Letters, Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

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Right decision to save heart unit

WEDNESDAY, July 4, saw the announcement that the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital is staying open, much to the palpable relief to all involved.

It is the right decision, given the fine work and dedication from the staff on the unit. It is only a shame it has to be at the expense of Leeds. If only the options hadn’t been so southern centred, then Leeds could have stayed too.

During the long consultation period, particularly the last year, there was no option to keep both units open, so it went down to an either/or decision.

The timing of one of the biggest shake-ups in NHS history will have some up in arms looking towards the Tory-led Coalition as the reason. However, this isn’t the first time these discussions, proposals and fears have been raised.

After New Labour’s second election victory, the idea of fewer but larger heart units was last proposed. Back then it was shelved, but it was only a matter of time before the decision makers of the NHS brought the proposal to the top of the agenda again.

 Now the decision has been made, the Freeman Hospital can begin to plan for the future, improving its facilities, stature and reputation still further. They don’t only serve Newcastle-upon-Tyne, they have saved many lives throughout Tyne and Wear and far beyond.

G. Engel, High Barnes, Sunderland

Cruel theft

THIS letter is to the scumbag who pickpocketed my grandson, who is eight years old, of his DSI, seven games and the case on Houghton Front Street on July 2, between 3pm and 3.30pm.

I hope they are happy upsetting children.

It took my daughter, a one-parent family, and myself a year to save up to get it for Christmas, only to have it stolen and sold for a couple of pounds.

I hope someone returns the favour to you in the future. The police have been informed.

Name and address supplied

Talent, not looks

EVEN the most honourable person would be the first to admit that Susan Boyle is no oil painting, but she must be a great source of inspiration to many.

She has come from a modest background, with learning difficulties and a problematic home life, yet she has conquered the world with her singing voice and, at a mature age, developed into one of the world’s greatest singers.

I am not a fan, but the point is the tabloids are full of celebrity models, and more often than not some singer who wins a reality show does so on looks only, so in that context Susan Boyle is a one-off and we may not see her like again.

It’s the same with those who appear in the soaps, like Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt in Coronation Street, or Big Hev in Eastenders. Those two would never win a beauty competition but they are fine character actresses and again should be role models to the average-looking wannabe actress.

There is no doubt that the world of the media celebrity has now changed. If for instance Bet Davis, the 40s and 50s superstar, arrived on the scene in 2012 she would not get anywhere in the movie world because, let’s be honest, she was no looker.

It’s about time we went back to the basics of the 40s where looks didn’t matter and it was the quality, style and, more importantly, the ability of the performer that took the prize.

Mick “The Pen” Brown

Station’s thanks

DURING the doom and gloom of the recent appalling weather and flood damage, it was welcome news for Radio Sunderland for Hospitals to be the recipients of money donated by the residents of Seaburn area.

Seaburn Rotary Club has once again kindly donated £150 toward the running costs of the radio station. I would like to say thank you to them for their continued support.

In the same week, Radio Sunderland for Hospitals attended Morrison’s store at Seaburn to raise awareness of the work we do and to carry out a cash collection. We also provided music for the customers as they entered and left the store. Again, the residents of Seaburn showed their kindness and we raised over £425.

Radio Sunderland for Hospitals is a charity, totally dependent on the goodwill of local businesses and residents to ensure we continue to broadcast.

Radio Sunderland’s 60th anniversary of broadcasting is coming up next year. The generosity of the people of Sunderland will continue to secure our broadcasting future.

For more information on how you can help, or to listen to our programmes online at Radio Sunderland for Hospitals, log on to www.radiosunderland.co.uk.

Thank you again to Seaburn Rotary Club and to the residents of Seaburn for your generosity and continued support.

Pauline Phillips, Public relations and funding Officer, Radio Sunderland for Hospital