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Recorder letters: Election results, Irish border, dementia friends, young mental health and cats

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:24 27 May 2018

Sadiq Khan has taken Dementia Friend training and is calling for others to do the same. Picture: KEN MEARS

Sadiq Khan has taken Dementia Friend training and is calling for others to do the same. Picture: KEN MEARS

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Labour win a result of hard work

Tanweer Khan, Dawlish Drive, Ilford, writes:

As a long standing Labour member and supporter, I am appalled that Randir Singh Bains is questioning Labour’s spectacular win at the recent local elections and putting it largely down to demographics.

The credit for this incredible victory goes to the dedicated and hard-working Labour candidates, councillors and foot soldiers who work tirelessly under the leadership of Cllr Jas Athwal to ensure that residents’ concerns are listened to and addressed.

In Mayfield ward, where I live, I did not see any campaigning, canvassing or other electoral activity by any of the other parties, save for an amateurish leaflet through my letter box that was posted by the Tories very late the night before the election.

The farcical leaflet posted by the same party in the newly created Ilford Town ward would give you some idea of how well organised the Conservatives are in Redbridge.

This only goes to prove that if you are prepared to treat the electorate with contempt, you cannot then expect to earn their trust or their vote.

May I also take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to the entire Redbridge Labour Team for their excellent achievement.

Making up Irish border difficulties

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

The EU and the Irish government are making up difficulties about the Irish border.

The head of Irish customs has said that it is “practically 100 per cent certain” there would be no customs facilities along the border. Jon Thompson, permanent secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, said that a streamlined customs arrangement could “cover the vast majority of the trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland” and that any checks could be “intelligence-based” and “well away from the legal border”.

David Trimble has said that it “is not true that Brexit in any way threatens the peace process … There is no reason it [the border] can’t continue to be policed without hard barriers, even after Brexit.”

Please become a Dementia Friend

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, writes:

There are 72,000 people living with dementia in London and too many face the condition alone and without adequate support.

I am proud that, last week, we worked with the Alzheimer’s Society to host the first ever Dementia Friendly London Summit at City Hall, demonstrating our collective commitment towards a dementia friendly London. We want a society where people think and act differently about dementia.

I’ve taken Dementia Friend training alongside 150 other City Hall staff.

Transport for London has integrated dementia awareness into its equalities training programme and will roll out Dementia Friends sessions across its entire workforce. And all Team London volunteers for the Euro 2020 championships will be trained as Dementia Friends.

Every Londoner can join this movement by becoming a Dementia Friend which allows you to learn more about what it’s like to live with dementia, and then turn that understanding into action.

In London there are already around 120,000 Dementia Friends taking action to make a difference – but we need to do more.

Get involved by visiting alzheimers.org.uk/dementiafriendlylondon

Act now on youth mental health

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London, writes:

Too little is being done, too late to tackle the mental health crisis facing 125,000 vulnerable children and young people in London.

It’s estimated one in 10 school children – roughly 45,000 of those aged 5 to 16 in inner London and another 79,000 in outer London – has a diagnosable mental health condition. Many do not receive timely, appropriate support.

Theresa May said a new approach was needed from government, but actions speak louder than words. We need an honest debate about how society can tackle this growing problem by giving the right support early on to those who need it.

On May 9 in Whitehall, Barnardo’s kick-started the debate with our inaugural annual lecture.

Barnardo’s wants experts to consider the growing evidence that adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs – which include physical, emotional or sexual abuse, being from a household where there is substance abuse, being exposed to domestic violence or having a parent in prison – are a key risk factor in poor mental health and wellbeing.

Being exposed to four or more ACEs, or trauma, is regarded as a tipping point for significant impact on a child’s mental health.

The children and young people we work with every day, from victims of child trafficking and children in care to those who have a parent in prison, are among the most vulnerable. Barnardo’s does everything it can to help them recover and build their resilience, because we believe that adverse childhood experiences do not make poor outcomes inevitable.

We are calling on the government to ensure the evidence around ACEs is a key part of its long-term mental health and wellbeing strategy.

Volunteer to help cats in need

Julie Meredith, Cats Protection, head of volunteering development, writes:

In the run-up to National Volunteering Week (June 1- 7), Cats Protection would like to extend our thanks to the many thousands of volunteers throughout the country who offer their time and expertise to help cats and kittens across the UK.

In 2017 our 10,200-strong volunteer network contributed an incredible 5.5 million hours, each volunteer gifting a wealth of expertise and immeasurable passion to the charity. Their dedication enabled Cats Protection to help around 200,000 cats and kittens nationwide.

Cats Protection is always on the lookout for new volunteers. Though a large part of our work is helping cats, through fostering and rehoming, our volunteers have the opportunity to become involved with a range of interesting activities such as organising fundraising events, helping with publicity or managing funds and resources to benefit the greatest amount of cats.

Volunteering can offer the chance to develop skills such as time management, interpersonal skills and teamwork, making CVs much more attractive and of course helping cats! Go to our website cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering


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