The Portsmouth fundraisers who are an inspiration to us all

COMMENT: Attraction will capitalise on the riches in our midst

Have your say

I had a bit of a change of heart about my column this week.

It was supposed to be about trust, and how once it’s gone it can never be got back – whether you’re in a relationship or whether you’re someone relying on a government or organisation to do the best for you.

I had it all written out, but I decided not to go with it.

Why? For me, personally, more important things have happened that I want to talk about.

Last week I spent most of my time being hugely impressed by people – and that doesn’t tend to happen often.

One of those people was Stephen Sutton, the 19-year-old who aimed to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Bone Cancer Trust.

He took to social media with his story, inspired a clutch of celebrities with his bravery, and that figure has now exceeded £2m.

It’s quite outstanding, and it’s only taken a few people a couple of minutes to help out.

In related news a little bit closer to home, this Friday sees the return of Blue Day – run by the Tom Prince Cancer Trust in conjunction with this newspaper, to raise money for the charity.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Tom’s death from osteosarcoma – a bone cancer that affects teenagers.

I have been lucky enough to meet his family, and last week I watched cancer fundraisers hand over a cheque for £1,000 to Tom’s mum Adele.

They have a target of £1m to get to in order to fund research into the disease and are well on their way to achieving that sum.

And then, of course, there are those boys who are today nursing sore backsides.

They are the 20 riders who cycled all 300 miles up to Bury in time for Pompey’s final away match of the season.

There were punctures and injuries, sunshine and showers, but they got there and raised about £20,000 for charity in the process.

What’s impressed me most with all these people is the will to succeed, the determination to do it, and the fact that, despite it all, they could do it with a smile on their faces.

I’m a big supporter of the royal family. I have written before about how I love the pomp that goes with state occasions and how they set Britain apart from much of the rest of the world.

But even I’m having problems understanding how a nine-month-old baby is changing the relationship between us and our antipodean cousins.

Perhaps, having never had children, I’ve missed an important bit of baby information that only mothers know. Still, it seems far-fetched that Prince George is shooting down the Australian republican movement with one gaze of his baby stare.

Whether Australia continues to have the British monarch as head of state will come down to more than just good looks – even at nine months.

So a man with terminal prostate cancer faces being separated from the woman he loves. Not because cancer will take him from her, but because she fled to the UK from rape and violence in Zimbabwe and her successful application for asylum was overturned by the Home Office.

Steven Cooke and Molly Jamare have been ordered back to Zimbabwe together or face separation when she’s deported. She’s a Red Cross volunteer who’s not legally allowed to be employed in the UK. She will also become Steven’s main carer – he is on cycle six of 10 chemotherapy treatments at QA and will need palliative care.

Now is the time for the Home Office to not speak of deportation, but look at this couple and treat them with some kindness.