Letters, Monday, June 10, 2013

Have your say

Don’t moan, join the fun of the fair

I WATCH television and see the terrible suffering going on in the Middle East. People, and particularly children, living in the most appalling conditions.

 Then I read in the Echo Letters page, on June 6, about the terrible consequences that are to be suffered by a person from Newbottle, when the fair at Herrington Country Park takes place – for 10 days she will not be able to relax in her garden!

 I suggest she joins all the fun of the fair and sees families who may not be able to go on holiday enjoying themselves, and then her own self-centredness may become apparent.

Roker Resident

Football should trump politics

HAVING helped to avoid relegation, it is hardly surprising the recent Echo survey showed that 80 per cent of Sunderland fans supported Paolo di Canio’s appointment as head coach.

 It seems a long time since David Miliband resigned as club vice-chairman because of di Canio’s alleged fascist views; that David Hopper of the Durham miners threatened to take his banner home; the TUC cancelled a seminar at the stadium and local businessman Paul Callaghan described di Canio’s appointment as the club’s “darkest hour”.

 Now Sunderland supporters have a well-deserved reputation for giving someone a fair chance and it came as little surprise the vast majority ignored the politicising and voted with their feet instead.

 It helped, of course, that they were given a new lease of life by di Canio’s enthusiasm and optimism – that led to memorable victories against Newcastle and Everton.

 Football should always triumph over politics, whatever the political persuasion. This was a decisive Football 3-Politics 0 result! I’ve renewed my season ticket and look forward to the first match of the new season. Here’s to better times under Paolo di Canio!

Peter Wood,


Don’t get caught out by changes

TODAY, the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be scrapped for new claims by disabled people aged 16 and over and replaced by a new disability benefit called the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).  

 Existing DLA claimants aged 16 or above will start to be invited to claim PIP from October. PIP will use entirely new rules to decide whether or not you qualify for the benefit and there will also be a new way of assessing claims, normally involving a face-to-face meeting with a health professional. DLA will be retained as a separate benefit for disabled children aged under 16.

 Contact a Family – the only UK charity that supports families with disabled children regardless of the disability or condition – want to encourage all parents who have a child with a disability to be prepared and find out more about this latest change to benefits, which could eventually have a big impact on their family.

 To help, we’ve published a new guide for families with a disabled child that covers not only the new Personal Independence Payment but also other benefits that can be claimed once a child turns 16.

 Benefits for disabled children aged 16-19 are very complex so it is important that parents have access to reliable informat-
ion. Free copies of the guide are available through our freephone helpline 0808 808 3555 or by emailing helpline@cafamily.org.uk

 Contact a Family also has a team of expert benefit advisors who are able to offer detailed, one-to-one advice to parent carers in England who want to find out more about this and other planned benefit changes.

 If you are a parent of a disabled child and are concerned about any benefits issue, call our free Helpline 0808 808 3555.

Srabani Sen

CEO of Contact a Family