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Recorder letters: Music in schools, Wear Pink and cyber bullying

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 September 2019

Every Child a Musician orchestra and choir perform at a Holocaust Memorial Day service at Newham Town Hall.

Every Child a Musician orchestra and choir perform at a Holocaust Memorial Day service at Newham Town Hall.

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

Investment in music for all schools welcomed

Claire Everson, Upton Park, writes:

In times of austerity and constant change in education it's heartening to see the council's investment in the arts (Recorder).

The previous Every Child scheme had many positives but I'm delighted to see music at the forefront of the newly formed enrichment programme.

Now catering for nursery and secondary children, as well as primary school children, the music element will benefit from £700,000 over the £1.1 million funding.

School should not just be about academic lessons or mainstream sport. We want to inspire our children to pursue music whether in a professional capacity or for the pure fun of it as a hobby.

Wear it Pink for charity

Summer Kendrick, manager, wear it pink, Breast Cancer Now, writes:

I am often asked for ideas on ways in which people can offer support to those affected by breast cancer, especially during October, which marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

And my answer is always take part in Wear it Pink and raise money for breast cancer research and support.

Wear it pink is the UK's biggest and boldest pink fundraiser, taking place on Friday, October 18 and raises funds for Breast Cancer Now. Not only is taking part fun and easy, in doing so you'll be raising money which will make a real difference to the lives of those affected by this devastating disease.

Despite more people surviving the disease than ever before, breast cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK. In 2017, in London around 5727 women were given the devastating news that they have breast cancer. In the same year around 1,030 women from the area sadly died from breast cancer.

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That's why fundraising campaigns such as wear it pink are so important. Since launching in 2002, wear it pink has raised more than £33 million for breast cancer research. Money which helps Breast Cancer Now get one step closer to achieving our ambition that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live - and be supported to live well.

Last year alone, over 19,000 people registered to take part in the event, raising more than £1.6 million. So, will readers in London help us to beat this total in 2019?

We would love to see everyone in London ditching their everyday colours and digging out their fabulous pink outfits, to help make a difference this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

So, what are you waiting for? Register to claim your free fundraising pack at wearitpink.org mark Friday, October 18 in your diaries, and join us in helping to fund life-saving breast cancer research and life-changing support for those affected by breast cancer.

Help prevent cyber bullying

Tony Sherrard, senior supervisor, Childline, writes:

Today's digital world means that bullying can be relentless 24 hours a day, following children into their homes - the very place they should feel safe.

This can have a serious impact on their wellbeing and mental health, affecting their self-worth, leaving them feeling isolated and potentially triggering depression.

We know from contacts to Childline that online bullying is a serious problem that is affecting young people across the UK. At its worst, bullying has driven children and young people to self-harm, and even take their own lives. Online bullying can often have a significant effect on a child's behaviour, so it's important parents keep a close eye out for any changes. Children may display signs which can include nervousness, a lack of self-confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn. It could have a knock-on effect on their academic performance, or they may have problems with eating or sleeping."

Used positively, the online world can provide social opportunities and access to a vast amount of information with the click of a button. But it can also be used as a gateway for harmful activity which is not restricted to bullying. This includes young people being exposed to inappropriate material and the risk of them being groomed.

These are risks that children face whether they are online for two minutes or five hours and it is important they are protected.

This is why the NSPCC has spent the last couple of years campaigning for the government to bring in an independent regulator to enforce a legal duty of care on social networks. We urge the government to make the drafting of these new laws a priority.

If anything children see online makes them upset or uncomfortable, they can talk to their parents, another adult they trust or they can call Childline on 0800 1111.

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In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

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