Jo Cox summed up everything that makes charities great

By Marcus Watson

The murder of Jo Cox by a far right, fascist extremist last week has hit hard. To have an elected, hard working, principled politician struck down in the streets where she grew up cuts at the very heart of our democracy. What has struck me this week though is not simply the sadness felt by us all at the injustice of losing such a good person, but the acute personal sadness I've felt about the loss of someone I've never met and, before Thursday, had never heard of.

Why was this?

I realised that, with the charities that I'm fortunate to work with, I meet a Jo Cox nearly every day. What she represented wasn't just the honesty and bravery of one person, but the honesty and bravery that typifies the best of charity here and throughout the world. I see her dedication, her drive, and her commitment to challenging and changing an imperfect world whenever I meet the staff of the charities we work for. That single-minded commitment to doing what's best for a cause they believe in can make working for this sort of person demanding, but it is that very demand on your abilities and ideas that consistently produces the best of my work, and it is the work I am most proud of.

But what I feel more than sadness is inspiration. I hope that seeing one woman’s hunger and fight for something better blazing so warmly through our screens only pushes more people to do the amazing work that Jo Cox did. Her legacy will be of a world with more people with that hunger for something better, not a reminder of a moment where we let nastiness win out.

I feel the loss of Jo Cox because it felt like an attack on the very values and people that I work for every day. It was an attack on the best of us, but I believe that it will inspire yet more people to take up the mantle that she has been so prematurely forced to lay down.