The Queen, Covid reality, safer streets, cancer champions, Green future and go vegan

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to Waltham Forest Town Hall, as part of

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to Waltham Forest Town Hall, as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour - Credit: PA Images


Dr Mohammed Fahim, South Woodford Mosque & Muslim Community Centre, wrote to Her Majesty The Queen: 

It is so sad to hear about the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Please accept the sincere condolences of the Muslim communities in South Woodford, Snaresbrook, Woodford, Buckhurst Hill and Loughton.

I was honoured to have met with Prince Philip on two occasions.

First, when my Redbridge Rotary Club invited him to the Royal Festival Hall in the Rotary year 2004/05 to receive the highest Rotary honour in recognition of the great community work which Prince Philip was doing.

The second was when I was invited to attend your Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, North London lunchtime reception in Waltham Forest on March 29, 2012.

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May God shower Prince Philip with His mercy and admit him to His gardens of bliss. May God give your Majesty and all members of the Royal Family patience and perseverance.

May God and the Holy Spirit be with your Majesty and comfort you at this very difficult time.

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Our thoughts and prayers are with your Majesty. Please do let us know if there is anything else that we can do at this very sad time.

Change meet brings reality back

Mahabir Sangha, Bethell Avenue, Ilford, writes:

All the retail shops are open. Like a greyhound on a chase, I sprung out of the front door and joined the long queue of others who also sprung out from their front door seeking bargains.
Amazing how numbing and stunning the long lockdown can be and it was.

I know I badly needed some retail therapy and an energy recharge.

Later that evening, I was brought crashing down to reality and self-responsibility when a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since last year waved at me in the park and started walking towards me.

I could see he had suffered from some health issue.

He told me that he was in hospital with Covid, on a ventilator for 40 days. He developed a drooping foot, lost half his body weight and advised me to follow government safety guidelines on Covid to the T, which I always have.

And then he said something beautiful: “It was touch and go for me and I owe a deep gratitude debt to the NHS. They are the best.”

Safer streets

Chris Roper, Romford, full address supplied, writes: 

I had to laugh at Keith Prince’s column based on the promotion of making the world safer for motorcyclists!

I think the world would be a safer place for everybody without motor cyclists...Many of them anyway. What do you think?

And don’t start me off about electric scooters! No police, no enforcement!

Good luck Keith!

Cancer champions

File photo dated 16/08/2012 of City Hall in London (left), Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed

MacMillan Cancer want the candidates for London mayor to agree to three pledges - Credit: PA Images

Sarifa Patel and Kris Chadwick, Macmillan Cancer campaigners, write:

Hundreds of Londoners have signed an open letter urging London mayoral candidates to become cancer champions once elected.

We are asking the candidates to pledge to stand up right now and support the 210,000 people living with cancer in the capital who need support now more than ever.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, thousands of vital cancer treatments, appointments and care were postponed or cancelled. Since the start of the pandemic, 15 per cent fewer people in London have started cancer treatment compared to the year before.

Macmillan Cancer Support hears every day from people in desperate need of help. People still can’t get the timely support they need and the emotional impact of the outbreak is continuing to take its toll on people already struggling. 

The mayor of London can be the voice of people living with cancer and work with Macmillan to offer vital support. So, we are asking the candidates to agree, if they are elected, to:

  1. Work with Macmillan to make sure everyone knows how to get cancer support.
  2. Meet people living with cancer from London within the first 100 days of getting elected.
  3. Take part in World’s Biggest Coffee Morning this September to help raise funds for people living with cancer. 

We think cancer matters. Do you?

Future planning

Sian Berry, Green candidate for mayor of London, writes:

Londoners need more small sites for new homes, greens spaces and community facilities, but London’s current planning policies aren’t working. 

I want to bring bottom-up leadership to planning. As the first Green mayor of London I will set up a People’s Land Commission so that local people in every part of London are supported and empowered to map their areas and put forward ideas for underused land.

I will back their plans by finding funding and support to get what each area needs, whether that’s new playgrounds, green spaces, community centres, space for small businesses or new homes.

And I will push the government for a community right to buy in law, like they have in Scotland.

In my London, the people will plan the future of our city, bringing the fresh thinking we need more than ever as we plan for the recovery and build more resilience into our communities for a brighter future. 

Vegan Pledge

Tod Bradbury, campaign manager, Animal Aid, writes:

This June, Animal Aid will once again be hosting our Summer Vegan Pledge.

The Summer Vegan Pledge is the perfect opportunity for those who are interested in trying a plant-based diet to do so, with all of the help and support they need. 

It has never been more important for people to reduce their animal product consumption.

The production of animal products, such as meat and dairy, is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water pollution, land use and fresh water use around the world.

On the contrary, a plant-based, vegan diet requires less land, fewer resources, produces vastly fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to this, most animal products come from animals who have been raised on factory farms, where animals are denied their most basic of instincts, confined to sheds and cages, and suffer mutilations and disease. 

And regardless, no animal deserves to suffer a brutal death at the slaughterhouse. 

Those who sign up to the Summer Vegan Pledge will have access to all of the information they need to go vegan this June, and beyond. 

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