Letters, Monday, December 15, 2014

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Please help us to keep helping others

AS we grow older Christmas seems to come around quicker every year.

 The shops look bright and appealing with sparkling displays and Christmas music playing. The High Street shines with Christmas lights and shoppers develop that look of determination, and in some cases that look of desperation, as they search for the perfect gifts for family and friends. The weather turns colder and many of us anticipate the thought of a white Christmas.

 The ever-increasing pressure on each and every one of us to spend more and more money at this time of year can be a huge strain on the family.

 For thousands of people who suffer sight loss the thought of fighting their way through the crowds in order to complete their Christmas shopping is a daunting prospect. Life can be so different if we are blind or partially sighted.

 Here at Sunderland and Durham Royal Society for the Blind we endeavour to provide a wide range of services for people with sight loss. Social activities, sporting opportunities, gardening activities, education, training, support, advice and companionship are all on offer. We cater for more than 1,400 people and more and more are coming to us to engage in our services.

 The economic climate that the world has been coping with since 2008 has understandably had a devastating effect on services and support provided by statutory agencies. Local Authority grants have been reduced or withdrawn altogether. Voluntary donations have reduced as families struggle to make ends meet. Life has become that much more difficult.

 I am writing to ask if this Christmas, you will add one more gift to your shopping list in the form of a donation to Sunderland and Durham Royal Society for the Blind.

 Any amount will be most welcome and all donations will be acknowledged with a thank you letter and an official receipt.

 Please help us to continue our work on behalf of blind and partially sighted people and in return I am sure the warm feeling you will get as a result of your kindness will help ensure that everyone enjoys a magical Christmas.

Richard Wood,

Executive Officer,

Sunderland and Durham Royal Society for the Blind,

Foyle Street,


A true gentleman

I WOULD like to thank the good Samaritan who came to our aid when my wife suffered a severely broken ankle in Backhouse Park on Monday, November 10.

 Not only did he keep my wife calm and warm by talking to her reassuring and covering her with his coat, his gorgeous little dog, called Charlie, sensing something was wrong, lay beside her and snuggled her in until the paramedics arrived.

 Once again, I can’t thank you and Charlie enough. You are a true gentleman and Charlie is a little angel.

 I would also like to give a big thank you to the paramedics, the staff at A&E, the staff at Wards D42 and D43 and all concerned at Sunderland Royal, who treated my wife in a most professional, efficient and caring manor.

 God Bless you all.

Peter McGhin,