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Recorder letters: Toy appeal, MSG Sphere, NSPCC thanks and run for bowel cancer

PUBLISHED: 09:41 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 08 January 2020

Paula Blake from the Toy Appeal receives a donation from Newham Bookshop. Picture: KEVIN JENKINS

Paula Blake from the Toy Appeal receives a donation from Newham Bookshop. Picture: KEVIN JENKINS

Kevin Jenkins

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

Toy appeal a success due to your support

Kevin Jenkins OBE, Christmas Toy Appeal coordinator, writes:

I write to thank everyone who contributed to the 42nd Annual Christmas Toy Appeal.

Your wonderful support that has enabled 2,290 disadvantaged children living in Newham, to receive a Christmas stocking of new gifts.

Your kindness and support has given each child a day to enjoy and remember into the future.

Without your help, there would be no appeal - I thank you 2,290 times over for making the difference for our areas most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk children.

Still time for readers to have say on MSG plan

Ian Sinclair, McGrath Road, Stratford, writes:

In November 2019 the online music industry magazine IQ reported the Madison Square Garden (MSG) president Andrew Lustgarten confirming that a 2022 opening date for the proposed 21,500-capacity Sphere in Stratford is "no longer realistic", as the planning application process looks to continue into 2020.

It is likely this costly delay to MSG's building plans is down to the "local resistance" the Newham Recorder reported. The report revealed London Legacy Development Corporation CEO Lyn Garner and MSG's project lead in London Jayne McGivern discussed how to deal with this - in emails released under a Freedom of Information request.

While the resources of the local Stop MSG Sphere London campaign group and others opposed to the Sphere are dwarfed by the huge corporate power of MSG and its professional PR team, the ongoing public consultation gives Newham residents a small chance to stop the Sphere - by formally lodging an objection with LLDC (planningenquiries@londonlegacy.co.uk) by January 31, 2020.

For those understandably pessimistic about the chances of everyday people influencing the planning process, it is worth recalling the words of American dissident Noam Chomsky: "We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up, and help ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist, and maybe help make the world a better place. Not much of a choice."

Thanks for your help

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Sarah Lambley, NSPCC, regional team leader for fundraising, London and East, writes:

The NSPCC has had a very successful 2019. Through our Speak Out Stay Safe service we've taught 220,185 primary school children in London about how to stay safe from abuse.

We want a whole generation of children to know what abuse is, that it's never a child's fault and who to turn to if they ever need to talk.

On top of that, our trained Childline volunteer counsellors have delivered approximately 35,900 counselling sessions to children in London who felt they had no one else to turn to.

We rely on public support to help us continue our work and it is only thanks to the fantastic generosity of people in London that we have been able to reach so many children.

The New Year brings with it the opportunity to make a fresh start a chance to make resolutions and if any of your readers haven't yet supported us, we would love them to think about getting involved in 2019. There are so many ways to do this.

Why not take part in a sponsored event? Volunteer for our Speak Out Stay Safe service or Childline, or join your nearest fundraising group and organise your own fundraising events?

- To find out how you can support the NSPCC visit nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do. Best wishes for the New Year.

Why not take up running challenge?

Sean Fletcher, presenter of Countryfile and Good Morning Britain and Bowel Cancer UK ambassador, writes:

What's your New Year's resolution?

If you're looking to take up running or aiming for a new personal best and you want to do it whilst helping to save lives, then we've got a challenge for you.

This January, Bowel Cancer UK is launching Challenge 2020. A virtual run you can take at your own pace.

All abilities are welcome, whether you're a keen runner or a complete beginner. Take on our 16km, 42km or 268km challenge in your own time. Run, jog or walk the distance in a day, a week, a month or before April 30.With your help, we can change this and stop people dying of bowel cancer by funding vital services and lifesaving research.

You can pound the pavements, jog on a treadmill or walk in the park. Your distance, your reason, your challenge.

- Sign up today on Bowel Cancer UK's website: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/challenge2020

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

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

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