I’LL admit that when it comes to charity fundraising I’m not the most proactive of people.

I don’t run, cycle, climb mountains or bath in beans for good causes.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes swift, evasive action when high street charity collectors hone in on me with their clipboards and cheery demeanour.

Which makes me all the more admiring of people who do get off their backsides and actually do something to improve the lives of others.

There are thousands of people across our county who can genuinely say that they are making a difference out there.

Whether it’s saving a community library, fundraising for medical research or the humble charity shop workers – all these contributions keep the benevolent element of society burning brightly.

When there’s so much to be miserable about, sometimes it’s good to take a step back and appreciate the good in people and celebrate what voluntary groups, individuals and local charities achieve on a weekly basis.

I chuckled when David Cameron first started bandying around the ‘Big Society’ idea like it was something new.

I wondered whether he was really so far removed from real life that he didn’t realise that the so-called ‘Big Society’ has existed for decades.

It thrives behind village hall doors, the charity coffee mornings, the church events, the organised runs, concerts, individual challenges and so forth.

These people don’t need snappy slogans or political spin to feel good about themselves, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to say ‘thank you’ once in a while.