To learn, to live and to love

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing

Srebrenica Memorial Week takes place every year on the week around July 11, Srebrenica Memorial Day.

This year, more than 2,000 memorial events took place across the country arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations, teaching the consequences of hatred and importance of building stronger cohesive communities.

Last week, to mark the Memorial Day, I signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges, promising to stand up to hatred and intolerance and promote a fair, equal and cohesive society for everyone.

Srebrenica Memorial Day reminds us all that a shocking genocide took place in our lifetime when more than 8,000 men and boys were killed just because of their faith.

Remembering and commemorating these events reminds us that such atrocities have no place in our society.

Instead we must endeavour to learn, live, and love.

On learning and fun, last Friday I was pleased to join children, parents and staff at Goring-By-Sea Library to celebrate this year’s launch of the Summer Reading Challenge.

Young avid readers were excited to complete the challenge.

We were joined by Cara Lambert, team manager for families and wellbeing, and librarian Jane Blackwell.

Each has made fantastic contributions to our local community.

Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background.

Children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers.

The Summer Reading Challenge builds confidence and independent reading, while helping to prevent the dip in children’s reading levels during the long summer break from school.

In last year’s challenge, over three quarters of a million children borrowed, read and talked about their favourite books.

This year I hope thousands more can make the choice to read and learn.

How and where we live is also important.

Over the weekend, four of our fantastic local parks have been internationally recognised as outstanding.

Beach House Park, Worthing; Field Place & Arts Complex; Highdown Gardens and Marine Gardens are receiving the Green Flag Award.

We should thank all of those who work hard to ensure that these parks continue to be treasured green paradises within our communities.

The manner we love and cherish our family, friends, and neighbours is also important.

On Saturday, Worthing came together for its first Pride celebration, an event that will become an annual festivity in Worthing’s social calendar.

Pride is an important day to recognise and celebrate the diversity and the inclusiveness that makes our communities stronger.

Thanks must be paid to those who planned Saturday’s celebrations.

Warmth and reciprocity that all members of the community received does accentuate the message that celebrations bring us closer together.

We can learn from our history, we can live life to its fullest, and we must love those around us as we would wish to be loved ourselves.

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