Last night away from the sometimes partisan politics of Westminster, MPs of all parties joined actors, sportsman and television personalities in recognising the fantastic achievements of some remarkable organisations dedicated to tackling poverty.
Over the course of the evening £42,000 was awarded to 9 exceptional organisations that have excelled in tackling poverty and its associated problems.
Following on from Iain Duncan-Smith’s report “Breakthrough Britain” it was heartening to see the group “Bristol Fathers” win an award. The group was formed to provide teenage fathers with emotional and practical help to support their fatherhood.
Not only does this group emphasise the importance of fatherhood, but it equips vulnerable young men with the tools to raise children in a caring and supportive way. The Conservative party wants to empower groups like these committed to social reform.
Another extraordinary group, or rather individual, that drew my attention was “God’s Golden acre.” Started by South African woman Heather Reynolds, she began by adopting 45 AIDS orphans. Today the organisation has blossomed into a “recreational rehabilitation programme” of sports, dance, drama and music to the children.
The common bond, which all of the groups acknowledged last night share, is that their primary focus is commitment to the family.
As Iain Duncan-Smith said in his welcome, “Resilient families are at the heart of strong societies” The £5,000 given to winning groups is merely a token appreciation of the priceless work that they carry out. For who can put a price on a strong society?
Julian Brazier MP