground. There are war zones around the world, in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. People are displaced and children are the principle victims.

Many in this region sought to help by registering for the Homes for Ukraine scheme and a small number of displaced Ukrainians are now finding a home in this region. More can be done. There are numerous organisations that help young victims of war as they recover from the unimaginable trauma of losing their home, their parents and their sense of identity. It is not just refugees who need help. There are huge numbers of British children who have also faced trauma and who need a new home.

Our local authorities run fostering services to assist those most in need. They find safe houses for children whose lives have been turbulent and chaotic. Those who need stability, warmth and kindness find themselves in a better place as a result.

The differences that such interventions can make is quantum. Children whose lives were on the wrong track through no fault of their own and who would have expected poor outcomes in adult life are suddenly given a new opportunity. The new start that can be offered by foster parents or those who take in refugees changes lives. It is empowering for hosts, who feel a sense of purpose and know that they have made a difference.

Today we continue the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee, looking at the years between 1980 and 2000.

They were difficult to say the least. They involved family break-ups, many personal setbacks and a huge tragedy.

Those difficulties have continued to dog the Royal Family, as the latest controversies surrounding Prince Andrew have illustrated.

What events have shown is that the family is far from perfect. It is open to the frailties and shortcomings that we all face. For many of us, it is also often the head of the family who is there to provide common sense and continuity. That is very much the role of the Queen, who has remained dignified and strong throughout.

The image of her sitting alone at the funeral of her beloved Philip struck a chord with many. She is our Queen, but she is also very human.

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