Keeping an eye on the Olympics

Just in case you have missed the news the Olympic Games are being held on our shores this summer.  It feels like there is a news item about it every day now from one place or another and we are all being encouraged to get involved.  I think I must be the only one who hasn’t dusted off the running shoes and started to get fit.

In our area we are privileged to be able to see the Olympic Torch as it passes though our villages and towns.  Do keep a look out for the Praise Bus that will be following it providing music so that we can all make a ‘Joyful Sound To The Lord’.  Anyone with a music group with instruments and/or singers are being asked to join in.  For more information contact Mrs Bonfield on escallsbus@btinternet.com

It is a great national event and I am sure we will have much to celebrate as the Medals are being awarded, but do spare a thought for all those who have worked so hard in the last four years to prepare and be the best they can to be pipped at the post and so returning with no award at all except that they have taken part which for them will be devastating but to us a massive achievement and we must offer praise wherever we can.

Sadly though there is a darker side to the Olympic Games and most other major sporting event that we hear little about.  That is the increase at these times in Human Trafficking in order to fuel the needs of visitors and those taking part in the games.  These innocent people are lured from the poorest and most deprived areas of the world and our own towns and cities with the promise of work and fair wages only to find themselves being used and abused in the most appalling ways.  Often as a consequence, even if they escape the clutches of those who are perpetrating these crimes, they are unable to return home because they will be treated as outcasts and some find themselves cruelly beaten and even killed because of the crime they are perceived to have committed.

Since 2006 the Methodist Women in Britain, former Network, have been highlighting this cruel crime and working hard to bring it to peoples notice and working with other agencies to create safe havens for the people involved.  There is a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to human trafficking involving many different agencies working together to improve legislation, enforcement, international co-operation and support for victims.

It is easy to think that we are too far away from the ‘action’ of the games but sadly we all need to be aware that vulnerable young women in our own area have the potential to be groomed and used in this way.  It is not so long ago that a vice ring was discovered within the sight of Beverley Minster.  So please do your part.   You may not be an athlete of any kind but we can all keep our eyes pealed for any evidence of this cruel crime and report it; or if you want to learn more and spread the word, or find out about the work of the Safe Homes that have been set up and continually require financial aid to support victims. To find out more go to the Methodist Women in Britain website  www.mwib.org.uk

Nevertheless please enjoy the games that provide us with inspiring scenes of human endeavour and may these spur us on to work tirelessly for justice and mercy for everyone.

Diane Patrick