Britain isn’t broken, not with exceptional people like these around – Blaise Tapp

Syrian refugees at the Qab Elias Informal Settlement in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon
Syrian refugees at the Qab Elias Informal Settlement in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon

The problem with society today is that people just don’t care as much as they used to. It’s something we hear a lot.

In recent years we have heard shiny suited politicians bang on relentlessly about Broken Britain and hands up who remembers the Big Society, a political con trick designed to shame a population into doing the work of public servants for free.

The narrative lots of people peddle is that nowadays we inhabit a world where the vast majority of folk care only for themselves.

Yes, there is lots we can improve upon and I have long argued that we live in angry, intolerant times but I would argue all is not lost.

How can I be so sure? I am lucky enough to do a job that gets me away from my criminally cluttered desk to regularly meet ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

On Friday night I had the pleasure of sharing a room with scores of incredible people who had been brought together in the name of charity and community and I can honestly say it was humbling.

I met a lady who represents a group of ordinary residents who set up a group to help support asylum seekers and refugees who have turned up in their small corner of England with very little to their name.

Immigration is the classic political football, an issue which is arguably the main reason we are staring at Brexit oblivion but listening to this community champion talk, it was reassuring to be reminded there are those who can see beyond the scare stories.

Some of the asylum seekers helped by this group have escaped unspeakable conditions in Syria and are now destitute because they are both unable to work or claim benefits while their cases are being considered.

Local people have dug deep to provide food and clothing and ask for nothing in return.

This was moving stuff but it certainly wasn’t an isolated story of genuine kindness helping others overcome hardship.

I accept these exceptional people are probably in the minority but they do exist and as long as they do there are plenty of reasons for us to be hopeful for the future.