Thanks for making a difference

Kevin Jenkins OBE, Newham Toy Appeal co-ordinator, writes:

I write on behalf of each disadvantaged Newham child who woke up on Christmas morning to a full Christmas stocking to thank you from the bottom of all their hearts each person who contributed to the 2020 Christmas Toy Appeal.

Your kind support and generosity has enabled the Christmas Appeal to help more children than ever before to enjoy a real Christmas Day in the most challenging of years for everyone.

Thank you all for making the difference and bringing so much happiness to Newham’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk children.

Death of housing campaigner Victor

Sharon Hayward, co-ordinator, on behalf of London Tenants Federation, writes:

London Tenants Federation (LTF) members are extremely sad to hear of the recent passing of Victor Adegbuyi, a hard-working, community-focused social housing tenant representative and campaigner.

Victor was first involved with LTF as a representative of Newham Tenants’ Federation.

He campaigned hard, with others, against Newham Council closing down this valuable and long-established tenants’ organisation in 2011.

He rapidly became an LTF director and one of our elected representatives on the mayor of London’s Housing Forum.
You could always bank on Victor picking through the detail of what the London mayor was proposing and asking pertinent and tricky questions of his housing team.

His concerns that the Olympic Legacy had failed to deliver its promises of social housing and benefit to the least well off in Newham were always expressed with well-informed grass-roots information.

We were privileged to have had Victor’s involvement in our organisation.

He will be greatly missed.

Start of healthier drinking habits

Newham Recorder: Research has shown that seven in 10 people who do Dry January are still drinking less six months laterResearch has shown that seven in 10 people who do Dry January are still drinking less six months later (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Dr Richard Piper - chief executive, Alcohol Change UK (the charity behind Dry January), writes:

Back in December we estimated that 6.5 million people would be taking part in Dry January - then on January 4 the third national lockdown was announced, and almost immediately we began to see people saying that Dry January was “cancelled”.

Yet what we saw, in fact, was a further surge in people downloading the official app, Try Dry. Downloads this year have been a huge 35 per cent higher than last.

Research has shown that seven in 10 people who do Dry January with our support are still drinking less six months later. So whether you used Dry January to bust lockdown drinking habits, kickstart cutting down, or test out going alcohol-free longer-term, February 1 isn’t the end – it’s the start of healthier, happier drinking habits year-round.

The Alcohol Change UK website offers information and advice for managing your drinking all year round.

Please have jab when invited

Cllr Khaled Noor, Muslim Professionals Forum chair, writes:

People from the black and ethnic minority (BAME) community feature high in the coronavirus statistics: we are disproportionately more likely to become infected and to die; and we are more likely to be on the front line, risking our lives to help others.

We mourn each and every death from our diverse communities. We pray for all those whose lives have been cut short and we send our condolences to every bereaved and grieving family.

As the virus continues to take lives, we urge everyone to follow the lockdown guidelines. Stay home; observe social distancing; wear a mask – and encourage everyone to have a vaccination when they are invited.

Help for those facing cancer

Emma Tingley, head of Partnerships, Macmillan Cancer Support, London and South East, writes:

The start of 2021 is proving to be an acutely challenging time for people with cancer, the NHS and for cancer care.

Indeed, it’s clear that this is the most worrying time in recent history to get a cancer diagnosis.

At Macmillan, people are calling our Support Line every day to tell us about the heightened anxiety, loneliness and distress that they are feeling.

On our support line – open seven days a week, 8am – 8pm, on 0808 808 00 00 – specially trained nurses, counsellors and financial support advisors are available to help anyone affected by, or worried about, cancer.

They can provide comprehensive information and advice, as well as emotional support, to help people with cancer cope with the additional strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

GPs are open if you are worried about possible cancer symptoms, and screening and other vital tests have resumed in a Covid-safe way.

The NHS is still here for you.

We are doing whatever it takes to make sure our vital support continues to be available.

We urge the public to do their bit to reduce the spread of coronavirus, which will in turn relieve pressure on the NHS.