Recorder letters: Pensioners' parties, hampers, Islamophobia and BBC drama hitting home

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 December 2018

Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz with elderly guests at a Christmas party. Picture: ANDREW BAKER

Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz with elderly guests at a Christmas party. Picture: ANDREW BAKER

Andrew Baker

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

Parties bringing people together

Maria Sexious, Newham Claimants Union, writes:

Our union helps a lot of pensioners to fill in their DWP and council forms.

We know that even the very old ones still like to go out especially at holiday times when everyone else is out and about.

That’s why we think that the mayor’s idea to replace Christmas hampers with invites to a Christmas lunch and help to get there is a winner.

They can enjoy a nice dinner without having to unpack stuff or heat it up and wash up.

We know a few pensioners who just gave their hampers to neighbours or family because heavy hints were dropped! or because they could not read the labels - now at a lunch you can always ask the helpers if you are not sure about some food on offer.

Great idea mayor Rokhsana Fiaz.

It may take a Christmas or two to catch on but once it does it will be a winner across the communities.

And don’t worry about volunteers: you will be surprised how many people like to escape from their nearest and dearest at Christmas time!

Hampers should be reinstated

Andrew Baikie, Nigel Road, Forest Gate, writes:

Cllr Ken Clark (letters) is completely correct.

It is a matter of regret that the current mayor of Newham (and/or the relevant cabinet member) has decided to stop the Christmas hamper programme,

and surprisingly decline the welcome associated financial support from various partners and sponsors.

This programme, in the reality (rather than merely, and often repeated, words of) “for the many and not the few” reached out to and practically helped vulnerable and lonely residents.

Vulnerable and lonely residents who may not turn to political party meetings, council meetings, citizen’s assemblies, use social media daily, hourly, etc... but are one person one vote taxpayers like you, me, and the so-called political class.

The Christmas party element is to be welcomed, but it was of course anyway part of the original programme of the 2014-2018 Labour council.

This programme should be restored forthwith.

Muslims being victims of hate

Donna Vincent, Newham, full address supplied, writes:

For every one antisemite, there are thousands of anti-Muslim people.

While the press, politicians and other media are in uproar about antisemitism, the same people justify the hate directed at Muslims as part of democracy and free speech.

Muslims are being slaughtered in their tens of thousands in their own lands and homes, lead by America, with the support of Britain and others, yet this is seen as spreading democracy and freedom.

Donald Trump has emboldened racists who have come out in the open but much more emboldened are Jews and Israelites with Trump’s total support for Israel.

Trump backing out of Iran’s no clear deal, putting massive sanctions on Iran, moving the US embassy in Israel and withholding Palestinian aid is all totally for Israel.Antisemitism is miniscule compared to what other people live with.

Caring is reality for many people

Linda O’Sullivan, head of London Region, Alzheimer’s Society, writes:

The story at the heart of a new BBC One prime-time drama, Care, which aired Sunday evening at 9pm, is too often the stark reality for countless people at the mercy of a broken social care system.

The powerful drama follows single mother Jenny (Sheridan Smith), thrown into caring for her mother who develops dementia after a stroke, alongside her children, and holding down a job.

The storyline lays bare what is a very stark reality for many people - so called sandwich carers - as Jenny fights to navigate the system to access vital care for her mother.

The programme highlights the difficulty of accessing NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) for people with dementia. The adult care package is arranged and funded solely by the NHS.

This can be a lifeline, but because funding is awarded depending on whether a person’s primary need is a health need, and dementia is classed as a social care need, NHS CHC is very hard for people affected by dementia to access.

To Fix Dementia Care, the cost of extra care charges must be covered by the state with a Dementia Fund, all health and social care workers must be given the training they need to deliver quality dementia care and everyone with dementia should have a care navigator to ensure timely and integrated support. Head to or call 0300 222 11 22 for more.

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