What could possibly be wrong with supporting children who are in need?
Where to start? Firstly, there is the fact that many of their needs are being neglected by the current health, social and education system. There is also the issue that nights like Children in Need often depict families in a way to evoke pity rather than compassion.
A few years back, I sat down to watch Children in Need with our son who was about eight at the time. After a humorous sketch, the violin music piped up and greyscale images of a family, just like ours, were shown. Thanks to the help of their local children’s hospice, within two minutes, the music was no longer sombre, the colours were vibrant and smiles abounded on the faces of the family.
These sad people who needed my help were just like me. I suddenly saw it all so differently. As I snuggled with my son, I shifted awkwardly in my seat a as he watched the images of a girl just like his brother. We switched off the TV, carried on with our evening and haven’t watched Children in Need again since.
We aren’t ‘different’. We aren’t ‘other’. Not really.