Letters, Saturday, January 21st, 2012

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Have your say

Petition to tackle social care crisis

THE social care crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing older people in the country today.

Many of those who need help and support are being badly let down by a system that is at breaking point, while others find themselves forced to sell their homes in order to pay for support they need.

Social care provision when it works well helps those who need help to get out of bed and get washed, provides meals and helps older people live as independently as they can. When the system fails, as it does all too often, older people are left isolated, fearful and struggling to cope.

Recent cuts to care and support services have increased the pressures on the care system, bringing it close to collapse. Unless we all make a stand now and demand urgent reform of the care and support system, thousands more older people and their families will be left under intolerable strain and without the care and support they need to live with respect and dignity.

This is why Age UK Sunderland fully supports Age UK’s Care in Crisis campaign, calling on the Government to take urgent action now to ensure that: Everyone who needs care receives it and is treated with the respect they deserve; no one is forced to sell their home or sacrifice all their savings to pay for the care they need; people are able to plan and prepare for care in advance.

Age UK has launched a Care in Crisis petition and needs your help to reach its 100,000 signature target. If you feel strongly about the issue and want your voice to be heard, please sign up at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis or visit Age UK Sunderland’s Bradbury Centre, Stockton Road, Sunderland or Age UK’s charity shops on Blandford Street and Sea Road.

Alan Patchett, Director, Age UK Sunderland

Late, great Ruby

RUBY Murray was born on March 29, 1935, and was one of the original female singers from the 50s and 60s.

She was signed to EMI Records in 1954 and scored two number one hits: Softly Softly and Happy Days and Long Nights. Other hits included Mr Wonderful, Real Love, If Anyone Finds This, I Love You, Who Knows, Pennies from Heaven and Nethertheless (I’m in Love With You).

I took my mum down to see the fabulous Fifties Show at the Sunderland Empire Theatre twice with Ronnie Hilton and Clinton Ford.

Sadly on Tuesday, December 17, 1996, Ruby Murray passed away at the age of 61. I won’t forget the wonderful female singer icon from the fabulous 50s and swinging 60s.

Terry Christie, Woodside Terrace, East Herrington

Minibus lifeline

MY young children are taken to and from home to school through the City of Sunderland Transport minibus service. This service has been extremely valuable to myself and my family. Without it my children would not have got to nursery then school.

The staff are polite, friendly, caring, professional, efficient and, most importantly of all, my children think the world of them. I am disabled and this lifeline has allowed my children to attend full-time education.

Being disabled or a struggling parent should not mean that your children miss out on attending school. This service offers children and parents consistency.

I hope that any other parents struggling with transporting their children to school or nursery will think about contacting the service to see if they can access any help.

Thank you to John for organising the transport and times with the City of Sunderland Family Services and school, Thank you to Ray, Anne, Gill, Alison, Pat, Linda and Joan who five days a week, come rain, snow or shine, greet us with a smile. You have made a difference.

Name and address supplied

Money madness

THE Goverment is thinking about building a new royal yacht for the richest woman in this country, namely the Queen, who has an estimated fortune of £6billion.

At the same time it intends to cut the benefits of some of the poorest people in the country – the disabled – by 20 per cent. You could not make it up.

A few days ago the Bishop of Durham made his way to London to swear his allegiance to the Queen in the House of Lords.

I always thought that men of the cloth made their allegiance only to God.

It seems to me that looking over the past years the only god they have believed in is the one of money, immorality and death.

Alan Brown, Thetford, Washington

Cruise tragedy

I HAD nautical-related jobs most of my working life.

Upon retirement I took to holidaying by coach tours. As we approach our hotel, the driver will say: “We’re nearly there. Please stay in your seats and a member of the hotel staff will come on the coach. They will tell you meal times etc etc”.

Then, to a man, the passengers will scramble for coats and crowd the aisle. In fact I have made the remark to my wife: “I wouldn’t like to have to get in the lifeboats with this lot”.

With this in mind, and the fact that a large proportion of cruise passengers are elderly, it may be that there are mitigating circumstances for the behavior of the Costa Concordia’s crew.

Stan Taylor, Sunderland