Letters, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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Don’t leave blind people out in cold

 Many blind and partially sighted people find it difficult to get out and about on their own, particularly in crowded places, when it’s frosty and hazardous under foot, and when there’s less daylight and shorter days.

 We are encouraging anyone who has a blind or partially sighted neighbour to help make sure they’re not left isolated by the cold weather. The majority of people with sight loss are elderly and are particularly vulnerable.

 You can help by:

* Contacting visually impaired neighbours to make sure they’re okay.

* Offering to help them get out and about – perhaps driving them into town or helping them use public transport.

* Being their sighted guide – walking with them around shops or on short journeys to friends or to their place of work.

* Guiding them around icy and slippery surfaces, if it’s frosty or snowing.

* Simply giving them your phone number in case of emergencies.

 Action for Blind People provides a range of services for local visually impaired people of all ages; from confidence building, to employment and welfare guidance, and how to make the most of technology to help them live independently.

 But if blind and partially sighted people are struggling to get out because of the winter weather, they might also need some neighbourly support.

 Your help could be a real lifeline. Don’t leave blind people in the cold.

 For more information about our local services visit www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk

Sharon Meadows,

Area Operations Manager, North East Action for Blind People

Pioneering idea

I HAVE to agree with Keith Newberry’s comments about the town centre, in fact all town centres.

 In future, they will bear no resemblance to what we have been used to.

 So, why not be forward-thinking and give our town centre over to the four big supermarkets?

 High Street, Fawcett Street, Holmside and Crowtree Road could encompass a set of superstores (with free parking – hallelujah!).

 Why not take things a bit further and only allow within these stores the sale of packaged food and non-alcoholic drinks.

 Encircling these superstores we could have all the shops we used to have. Think about it. No sales of: fresh seafood – back come the fishmongers; fresh meat – back come the butchers; fresh fruit and vegetables – back come the greengrocers; fresh bread and cakes – back come the bakers; magazines books and newspapers – back come the newsagents and no plates, pans and other trash so back come the haberdashery etc.

 The superstores are going to take over, so why not be in there as pioneers? Just a thought.

Ray Findlay

Name mystery

MY late father (born Hendon 1918) always told me his Aunt Clara married a German immigrant called Gustav Scholz.

 It seems Uncle Gus was a well-known figure in Hendon at the time. A professional musician he played the double bass at the Victoria Hall. His brother-in-law was Alderman George Morgan, a Mayor of Sunderland in 1950.

 Gus came here from Breslau in Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland). I believe a photo exists of him in military uniform. What surprises me is how he managed to keep his German surname despite the First World War. After all, the Windsors and the Mountbattens were forced to change theirs.

 There must be people in the Sunderland area who are descended from Uncle Gus. Maybe some of them still bear the name Scholz?

I Morgan,

Washington

Grateful for help

ON behalf of the volunteers of Streetcare, a charitable organisation which helps the homeless and needy on Wearside, I would like to thank all those who have donated money or goods over the last year.

 Some of our donors give on a regular basis, but others contribute to our work by giving produce from their church or school harvest festivals. All donations are gratefully received as all our workers are volunteers and everything we give out is free to our clients.

Dick Donaldson,

Meals/Food Co-ordinator,

Streetcare,

Sunderland

Not a nice place

IT is indeed an ordeal to brave the malls as mentioned by Jean of Houghton in January 17 letter.

 Here we are again carefully treading the floor to prevent falling on your bottom, while at the same time attempting to protect your ears and brain from the cacophony emitting from the ceilings.

 To be fair, however, on my very rare visits I have often seen cleaning trolly staff at work, so on that score I think overall cleanliness is maintained.

 But still not a pleasant place to be.

A Hunter,

Washington