Letters, Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Time to thank volunteers

Charities, community groups and other organisations are holding events this week to thank their volunteers for the contribution they make.

 Events will include awards ceremonies, barbecues, roadshows and tea parties.

 The annual campaign, established in 1984, seeks to recognise the contribution millions of volunteers make to our communities every week and showcase opportunities available for people to get involved.

 This year, for the first time, volunteers are encouraged to share their stories and experiences on social media using the hashtag #ivolunteer, to raise awareness and encourage others to participate.

 More than 15million people volunteer in the UK every month.

 They lend their time and talents to causes as varied as food banks, libraries and hospitals.

 The UK Civil Society Almanac, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) data base, shows that between 2012 and 2013, volunteering contributed an estimated £23.9billion to the UK economy, equivalent to 1.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

 Volunteers’ Week is the perfect opportunity to recognise volunteers who give their time, energy and enthusiasm to helping others.

 This week of events across the country will show people how much the contribution of volunteers is valued.

Justin Davis Smith,

Executive director of

volunteering

We need all forms of art

The email from Elizabeth Ward (May 25) must be one of the most ignorant letters the Echo has ever published.

 Yes, there is an argument about the public funding of minority arts like opera, but to say that children should not be encouraged to enjoy classical music, just because she feels it should die out is not a valid argument.

 Part of any child’s education should be an exposure to the great works of music, art and literature.

 The works of Beethoven, Shakespeare and Michelangelo are the most sublime examples of mankind’s achievements.

 Thank goodness my life has been enriched by my interest in the arts.

 Elizabeth Ward’s comment that lovers of classical music think they are better than other people reveals what her problem is, it’s called inverted snobbery.

 What does she like? Country and western? Heavy metal rock?

Charles Napier,

Oxclose

Not such an unusual site

Witnessing all the activity along the A690 – cutting the grass, clearing the rubbish – is this a sign that we are finally tidying up the city?

Once upon a time this was not such an unusual site.

Jeanette Smith

Sunderland