Letters: Katherine Road food bank

Junaid Ali and a team of volunteers have been delivering grocery packs to the front doors of people

Junaid Ali and a team of volunteers have been delivering grocery packs to the front doors of people in need of support in Forest Gate. Picture: Junaid Ali - Credit: Archant

Thanks to Katherine Road food bank

Name and address supplied, writes: 
May I take this opportunity to thank the staff of the food bank at Katherine Road, E7. 

During this very difficult time the staff have been polite, caring and helpful to all.

They are a credit to our local community and have enabled many people who have been struggling to take advantage of this extra help knowing they will be greeted with warmth and a caring attitude.

Help shape future of stroke research

Chris Tarrant, radio and TV broadcaster, writes: 
Six years ago, completely out of the blue I had a sudden and life-changing stroke. 

I’m not alone in this: stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK, and around 1.2 million survivors are living with its devastating effects. Yet, despite this research into stroke is severely underfunded. Just 1 per cent of the total UK public and third sector health research spend goes towards stroke research.

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When I had my stroke I was incredibly frightened and I thought I was going to die. But three weeks later, I was out of hospital and started physiotherapy. Within months I was able to start working again. My recovery has been made possible thanks to stroke research, which continues to improve care and find new ways to rebuild lives.

The Stroke Association have launched a unique opportunity for stroke survivors, like myself, and those who care for stroke survivors, both informally and as health and social care professionals, to have our say on the future of stroke research. 

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Partnered with the James Lind Alliance, the charity will find out what matters to us most so research can make the biggest difference to our lives.

With such limited funds for stroke research, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we come together and make our voices heard. If you’re a stroke survivor, or you care for or work with someone affected by stroke, join me and speak up for stroke.

Don’t miss your chance, visit: stroke.org.uk/jla by the deadline of March 21. 

Save the Union Learning Fund

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw, general secretary, writes: 
Let’s stop the government scrapping the Union Learning Fund in England at the end of March. This unique scheme provides lifelong learning in many local workplaces, bringing together employers, education providers and trade unions to give workers a second chance at learning by contributing time, money and resources.

Learning and re-skilling will be core to helping us recover from the impact of Covid-19 and dealing with the changing world of work because of automation. While we welcome the government’s plans to invest £2.5 billion through the National Skills Fund, we are concerned about how effective that investment will be and who it will reach.

In our experience, union learning is uniquely able to engage and support thousands of ‘disadvantaged’ learners. Most had few, if any, qualifications and would never have considered attending a college, or signing up for an on-line course, if it were not for the support and encouragement of Union Learning reps in the workplace. Union Learn reaches the workers other schemes do not.

The cost of gaining new skills shouldn’t be out of reach for low paid key workers. I ask readers to support the campaign by signing the online TUC petition at: usd.aw/ulfpetition

Run marathon for Macmillan

Lynda Thomas, CEO Macmillan Cancer Support and London Marathon runner (2018), writes:
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, taking on an event like the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon is a huge personal challenge

However, I know first-hand taking part and crossing that finish line is a feeling like no other, and I can guarantee every runner really does make a huge difference to charities like Macmillan Cancer Support.

Regardless of time or ability, not only can each of the 100,000 participants who sign up for this year’s record-breaking event feel immensely proud of their achievement, but also every pound raised and every step taken towards that finish line directly enables charities like Macmillan Cancer Support to edge closer to their aim to be there for everyone who needs it most.

Money fundraised through events like the 41st Virgin Money London Marathon will help Macmillan do whatever it takes to help everyone living with cancer.​  From financial to emotional support, over the phone or online, we will move mountains to make sure people with cancer feel supported, reassured and informed and this is only possible thanks to our supporters. 

Which is why Macmillan would love to invite your readers to consider joining #TeamMacmillan and run for us – and those living with cancer – in October.

For the lucky runners who have bagged themselves a ballot spot in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, please do consider joining Team Macmillan, and for those who may have missed out, there is still time to apply for a Macmillan charity place or sign up to the Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon.

To apply, please visit: LondonMarathon.Macmillan.org.uk.

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