Offering cause for true hope

WE may take for granted the natural warmth and hospitality of South Yorkshire folk. But for a different perspective, take time to read the story of Romanian human trafficking victim Marinela Badea.

She fell under the spell of a man who brought her to the UK and then forced her, through extreme violence, to work in the sex industry. Her tormentor and his father saw their trade as a family business and the women caught up in it as simple commodities.

And time spent in a brothel was a dehumanising experience for the women victims they spirited into the UK, including Marinela. But her faith in humanity has been restored after spending time at a hostel in Sheffield and meeting people in this city.

The heartfelt sympathies and genuine friendship Marinela has found here shows that there is cause for hope in a world which must have seemed to be empty of compassion.

This contrasts vividly with the callous and totally indifferent treatment the women received from people they once considered to be friends.

Every penny must go where needed

THE NHS is one of Britain's proudest modern achievements. The idea of providing care when it is needed, regardless of an individual's circumstances, is universally admired.

However successive shake-ups in the organisation of the NHS have understandably created a feeling of confusion among the people who are most important in this - the patients.

And they can be forgiven for feeling that the latest changes, which will see the abolition of Primary Care Trusts, has nothing to do with them.

However, we feel this, the biggest NHS modernisation for years, has some merit in sweeping away a tier of administration between patient and treatment.

But we are wary that previous changes have promised improvements but have also resulted in the enrichment of certain individuals within the NHS.

What we need to hear are assurances that this shake up will be introduced in line with the current Whitehall mantra that every penny must count and go where it is intended - on patient care.

Legendary chance

WHO will be the next person to join Sheffield's Walk of Fame? Nobody knows yet. But everybody has a say in the matter. For Sheffield City Council wants readers to nominate people to join this prestigious and growing band of our most prominent individuals. The Sheffield Legends scheme has turned out to be a great success since it was set up following pressure from The Star. And we know that you will continue to make sure it goes from strength to strength. So seek out details in today's paper and join in.

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