Barry Peters: The true meaning of caring

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The great British spirit never ceases to amaze me.

We’re in the midst of one of the worst recessions many of us have seen. Money is tight. Jobs are precious.

Normally, in such a circumstance, you would imagine we would rein in our good deeds, hibernate and wish for it all to go away quickly.

In a recession, charities often bear the brunt as every penny becomes even more precious to us.

But last week I was amazed at the generosity of supporters of St Edmund’s Wheel at the group’s annual awards night.

£20,000 was given away to various charities. Children, emergency services, the elderly and the sick all came in for some TLC from the many supporters of this true not-for-profit group and it really overwhelmed me. Since 1998, they have given away more than £170,000 locally – and the giving goes on.

The trio at the helm of St Edmund’s Wheel are all very self-deprecating, all very humble and you’ll find their names elsewhere in today’s paper.

‘We organise a bike ride for fun and people come along and enjoy it’ is the thrust of what they see themselves doing.

In simple terms, they do just that.

Broader than that, Brian, Steve and Ian (plus an army of vital supporters, family, friends and sponsors) give us all a wake-up call about the real meaning of caring.

My best wishes go out to ex-St Edmundsbury council supremo Deborah Cadman, who has taken on the challenge of Suffolk County Council.

Knowing Ms Cadman a little professionally, I’m certain she will bring something different to the table and not fall into the same abyss which snared her predecessor.

But there are still millions to be saved in the county – a challenge which she never had to face in the corridors of power in Bury St Edmunds.

Please be kind to your old friends in the west of the county – we’ll be watching with interest.