Our prayers with families

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SIX British soldiers have died in the single worst attack by enemy forces in Afghanistan. We do not know their names or ages. We do not know whether they are men or women or where they come from.

But we do know that every single South Yorkshire soldier serving overseas and those still based in the UK will be sharing the same anguish over their brothers.

For five of the six soldieers are from the Third Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, formerly the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, a name well known throughout South Yorkshire which has offered up so many of its sons and daughters for service among its ranks.

Our prayers go out to the families of these soldiers in this darkest of times.

City centre bucks national trends

IF you find it a little bit more difficult getting to your favourite city centre shops these days, there is a good reason, a very good reason indeed.

For there has been a steady increase in the number of people visiting the heart of Sheffield over the past 12 months, which flies in the face of what is happening in just about every other shopping centre in the land.

While city and town centres on average have recorded an average decrease of 1.1 per cent, Sheffield has recorded an increase of 0.5 per cent.

It is not much but it is good news for the city’s trades and people who rely on them for their livelihood.

What is even more encouraging is that this modest increase has been recorded despite strong competition from Meadowhall, one of the country’s leading shopping malls which sits on the threshold of the city, and slow progress over the Moor and Sevenstone redevelopment projects.

As council leader Julie Dore says, the figures also show how important are city centre events. We hope this means the council will continue to support these events.

Young caring side

YOU are never too young to get your charity shoes on. That is the message coming from six-year-old Grace Foers, the first person to sign up for the inaugural St Luke’s Hospice Mini Stars 2km sponsored walk this spring. It is part of the Starlight Walk festival and will raise money for the hospice. While this is not Grace’s first charity event – she was in a similar event at Don Valley last summer – we hope plenty of first-timers step forward to take part. After all, this is a great way to nurture the caring side of our youngsters.