Letters, Friday, May 8, 2015

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Help those living with dementia

WITH more than 3,450 people living with dementia across Sunderland and numbers set to rise, we need more people to get involved in Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness Week which starts on Sunday, May 17.

 We know that dementia can affect a person’s relationships, leaving them feeling isolated and alone but we try to keep people connected to their lives and the people who matter most and that’s why we are issuing our rallying call to people of all ages.

 It’s important to keep the spotlight on dementia and Dementia Awareness Week provides the perfect opportunity to do that.

 Life doesn’t end when dementia begins and new experiences can bring joy to a person’s life even as memories fade.

 That’s why, to mark Dementia Awareness Week, I’d like to encourage readers to ‘do something new’ and help raise awareness of the condition.

 From dining at a new restaurant to abseiling from a bridge or joining in one of our Singing for the Brain groups or Dementia Cafes across Wearside, everyone can play their part and make a real difference.

 Quite simply, there are lots of different ways people across the North East can get involved and anyone needing information about Dementia Awareness Week should contact our Sunderland team on 0191 564 0890.

Aileen Alexander,

Services Manager,

Princess of Wales Centre,

Old Havelock Hospital

Beware dangers of car entertainment

THE Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) wants to warn drivers about the dangers of miss-using in-car entertainment safely.

 If you connect your iPod or phone to your car to listen to music, make sure you have connected the device before you set off. Also avoid changing songs while you are driving.

 A multi-function steering wheel can be used to adjust the volume or change CDs, if you have this facility so use it where possible as it will help reduce distraction.

 Also, having music playing too loudly can also take your mind off the task of driving.

 Avoid playing music that makes you drive faster – tunes with a strong, driving beat might make you speed up without realising it is happening. Where children get quickly bored on long journeys a rear seat DVD player can keep them occupied, but make sure they have a set of headphones so the sound doesn’t distract the driver.

 Also, although a Bluetooth feature is available in most modern cars, we strongly advise you don’t use it to talk when you’re driving – research tells us that this is a major distraction.

Peter Rodger, IAM chief examiner.

IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity.

Watching Ocean was amazing

I WENT along to witness the return of HMS Ocean to the Wear. What a magnificent scene, especially the officers, sailors and cadets all standing to attention on the decks, as the four tugs guided this wonderful ship to her berth.

 The tugs did a great job bringing Ocean through the piers, drawing her backwards to the Corporation Quay.

 What a fantastic hour watching this amazing scene.

Ada Inskipp,


Hospice fund-raising was not for respite centre

I HAVE read in your Echo that Grace House is to be turned into a respite centre.

 That is not the charity that I fund-raised for.

 I will not be the only one disgusted with this.

 How is this allowed to happen?