Recorder letters: Coronavirus - private renters, diabetes, Lymphoma and stem cell donors needed

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 April 2020

City & East AM Unmesh Desai is concerned about private renters during this coronavirus crisis.

City & East AM Unmesh Desai is concerned about private renters during this coronavirus crisis.


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

After 90 days?

Unmesh Desai AM, City & East London, writes:

With a quarter of Londoners living in the private rented sector, we need to see stronger protections put in place for them over the coming months.

It has been welcome to see that the government have announced that all court proceedings relating to housing possession should be suspended for 90 days. In turn, landlords have been given a three-month mortgage payment holiday, where needed.

However, many Londoners are asking what will happen after this period. A significant number of renters have already fallen into financial hardship and are unable to cover the costs of living.

It is inevitable that leaving tenants to negotiate the repayment of any rent arrears with their landlords and agencies, without adequate support, will lead to widespread cases of unfair and unregulated disputes.

To prevent this from happening, the chancellor should proportionately increase local housing allowance and statutory sick pay to cover average London rents. On top of this, we must also see an end to the five-week wait for initial Universal Credit payments.

If we continue to kick the can down the road, we could sadly be facing a flood of evictions in the Autumn. Let’s stop that from happening.

Don’t think you’re alone

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK, writes:

Diabetes UK has developed a guide to support people who are isolated at home. Times can be challenging for everyone at the moment but for people who are also managing diabetes 24 hours a day, or caring for someone who is, keeping well can be even tougher.

We want to do all we can to support people who are isolated and living with diabetes.

That’s why we created a guide to offer tips on everything from ways to keep active at home, eating well, looking after yourself and connecting with others.

Routine and non-essential appointments may have been cancelled or postponed, so it is even more vital to carry out checks at home such as properly looking after your feet every day and keeping a close eye on blood sugar levels.

To download your free guide visit

You may also want to watch:

If you have any questions or concerns about managing the condition in this difficult time, please call the Diabetes UK helpline on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm.

Remember, it’s important to get information on coronavirus (Covid-19) from reliable sources. Links to up-to-date government information and advice can be found at

Help is just a click away

Karen Bonell, Lymphoma Action, writes:

During these unprecedented times, connecting over social media is one way that people can keep in touch. This is even more important for those who are shielding because of health issues or vulnerability.

Lymphoma Action, the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people affected by lymphoma, has launched a closed Facebook group for anyone affected by Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The support group is a great place for people affected by lymphoma to share information and tips about coping with the current situation, as well as thoughts and emotions about their diagnosis.

If any reader would like to join the closed Facebook support group they should search for Lymphoma Action Support UK.

For more information about lymphoma, including information about lymphoma and Covid-19, please visit the Lymphoma Action website at

Take the first step to register as a blood stem donor

Al Murray, aka The Pub Landlord, writes:

I’m writing to ask a favour from you in these very difficult times. I work closely with the blood cancer charity DKMS, who recruit blood stem cell donors to help people with blood cancer.

This charity is close to my heart. Last year, my six-year old nephew Finley was diagnosed with JMML (juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia), a rare and aggressive form of childhood leukaemia, affecting around one to two children out of a million each year. He needed to find his ‘genetic twin’ who could be his lifesaving blood stem cell donor, so I got involved with DKMS’s work.

Since Covid-19 arrived in the UK, the number of people coming forward to register as donors has substantially dropped. This will impact significantly on people with blood cancer now, and in the near future. Their lives will be at great risk if more people don’t come forward now.

More than ever, we need people to register as potential life savers.

While most of us are at home and dealing with the necessary adjustments, we can only begin to understand the challenge of a patient with blood cancer. Building on the outbreaks of great kindness in our communities, can I ask one thing of you? Go to and order your home swab kit. You don’t have to go near a GP or hospital and the kit will be sent to you. Just swab the inside of your mouth and when you’re out buying your essentials, pop it in a post box and DKMS will do the rest.

I know we are all thinking about our own health at the moment but there aren’t any risks to your own health by swabbing and you could be a potential life saver in the future.

The Covid-19 crisis has shown us all just how precious our health is and for people with blood cancer, it is even more fragile. So please, if you’re between 17 and 55 and in general good health, take the first step to register as a blood stem cell donor by ordering your home swab kit at

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