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Recorder letters: Diwali with diabetes, Invictus, run for charity and save old stamps

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2017

Celebrating Diwali. Picture: STEVE POSTON

Celebrating Diwali. Picture: STEVE POSTON

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

Be healthy while celebrating

Roz Rosenblatt, London head for Diabetes UK, writes:

As Diwali draws near, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains will be preparing to celebrate this important festival and we send our best wishes.

Diwali - the Festival of Lights - falls on Thursday, October 19 and enjoying traditional foods is a big part of the festival. Some celebratory foods can be high in fat and sugar so for people with diabetes, it can be a tricky time.

The good news is that having the condition doesn’t mean festive treats are forbidden, as even high fat and high sugar foods such as barfi and mithai (Indian sweet meats) can be enjoyed in moderation. You can make some small changes to make traditional recipes healthier, for example, by replacing sugar with sweeteners and using semi-skimmed or skimmed milk instead of full fat milk.

Generally, try to eat foods that are absorbed relatively slowly, such as basmati rice, chickpeas, dhal, fruit and vegetables. These can help keep blood glucose levels more stable. If you have a blood testing monitor, don’t forget to test your blood glucose levels before every meal, to make sure they don’t get too high.

If anyone needs any more information, you can speak to a healthcare professional or call the Diabetes UK Helpline on 0345 123 2399.

Invictus Games was inspirational

Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, controller, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, writes:

Recently the country rallied behind the brave ex-service men and women as they once again represented our country and battled for Gold at the Invictus Games in Toronto. It has been great to see our veterans getting the attention they deserve and shining a light on some of the issues they have faced since leaving the military.

If there is one issue that stood out to me at this year’s Games, it was mental health. I was so impressed by the number of athletes suffering from PTSD who stepped up and were willing to share their stories, which has not always been the case.

People like Matt Neve, a 32-year-old ex-RAF driver from Wales, who talked about how sport helped his recovery and gave him a release from mental health issues he has endured for over a decade. The RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in and provided Matt with his archery equipment, which gave him something to focus on other than his PTSD and helped him switch off mentally. Matt placed Gold at this year’s Games.

While Invictus has opened the door for many veterans with mental health issues, sadly there are still plenty suffering in silence.

Tuesday 10 October marked World Mental Health Day – and another opportunity to encourage people to speak out about their mental health issues and get the support they need. This year’s theme is Mental Health in the Workplace. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in five people in the workplace experience a mental health condition. The Armed Forces are no different.

At the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF’s leading welfare charity, we have been helping the RAF Family with mental health issues for many years. We have also long worked with and financially supported Combat Stress, the leading veterans’ mental health charity. More recently we have been working with Anxiety UK to address issues head on, providing a helpline, therapy sessions and self-help materials.

Our partnerships have been working: of those who have accessed Anxiety UK’s therapy services to date, 60 per cent have shown reliably recovery and 90pc have reliably improved their levels of anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression.

While there is still a stigma associated with mental health, the situation has improved drastically from my days in the RAF, when mental health was rarely mentioned. However, with campaigns like World Mental Health Day and the Invictus Games, I am confident that we will soon reach a point where people will no longer feel that they have to suffer in silence.

If you know of someone who might benefit from our support please visit: rafbf.org/help for more information.

Run marathon to help children

Matthew Reed, chief executive, The Children’s Society, writes:

This month many people across Essex and east London will be finding out if they have been successful in securing a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018. People who have been selected through the public ballot will be delighted to find out they have secured a place in this world famous race.

But what if you have a place yet feel like you’d benefit from some support, advice and encouragement with your training? You can join The Children’s Society’s team and at the same time help transform young people’s lives! We help children and young people dealing with hardship, abuse and neglect and every penny raised by our runners will go towards transforming the

lives of the UKs most vulnerable children.

It’s easy to register to be part of The Children’s Society’s team and we provide lots of support every step of the way including bespoke training advice and guides from our fitness experts, a team training day, easy fundraising ideas, cheering you along on the day and a sports massage and celebration afterwards. For more information on being part of our London Marathon 2018 team go to childrenssociety.org.uk/londonmarathon

Donate used stamps to charity

Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 9AR, writes:

I am appealing for used postage stamps which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Recycling used postage stamps is such an easy way to raise money for the charity and I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, Foreign and Christmas stamps.

If you are able to help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving a 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address above.

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