KATIE BULMER-COOKE: Now it’s time to stick together

It's graduation week
It's graduation week
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If you’re a regular reader of my column, you’ll know I like to write about the positive things that go on in our city, that’s the sort of person I am.

I like to focus on the good things rather than the bad, and as I’ve prepared to write this week’s column I’ve racked my brains as to how I can put a positive slant on the news story that shows no sign of slowing down...the after math of the EU referendum.

I have no plans in the column to air my personal political views or to even express an opinion on the result. I won’t give a hint at my feeling on the result, that’s not what I feel my column is for.

However, I didn’t feel I could write it this week without mentioning how sad I’ve felt this as I’ve scrolled through my Facebook news feed over the past seven days. I’ve seen people whom I’ve respected both personally and professionally for years, being extremely mean, unkind and at times outrageously awful towards those who didn’t vote the same way they did.

I’ve even seen status updates calling for anyone with an opposing view to immediately unfriend and follow them. I’ve been absolutely shocked.

For me, the bottom line is, we are all given the right to vote and the freedom to use that vote however, we personally, see fit.

That is everyone’s right, strictly no exceptions, and no one should be made to feel bad or be given verbal or ‘key board’ abuse because of how they choose to vote.

It’s almost like people have forgotten that just because someone has a different opinion to you, you can still be their friend.

Your friends haven’t changed into monsters overnight just because they didn’t cast the same vote as you. They are still the same good people, with the same personality and lovely qualities that they were the day before the vote!

Whichever way the result had gone, we were always going to experience change, and change can be unnerving.

So perhaps may well be the time that instead of feuding we all stick together and support each other and build each other rather than pulling each other down.

Despite the terrible atmosphere of last week, we do have a lot to celebrate in the city in the coming week, as it’s graduation week at Sunderland Uni.

I’ll be down at the Stadium of Light today and Friday doing an outside broadcast for Sun FM, where I’ll be interviewing the graduates and their families, finding out what’s next for them and celebrating all the fantastic achievements that have been made right here in Sunderland.

So, if you’re heading to the graduation, either as a cap and gown wearer or a supporting friend or family member, why not pop down and see me at the Sun FM stand at 12pm on Monday and 11am on Friday. You can also follow the action and achievement on Twitter by using #hawaythegrads.

Here’s to a happier city this week, and a little sunshine would be nice too!