Letters, Thursday, June 6, 2014

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Make your dying wishes matter

I AM writing to say a big thank you to all members of the Dying Matters Coalition and to local residents for their commitment during Dying Matters Awareness Week last month.

 This year’s awareness week was the biggest and best yet, with town halls, community groups, hospitals, hospices, care homes, law firms, funeral directors and schools among those holding events and activities aimed at raising awareness about the importance of talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement.

 With hundreds of members in the local area and 30,000 members across England and Wales, the Dying Matters Coalition is making a real difference by breaking the taboo around discussing dying and future plans, but there’s still a long way to go. That’s why we need a national conversation about dying, so that all of us become more comfortable in facing up to our own mortality and that of the people we are close to.

 Although not always easy, talking about dying is in everyone’s interests, as it can help ensure we get our wishes met and make it easier for our loved ones.

 That’s why we’re encouraging people to take practical steps such as writing a will, recording their funeral wishes, planning their future care and support, considering whether they would want to register as an organ donor and, most importantly, telling their loved ones their wishes.

Claire Henry,

chief executive,

Dying Matters Coalition

A worthy winner

EARLIER this year Councillor Porthouse came under a storm of criticism for accepting an agreed increase in the Deputy Mayor’s expenses.

 Replying that expenses are used when attending functions for drinks, raffle tickets etc certainly excited some readers so perhaps they may be interested in this piece of information. Since 2011 Lakeside Residents’ Association has held a weekly draw and from its onset all our local councillors have supported us.

 In May this year one of our members won the £250 prize, when congratulated on their win the member replied “that’s great. It’s going straight into my charity box”. Who was that member?

 Non other than the new Sunderland Mayor, Councillor Porthouse, whose charities are Action on Dementia Sunderland, Sunderland Age UK and NSPCC Childline Sunderland

Mrs Cassap

Great for the town

THE First World War soldier Tommy in Seaham is an outstanding piece of work.

 I, like so may people, feel so proud to see it. The people it has brought into our town is marvellous. That has to be good for businesses and shops.

 I hope this sculpture is a permanent fixture in our town as nothing exciting happens here.

 I hope everyone in Seaham puts some kind of donation towards this outstanding piece of work, it means so much.

Paul Garrett,

Seaham