Letters, Saturday, January 25, 2014

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Give young people a chance in life

FROM joining the gym to learning a language, this new year many of us will have resolved to make positive changes in our lives.

 But, for each of us who feel hopeful about the future, there are thousands of young people feeling desperate about theirs.

 Earlier this month, we launched The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index, which was a particularly sobering read. Tracking the next generation’s wellbeing year-on-year, it revealed that more than one in five young people in the North East (21 per cent) have experienced symptoms of mental illness as a direct result of unemployment.

 An alarming 29 per cent of jobless young people in the North East also say they feel like an ‘outcast’.

 With 7,710 young adults in the North East claiming job seeker’s allowance, the emotional toll of their unfulfilled ambitions and the region’s loss of their potential is tragic.

 Having supported 3,987 disadvantaged young people in the region last year, we’re delighted that more than three in four moved into work, went back to school or took up further training.

 This speaks volumes about the importance of second chances and also offers hope to a generation who think the new year has nothing to offer them.

 To read our full report, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/macquarieyouthindex

Rachel Reay

Showering praise

SINGING in the Rain has to be one of the best musical shows ever staged at the Sunderland Empire.

 We were thoroughly entertained from start to finish with some terrific, clever choreography and toe-tapping tunes.

 Staying faithful to the original score, this West End production simply sizzles.

 No one gets shot, no ones dies and there’s no bad language.

 All the family, whatever your age, will love it – go and see it while you can!

Adam and Denise Walter,

Middle Herrington

Cup tickets earned

EVERY 20 years or so, Sunderland get to a cup final and it’s the same old story.

 Out of the woodwork come all these fantastic supporters. They claim they cannot get a ticket for the game because they do not have a season ticket and that it’s all so unfair.

 Excuses for not having a season ticket range from I cannot afford one, I live too far away and it’s impossible to get to every game.

 Quite frankly, it’s not unfair.

 Any genuine fan supports the team through thick and thin.

 Most genuine fans will be at Wembley. They have earned the right to a ticket. Anyone who relies on obtaining cheap tickets or the handful that are given away has no excuses.

 If, like me, they attended every game, they will take their place at Wembley on March 2.

Mick The Pen Brown

Welfare eroded

THE existence and proliferation of food banks in our towns is deeply troubling and further evidence of the Americanisation of our society.

 This Government has an agenda to roll back the state, eroding the welfare safety nets of the more vulnerable and poorer members of our society.

 What I mean by the Americanisation of our society is that we’ll become more and more a have and have not society.

 The have-nots (no job) relying on charity, but even those in work living with real insecurity.

 Just as in America, those in work may be living just one pay cheque away from homelessness, no healthcare and charity dental care. Is this the route we want to take?

Lesley Aitch