A positive element of this most horrible of conflicts?

A refugee girl who fled conflict from neighboring Ukraine holds her toy at the railway station after

A refugee girl who fled conflict from neighboring Ukraine holds her toy at the railway station after arriving at Zahony, Hungary - Credit: AP

I've been determined for this week's column to find some light amongst the shade when it comes to the current news agenda.

I'll be honest, it's been a struggle. 

Just when we hoped some calm and balance would return to the world as the coronavirus pandemic began to fade, along comes Vladimir Putin and Russia to throw all of that out of the window.

However, in spite of all of the terror and heartache being suffered by Ukraine and its people, there has been one element of the conflict which I think we will look back on as a positive sign - and that's the united response we've seen in support of the country, both on these shores and across the rest of Europe.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on, it cannot be denied that a dreadful side affect of Brexit has been the disconnection between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. To many we've become the shunned relative who few like to engage with unless they really have to.

We can protest it as much as we like, but to many of our European cousins we have become an insular country, who's people have little concern for matters elsewhere.

kyiv war

Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft, in Kyiv. - Credit: AP

However, in the last couple of weeks, the response from so many of the UK public has been fantastic. We've already seen vigils, protests, fund-raisers and donations from those wanting to do their bit to help a country in its hour of need.

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Hopefully we have shown the rest of Europe that many of our people do still do very much care about matters beyond the UK and that when the chips are down they will do their bit to help. It must be of great comfort to those in this country with links to Ukraine, to know that people are with them in this fight and want them to get a positive outcome.

Our government need to take heed of this desire to support Ukraine and act accordingly.

All of us hope and pray this conflict will be resolved quickly and without more bloodshed.

Once that happens our nation's leaders should sit down and discuss what other benefits can come from a Europe (minus Russia of course) united for a common cause. Of course I'd rather more people didn't have to die for us to get to this point.

*On the subject of positive news, it was a real honour to be invited along this week for the formal ground-breaking ceremony of the new Priscilla Bacon Hospice, being built over the road from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

As you may know, the EDP has formally backed the fund-raising campaign since it was launched some three years ago, as we believe this is a vital facility for the region. The staff at the current hospice do a fantastic job, but they have badly outgrown their Norwich city centre home and the people they support deserve an improved standard of end-of-life care.

This new hospice will provide that and be of massive comfort to thousands of families during their darkest days. 

What was really great to hear was just how big an impact your support of this appeal has been on its success. I thank you if you have been involved in some way, no matter how big or small.

Now that the building work is up and running it would be easy to think the hard work is over, but it isn't, before it can open another £2.2m needs to be raised.

What a great achievement it would be to get there as soon as possible.

Robert Carter, chair of trustees at Priscilla Bacon Hospice, and Lady Bacon, at the ground-breaking

Robert Carter, chair of trustees at Priscilla Bacon Hospice, and Lady Bacon, at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Priscilla Bacon Lodge on Priscilla Bacon Lodge on Rosalind Franklin Road in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

If you can do anything to help, please donate at www.priscillabaconhospice.org.uk/donate. To get involved with the campaign, please contact the Fundraising Team: 01603 331166 or fundraising@priscillabaconhospice.org.uk or Priscilla Bacon Hospice Fundraising Office, 20 Low Road, Drayton, Norwich, NR8 6AA