We HAVE to Help

I didn’t sleep great last night. I crashed out about 930pm which is actually quite late for me these days but then woke at 3am as Mr T was complaining of having a dodgy tummy. I couldn’t get back to sleep until gone 5am and even then I tossed and turned, never really settling into a proper sleep. By 730am I gave up and decided to check my social media accounts before I got out of bed. I was in a foul mood through lack of sleep and then I logged into Bloglovin’ and my mood and attitude suddenly changed.

I enjoy reading a lot of parent blogs, even before I got pregnant I enjoyed them. Getting that insight into other people’s lives, making me think about how I wanted to raise my future children – I find it all fascinating.

All of a sudden I was faced by posts and photos of children I have watch grow up through the blogging world holding a piece of paper with the simple statement “it could have been me” and it hit me. I’m being a grumpy sod this morning cos I didn’t get my full 10 hours sleep but I was warm, safe, well fed. I live in a small town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales were the worst people have to complain about is a crane in the centre that’s a bit of an eyesore while some new housing is currently being built.

I tried my hardest to avoid seeing that photo of the little boy on the beach but it got shared so often on my Twitter and Facebook feeds that I just couldn’t not look at it and it broke my heart. Already I have overwhelming desire to protect and look after this little life growing inside me and I can’t imagine how I will feel when it’s born. I could never imagine putting its life at risk but these Syrian refugees have nothing. They are desperate. To do what they are doing to have a safer life is so remarkably brave yet until a few days ago when that image appeared people over here were turning their backs on them so they didn’t get the £60 a week benefits from the state. These refugees would not be risking theirs and their family’s lives unless they were absolutely desperate. I would much rather know my taxes were helping those who had fled a war torn country rather lining the pockets of some MP's expenses claim.

I’ll be honest, I zoned out of a lot of the fighting and the news for a long time. I hate seeing countries being torn apart by fighting and the innocent having to suffer.

Many of you know I grew up in Belfast. I witnessed terrorism first hand. Not to the extent that my parents saw but enough that it left a lasting impact on me. As a little girl I got used to seeing soldiers perched on my front step, gun in hand and back then I saw it as totally normal. People were murdered so often via bombs or shootings that I was terrified the same would happen to my Dad or brothers especially after one uncle of mine was shot in a taxi and another uncle was gunned down in his home. His home, the one place you are meant to feel safe. We were petrol bombed out of our home when I was 11 and the terror of that night will live with me forever. I’ll never forget the smell, the sight of police in riot gear lined up outside our home, getting literally dragged across the street to a neighbour’s house where it was safer, the sound of gunshots and explosions in the distance. I used to keep an emergency bag packed with stuff for all the family incase we ever had to leave – kids shouldn’t have to live like that. But I was lucky, shortly after that the Good Friday agreement was signed and Norther Ireland became a much safer place to live. I may not live there anymore but I’m proud to call it home. Yes there were bad times but there have been so many more good times. My parents say that when the Troubles were at their worst they never imagined life could be as peaceful as it is now. Yes there are blips but they are so small compared to what it was.

I think of that fear I had as a child and then I think of the fear of these Syrian children and their families and it really is beyond comprehension for all of us.

Tonight they don’t know where they will be sleeping, where their next hot meal come from or if they will even survive the treacherous and dangerous journeys they are all undertaking.

We can’t fix the problem but we can help. Countless people online are setting up ways for you to buy supplies, to donate money, anything that will help these people.

Save The Children have set up a text donation, text SYRIA to 70008 to donate £5 – the cost of a bottle of wine tonight, a takeaway pizza – it’s not a lot to you or I but all these £5 donations add up and they can help.

Do what you can, we can’t bury our heads in the sand any longer. These people are desperate, we have to help.

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