LETTER: Celebrating the good in people

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Last week’s news was full of those FIFA officials unfortunately demonstrating our human capacity to be motivated in our actions by greed and self-interest.

Much less prominent was the quiet celebration of a very different capacity also common to us humans: that of selfless concern for the well-being of our neighbour, in the marking of National Volunteers’ Week.

In Charities and Churches, in our own community and beyond, people of all ages demonstrate empathy and generosity by giving of their time and skills to make life a little better for others.

In the hospice where I work volunteers gave over 38,000 hours of their time last year and nationally over 1.4 million volunteers took part in church based projects, including involvement in food banks, parent and toddler groups and caring for vulnerable people.

Perhaps it’s worth noting too, that serving our neighbour is not only good news for them; because, according to research undertaken by the University of Exeter Medical School, this way of living is one which improves the well-being of the ‘volunteer’ too...

Rev Lisa Rainier

Chaplain, St Catherine’s Hospice

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