Helen Bamber

Just as the news seems too bad to bear, you get a reminder of why it might be worth bothering. Helen Bamber has died,aged 89. She was an early member of amnesty, and a pioneer in providing support and treatment for victims of torture. Nearly 70 years ago, she went as a young volunteer to work at Belsen, listening to the stories of liberated inmates at the concentration camp. She’s developed that intelligent, careful support for vulnerable people all through her life, fighting the corner of those who can’t fight for themselves with intelligence and commitment. She had even – clever as well as caring, and you can’t be really caring unless you’re also a bit clever as well  – prepared and trained people to carry on her work after she’d gone. Read the obituaries, to see what she did and why she mattered, and then give thanks for her example and achievements. She reminds us that there’s a lot to be done, and a lot that can be done, and since she’s done more than her share somebody else will have to do it instead.