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Recorder letters: Romanian war memorial, RAF centenary, support MIND and EU nurses

PUBLISHED: 15:06 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:06 27 November 2018

Cllr Beckles, Mr Rush, Stephen Timms MP, Vali Stiacu (Embassy), and  Lt Col Boca dedicate new war memorial. Picture: ANA CITU

Cllr Beckles, Mr Rush, Stephen Timms MP, Vali Stiacu (Embassy), and Lt Col Boca dedicate new war memorial. Picture: ANA CITU

Ana Citu

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

Thanks for supporting memorial

Ana Citu, Community Action Newham, full address supplied, writes:

On behalf of the Romanian community of Newham I would like to thank everyone who supported the creation of Newham’s newest WWI memorials, on the courtyard wall of Zaraza’s in in Katherine Road.

It is the first memorial of its kind in the country.

There were more than 650,000 Romanian deaths fighting the Allied cause between 1916-18 and these are commemorated, together with mention of the British losses and the total casualties of that terrible war. Also on the memorial are honoured the special Romanian pilots who were trained by the British.

The memorial was dedicated by Romanian Embassy officials, councillors, and Stephen Timms, MP.

This remarkable event would not have happened without the relentless driving force of Mr Rush of the Monega Resident’s Association, and the financial help of Newham Council.

Everyone is welcome to see this testament to friendship between our two communities.

RAF centenary - a legacy shared

Simon Collins, chairman, RAF100 Appeal, writes:

As a year of celebrations and commemorative events to mark the Royal Air Force’s centenary comes to a close, here at the RAF100 Appeal we have taken stock of the incredible public and corporate support which has sent our campaign soaring to new heights.

Very few British people can look back at their family history over 100 years and find themselves untouched by the courage, capability and achievements of the men and women who served – and continue to serve – in the force.

The July 10 Parade and Flypast attracted widespread and positive national and international coverage, providing the public with the opportunity to engage with RAF100 and show their support.

Through RAF100 Inspire, more than 1.6 million children were reached through the RAF’s educational initiatives. Over 165,000 visitors were able to engage with the RAF through the static Aircraft Tour which visited six different UK venues, and an innovative approach to engagement brought the RAF into contact with the British public through sport, education and media.

Thanks to the generous support of the general public who donated, the fundraisers who took on a range of fantastic challenges, and to our corporate partners, the appeal has raised more than £3 million to date.

These vital funds will enable the Royal Air Force, RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Association, RAF Charitable Trust and RAF Museum to ensure all members of the RAF family, past, present and future, are honoured, supported and inspired.

A special thank you to our headline sponsors – Babcock International Group, BAE Systems, Fujitsu and Marks & Spencer – for their support throughout the year.

The centenary provided a chance to share the legacy of all the brave airmen and women who have, and continue to, serve their country.

Support charity MIND this year

Andrew Vale, director of Mind Retail, writes:

Our shops rely on the generosity of the community, which is why in the lead up to Christmas, we are asking residents to give what they can to their local Mind shop.

I am calling on readers to donate their previously loved items such as; winter coats, jumpers, hats, and scarfs. New books are welcome too and will make great Christmas gifts.

The average bag of items donated to Mind’s shops is worth around £30. £30 that will help to fund the charity’s vital work, such as our confidential Infoline, which provides information and advice, and the campaigning work we do to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.

For your nearest shop go to: mind.org.uk/charityshops

EU nursing staff keep NHS running

Jude Diggins, regional director, RCN (Royal College of Nursing) London, writes:

Charging overseas nursing staff - who pay tax and national insurance - to access the very health service they work in is hostile enough, but voting to double the charge is beyond cruel, mean-spirited and speaks to a government which looks increasingly inwards

Rushing the vote through parliament with just same days’ notice has also denied our members the opportunity to have their voices properly heard.

The doubled fee, which is now £400, may not be a grand sum for a government minister, but for overseas nursing staff with families, it is a cost they could do without, especially when trying to settle in a new country.

In London, 17 per cent of our nursing staff are from outside the EU. Without them, and their skills, the health service would grind to a halt and the capital’s communities would be far less rich.

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