Women's safety, stolen flowers, nurses, LPAs and lymphoma support

Floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common, London, for murdered Sarah Everard. Picture

Floral tributes left at the bandstand in Clapham Common for murdered Sarah Everard - Credit: PA Images

Real progress needed in society

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

Tackling sexism and violence against women in society needs more than just passing new laws.

Too often the response to any social problem is to pass a new law, problem solved, time to move on.

What has recently exploded in the response to the tragic death of Sarah Everard and previously the Me Too movement is the appalling way that women are viewed and treated by men.


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In its worst form, this results in violence and death.

Domestic abuse levels have shot up over the period of lockdown. Victims trapped with abusive partners.

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Meanwhile, funding for refuges has continued to decline. The one place where women at risk can go.

Fundamentally though, male attitudes need to change. It is striking how many men, who consider themselves progressive and enlightened, still have a very strong attachment to power over women.

The hunter-gatherer profile still reigns in so many places. It has been noticeable that over the period of lockdowns, it has been the women who have predominantly had to look after the kids, giving up their “other work”.

This is not to say things haven’t changed over the years, with women getting more economic and social independence, but there is still a long way to go. I still find it amazing to see the number of men, who cannot and will not do the most basic tasks of life. A sense that some have never grown up - always looking to find someone to replace their mothers.

All, though, is not doom and gloom, progress is being made but it may not be as quick as some think.

It is not just a case of more laws and more police. Nor is it a problem of one specific part of society, but one for us all.

Birthday flowers

Wendy Lankenau, full address supplied, writes:

It was my birthday on March 18. I am now 81 years of age.

The children of my dearest friend of 50 years, who died in December last year, sent me flowers.

They were delivered to me on the 18 and left outside my front door because I was away for two days.

My immediate neighbours told me that the flowers were outside my door for two days and that they had knocked a few times on my door to let me know they were there.

When the flowers disappeared, they thought that I had taken them in. In fact, it transpired that they had been stolen!

May I be allowed to say, through your letters page, how disgusted and upset I felt that a low life had taken my birthday flowers.

I hope that this thief is proud and pleased that they stole from an old-aged pensioner and got away with it.

How brave and clever they must feel having stolen a bunch of flowers from an old woman of 81, a bunch of flowers that would have meant the world to me.

I would be so obliged if you will print my letter in the forlorn hope that this will make the thief ashamed, but I doubt it very much.

Pay rise for nurses

Despite protesting last year, NHS nurses only received a one per cent pay rise

Despite protesting last year, NHS nurses only received a one per cent pay rise - Credit: PA Images

Tanweer Khan, chair, Mayfield Labour, writes:

At the one-year anniversary of the lockdown, the full Redbridge Council meeting on Thursday, March 25, 2021 was the perfect opportunity for councillors in Redbridge to show their appreciation for all those NHS heroes that have worked tirelessly over the last year to look after the sick in the greatest peacetime crisis the world has ever faced.

It was also the perfect opportunity to tell the central government that hardworking taxpayers in Redbridge would like to see NHS staff, including the incredible nurses, be rewarded with a pay rise that they deserve rather than a derisory one per cent offer that has been proposed.

Regrettably, the local Conservatives failed to support the motion to send a solid message to the central government about the very strong feelings of Redbridge residents in this matter.

If central government is not prepared to listen to residents, who is the government prepared to listen to? Is it their cronies like Dido Harding who has wasted over £37 billion on the Test and Trace app or do we need to be connected via WhatsApp to health secretary Matt Hancock – so that we can get government contracts for the procurement of PPE when we don’t have any experience in the field?

If the Conservatives will not even support the NHS at this critical time in its history, then quite frankly, what purpose do they really serve, other than to line their own and their friends’ pockets?

Legal affairs

Anna Orpwood, solicitor and partner, Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors (offices in Stratford, Wanstead, Ilford and Waterloo) and member of SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), the membership organisation for specialist solicitors who support older and vulnerable people, writes:

Kate Garraway’s heartbreaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid has been made even more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place.

Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care or refinance her mortgage. She didn’t even have the legal right to see his medical notes, owing to data protection. 

Research by SFE shows that 65 per cent of us think our next-of-kin will make medical and care decisions for us if we are no longer able to.

In reality, this isn’t the case unless a health and welfare lasting power of attorney is in place.
Whilst there has been a rise in the number of enquiries made about lasting power of attorneys (LPAs) during the pandemic, only 22pc of people in the UK actually have one. 

To avoid this difficult kind of legal situation, it’s important to use a specialist lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law, and is trained to support people making these crucial, complex and difficult decisions.

According to Which?, 22,000 LPAs are rejected every year so it’s essential that you get your legal documents right.  

Anonymous survey

Ropinder Gill, chief executive at Lymphoma Action, writes:

Lymphoma Action are asking anyone in the area who has been affected by lymphoma to take part in a short, anonymous online survey to help them make sure that everyone affected by this type of blood cancer can receive the information and support that they need.

Our goal is to support anyone affected by lymphoma, but we are aware that there are still people we are not reaching.

By completing our survey, you can help us increase our impact by making our information and support accessible and relevant to everyone.

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