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Recorder letters: Rough sleepers, lonliness, care support, Remembrance and sea cadets

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 February 2018

Rough sleepers in the Stratford Centre

Rough sleepers in the Stratford Centre

Archant

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

Rough sleepers doing no harm

Ronald Paton, Forest Gate, full address supplied, writes:

I was horrified to read in the Recorder about the eviction of rough sleepers from Stratford Shopping Mall.

It’s hardly a top notch shopping mall and I cannot see what harm is being done by people sleeping in there. However, our beloved and respected mayor, Sir Robin, should be providing accommodation to help these people.

How would your readers feel about being out in the cold on a winter’s night? I suggest those who share my views should write to the management of the shopping mall.

I personally will never shop there again until this decision is reversed. However, in my view local churches should all open their doors to those sleeping rough this winter. There is a very nice large church in Stratford just right for this purpose with a very friendly and much respected vicar.

Wake up Newham, let’s help those less fortunate in our community.

We need to tackle loneliness issue

Dawn Birt, manager, Lea Court, Bob Anker Close, Plaistow, writes:

In this our 50th year, Anchor recognises that loneliness is nearing epidemic proportions and is something which concerns the older people living with us.

According to the Campaign To End Loneliness, more than half the country’s 75 year olds currently live alone which increases the likelihood of mortality by 26 per cent.

As we deliver housing, care and support to 40,000 older people from our 1,000 locations across England, Anchor does its utmost to prevent this.

The older people living in retirement housing properties, like mine, benefit from living in a thriving community. I’m also around if they need any support.

That is why I welcome the government’s decision to appoint Tracey Crouch as its Minister for Loneliness. We wish her every success.

And local retailers can also help older people, particularly those living alone, to reduce their sense of loneliness.

Anchor’s Standing Up 4 Sitting Down campaign is asking retailers to provide seating so that older shoppers, as well as disabled people and pregnant women, can rest mid-shop.

A shopping trip may be a weekly chore for many but for some older people living alone it’s a chance for social interaction and could be a life saver.

Can you support care leavers?

Shalyce Lawrence, care leaver, writes:

I grew up in care and I know from my own experience how scary and lonely it can be for a young person when it is time to leave the care system and go out into the world

on your own.

Having someone to offer support and guidance, and just be there for you to talk to can make a huge difference.

Friendship Works is launching a new mentoring service in Newham especially for care leavers, which matches young people with a volunteer mentor – someone who, using their own life experience and knowledge, will be there to offer support and guidance through a mentoring friendship.

Mentors offer emotional support and practical help, by sharing the skills necessary for adulthood and independent living such as budget management, cooking, DIY, form filling or travelling. They also support care leavers by giving them someone to talk to about their worries, and helping them increase their confidence and develop the tools and skills necessary for work.

Friendship Works is looking for volunteers in London to become mentors. By being a mentor you could help a care leaver feel less lonely and isolated, and make a significant difference to their life.

Could you spare a few hours, three times a month to help a young person like me have a brighter future? If so, please contact friendshipworks@family-action.org.uk to find out more.

Close shops for Remembrance

John Barstow, member, Usdaw Executive Council, writes:

Remembrance Sunday 2018 falls exactly on November 11 and exactly 100 years since the guns fell silent in the fields where the poppies grew.

Hence there is a prima facie case for retail closure for Remembrance Sunday 2018 to enhance the vital qualities of peace, dignity and decorum and to enable more working people to be able to attend the Remembrance Sunday events.

MPs and peers alike would win so many plaudits were they to rise above party divides and Brexit divides and come together to legislate for retail closure for Remembrance Sunday 2018.

Come on board with sea cadets

Captain Phil Russell RN, captain, Sea Cadets, writes:

This February, Sea Cadets – a national youth charity with 400 units across the country – is calling on young people aged between 10 and 17 to come on board to see how being a cadet can make a difference to

their lives.

We offer water-based and land-based adventure at a heavily-subsidised cost, opening up countless opportunities to all young people, regardless of their background. Throughout February, our #NeverOrdinary campaign aims to raise awareness of what the charity has to offer.

With us, you can enjoy sailing, kayaking, rowing and power-boating, as well as life-changing offshore voyages on one of our

five vessels.

But did you know we also offer so much more, including first-aid training, rock-climbing, five-a-side football, band practice, physical training and marine engineering, as well as an International Exchange Programme and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

We are always looking for volunteers to help, too. You don’t need any qualifications; all you need is commitment and enthusiasm. We will provide the training.

In a recent survey by Sea Cadets, 79 per cent of our cadets said they get useful qualifications with us, while 94pc of parents said they felt their child’s self-confidence, motivation and team work had “greatly improved” at Sea Cadets. To find out how you can benefit, visit: sea-cadets.org.

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