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Why we need heroines like Helen

The rescue of Afghan kidnap victim Helen Johnston, from Dundonald, is a cause of celebration for us all.

Yet barely had she been pulled out of a cave by the SAS after 10 days' captivity than there is an undertow of criticism that Johnston - a 28-year-old nutritionist - shouldn't have been there in the middle of a war in the first place.

True, she was putting herself - and indirectly those who had to rescue her from the hands of her kidnappers - in great danger but Helen wasn't just some pointless 'do-gooder' gaunching around for no discernable purpose. She was an employee of Medair, a well-respected Swiss-based humanitarian group.

Those she was helping desperately needed her help. Without selfless, courageous people like Helen Johnston, how many thousands of innocent people would suffer - whether it be in Afghanistan, Africa or some other economically broken and war ravaged region?

It's easy to sit in our armchairs, surfing Facebook on our laptops and congratulating ourselves on being 'right'.

It takes something more to risk your life just to try and make someone else's even a little bit better.

Welcome home, Helen.