The true picture
THE outrage expressed at two distressing incidents in Penrith within the last two weeks is understandable.
An alleged robbery of a woman at a town centre cash machine, following which two local teenagers have appeared in court, has been followed by the discovery of two eight-week-old puppies dumped in a wheelie bin in freezing temperatures.
The instant response of many has been to say that this reflects a continuing decline in standards of behaviour. However, upsetting as they are, these incidents must be seen against a wider picture of community engagement and neighbourly support which is more the norm in our patch of Cumbria.
Week after week the pages of this newspaper are packed with reports and pictures of the sterling work and good deeds being undertaken across the district.
This week alone we have been able to report on a £290,000 windfall for community projects which are largely run by volunteers; intrepid sky divers fundraising for two health charities; and an Eden couple who, despite personal tragedy, have raised £10,000 for a maternity unit.
It is these efforts which provide a fairer reflection of life in the Eden Valley and make this area a great place to live and work — and still one of the safest places in the country.
The outpouring of concern and the offers of help which followed the discovery of the two abandoned puppies is clear evidence, if any were needed, that the cruel people who left the dogs not knowing if they would live or die are in a tiny minority far outweighed by Eden’s caring and motivated residents.