I have always supported local charities, as well as national ones. From community enterprises and clubs to religious bodies and compassionate societies, this impressive array of potentially life changing organisations across Herefordshire supply local responses to local needs. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for their dedication, energy and imagination.

Charity does not, however, end with the here and now. It must extend beyond the UK’s borders and make provision not just for the obvious, but also the forgotten.

I was reminded of this powerfully last month when a constituent, and Bromyard resident, wrote in to me about the charity ZANE. ‘Zimbabwe A National Emergency’ was founded in 2002 by former MP Tom Benyon, who was moved to action upon witnessing the rampant inflation – and resulting destitution – which has brought this once proud country utterly to its knees.

Since then ZANE has raised some £8 million for its beneficiaries, who range from impoverished white pensioners and veterans, barely able to afford a meal, to critically ill black Zimbabweans. The more I read about this charity, the greater my respect for the vision and bravery of its workers.

In these difficult economic times some have questioned the Government’s commitment to overseas aid spending. Yet, when it comes to making a little money go a long way, how better than this?

I would encourage readers to find out more by visiting http://www.zane-zimbabweanationalemergency.com/

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