Letters, Thursday, December 27, 2012

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Fight to help care for young people

BARNARDO’S wants to highlight the issue of young people in care having to go it alone when they turn 18.

 At Christmas time, the impact of this is particularly poignant as these vulnerable teenagers, many of whom have been neglected or abused as children, are having to start their journey into adulthood on their own and before they are ready.

 Government figures revealed that between March 2011 and March 2012 only 18 out of 152 local authorities in England had care leavers who remained with their foster carers after their 18th birthday. The remainder left care to live independently.

 In stark contrast, only one per cent of North East parents expected their own children to leave home by 18, with 50 per cent of North East parents expecting them to be at least 22 and even as old as 30, before they left home, a YouGov survey conducted on behalf of Barnardo’s found.

 Now Barnardo’s is calling for all foster children to be given the option to stay with their foster carers until they are 21.

 Barnardo’s spoke to 35 young care leavers it works with and only nine (26 per cent) will be spending Christmas with their parents or previous foster carers. Others said they will be spending Christmas alone.

 Our Y poll showed less than one per cent of North East parents expect their children not to be home for Christmas when they turn 16 and 38 per cent don’t ever expect their children to stop going home for Christmas – at any age.

 Barnardo’s wants to see the Government keep its promises in the Care Leaver’s Charter for England: “We will work together with the services you need, including housing, benefits, colleges and universities, employment providers and health services to help you establish yourself as an independent individual”.

 Staying Put scheme has been piloted in a small number of authorities, providing funding to enable young people in foster care to stay with their carers until they are 21. This model has been taken on by some local authorities, but not all.

Steve Oversby

Director, Barnardo’s North East

Let them fly flag

REGARDING the troubles in Northen Ireland: why can’t the Union Jack be flown?

 I believe I have earnt the right to have my say in this matter having served three tours of Ireland with the British Army 5/16 Lancers. I’m also a protestant and a Rangers fan.

 Is not Northern Ireland part of Great Britain? Or did my time in the British Army mean nothing?

 We went over there to keep the peace. It’s a fact that Northern Ireland is part of Great Britain so why can’t the Union Jack be displayed 365 days?

 I believe that if this isn’t changed more trouble will continue and once again the British Army will have to return to keep the peace. I seem to recall the British Army having to travel 8,000 miles to the Falklands so that British people could remain British and fly the Union Jack ?

 These people in Northern Ireland are British. They have British passports, so why can’t they fly the British flag 365 days of the year?

Scott Andrews.

Ryhope

Pointing to enemy

THE article about the signpost outside the Bungalow Café at Roker and the missing arm pointing toward Germany, reminded me as to why it was originally put there.

 It is a little known fact that the coastal defence guns, sited on the cliff tops at Roker and Seaburn, were manned by soldiers of a Tyneside Regiment. The General, aware of their low level of intelligence, thought it expedient to indicate which way the enemy lay so had the sign erected.

 As this may breach the Official Secrets Act I sign myself

Chalky

Keep all your bills

IN reply to Les Morrell’s letter on December 12, I have also been harassed by nPower.

 Seven years ago I stopped npower electric then three years ago I got a letter demanding £3,000. Luckily I kept all my final bills paid as proof, but they kept sending me letters and bailiff’s letters, but I didn’t budge.

 Finally they stopped sending the bailiff’s letters.

 So please keep all your paid bills and final bills for at least seven years, they are not reliable.

C Haru,

Sunderland

A power struggle

I AM having the same trouble with nPower as your recent correspondent.

 I was paying £40 a month, now it’s £63 a month. So when I paid the £63, four days later I was told I had to pay another £52. I live in a one-bedroom flat.

 We have not had a meter reading for at least eight months. Now I have to send my own meter reading.

Mr D Wheldon,

Hendon

Where is Perche?

THE article about Vaux breweries reminded me that my granddaughter entered and won a competition to name a new young Percheron horse.

 This was quite a few years ago and she named the magnificent horse “Perche Spice”.

 I wonder if any reader knows what happened to the horse.

Ron Winter,

Belmont