A ray of hope in a dark time

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WE never doubt the bravery of our soldiers on the front line, but what about the families they leave behind?

Their stories are rarely heard as the focus remains rightly on the war effort.

But today, thanks to an incredible mother, we offer an insight into the pain and suffering some families are forced to endure.

Few of us can contemplate what Diane Dernie went through in the aftermath of her son Ben Parkinson being critically injured by a landmine.

Ben’s injuries were the worst suffered by any soldier in the conflict. He had been given the last rites.

But Diane’s bravery in dealing with such an unthinkable reality is a tribute to the human spirit.

One quote resonates. “He was home and he wasn’t dead. That was enough for me.”

Diane’s reaction shows that even in our darkest hour, we have the capacity for hope.

And sometimes, that’s enough.

Helping you make the right choice

CHOOSING a secondary school place for your child could be a defining moment.

The right school can lead to many opportunities – but what is the right school?

It’s crucial to make your choice based on good information.

Today’s Class Act pullout provides a guide on what to do. The key is to use your choices wisely.

Don’t rely on hearsay or playground gossip.

Its important to know exactly what catchment area you fall into.

And if you go outside your area, find out if your choice is oversubscribed. You need to be realistic about your chances.

Our guide can’t guarantee success, but it does explain the system.

Good luck and let’s hope the vast majority of parents continue to be satisfied with the decisions.

Trap the tippers

THEY’VE had the clean-up, now it’s time to catch the culprits.

Illegal rubbish dumped in the Sheffield suburb of Wincobank has been cleared and nobody wants to see any more.

So an appeal has been made to identify those responsible. It is in everyone’s interest to catch the guilty party.

Dumped tyres and other rubbish are an eyesore, harmful to the environment and cost money to clear up.

So let’s keep these areas clean and make life unpleasant for the tippers – after all, it’s what they do to us.