Readers’ letters

Crosstalk 01 12
Crosstalk 01 12

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.

Postal thanks

Dear Ed, – The young men of the 4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade wish to thank the people of Carluke for their generous support of the Christmas Post.

They are grateful for the amount raised. This will go towards the £4,000 plus needed annually to run the BB Company to bring the young men through to the pinnacle award – The Queen’s Badge. Further thanks to William Adam, High Street and G O Thomson, Clyde Street for acting as collection points.

Almost 130 years ago the BB was founded and over the years the organisation has helped prepare young men for their lives ahead. The Carluke Company is proud of its achievements within the BB movement and out-with.

On behalf of the Officers and Boys of 4th Carluke BB we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2012. With the support of the Carluke people the movement stays strong. – Yours etc.,

ELMA CUNNINGHAM,

President,

4th Carluke Boys’ Brigade

Parents and Friends Association.

New love story?

Dear Ed, – We’re making a new three part BBC series on the story of love and marriage in Britain from the 1930s up to the present day, based on the personal memories of those who have the strongest tales to tell.

Were you married during or before the Second World War and do you still have powerful memories of love and marriage? If your partner is still alive we could be especially interested as you may be one of the longest married couples in Britain.

Do you have an especially interesting or dramatic love and marriage story? Did you marry in difficult circumstances or in the face of adversity? Or perhaps an act of fate brought you and your loved one together?

Did you face disapproval and rejection - especially from your parents - for following the love you wanted.

Was married life what you expected it to be? What were the highs and lows? How did you deal with the many challenges that face long term partners?

Perhaps you were unhappy in your marriage but splitting up wasn’t an option? Did you stay together mostly for the sake of the children?

If you have married several times, how has this affected each new relationship? Did you find the love you were searching for in the end?

Whatever your love story, whatever your age if you have a fascinating tale you want to tell we’d love to hear from you, so please get in touch with me Emily Sivyer at Testimony Films on 0117 925 8589, emily.sivyer@tesitmonyfilms.com, or write to me. – Yours etc.,

EMILY SIVYER,

Testimony Films,

12 Great George Street,

Bristol, BS1 5RH.

Low on pensions

Dear Ed – Recent research by Prudential has revealed that pension incomes are expected to hit a five-year low for people retiring this year, meaning that one in five will have to survive on less than £10,000 a year.

The recession has seen a fall in pension funds and annuity rates, which, when combined with inflation rises mean that thousands will struggle to make ends meet.

However, this isn’t just a problem facing future pensioners. Our own research reveals that today’s pensioners are already struggling; yet many are not aware of the financial support available.

Two thirds of pensioners on low incomes, who could be eligible for Pension Credit do not believe they qualify; yet a quarter of them struggle with bills, a third with housing costs and one in 10 are forced to skip meals.

The latest government figures show that the amount of Pension Credit unclaimed annually was between £1.6bn and £2.9bn.

We would like to remind your readers of how important it is that pensioners are aware of their potential welfare benefits entitlement.

Pensioners have to deal with a terribly complicated benefits system, which often deters them from claiming much-needed funds.

Yet, it is easy to access the free Turn2us benefits calculator and establish entitlement, how much is available and where to claim – www.turn2us.org.uk. Those without internet access can call our freephone helpline on 0808 802 2000.– Yours etc.,

ALISON TAYLOR,

Director of Turn2us,

200 Shepherd’s Bush Road,

London.

Cut was delayed

Dear Ed – While we welcome the news that EDF Energy is lowering gas bills following the decline in the one-year wholesale gas price, the issue remains that it has taken far too long for this reduction to be passed onto consumers.

When wholesale prices increase, energy companies are swift to pass on the cost, but the same speed isn’t seen when prices fall. It is time that more pressure was brought to bear on power giants in respect of the fairness of their pricing structures and the support they give to struggling households.

As a charity, we know that the issue of high fuel costs is of paramount concern to the people we assist, with nearly two fifths saying that they couldn’t afford to heat their homes before coming to us.

On top of this, over half were regularly skipping meals, indicating that in Britain, in 2012, there are still people being forced to choose between whether they ‘heat or eat’.

We urge other fuel companies to follow EDF Energy’s lead and ease the financial burden facing thousands of families across the UK, by lowering prices and increasing the support available to vulnerable households. – Yours etc.,

ROB TOLAN,

Head of Policy and Research,

Elizabeth Finn Care,

Hythe House,

200 Shepherds Bush Road,

London.

Run for us please

Dear Ed – Have any of your readers been lucky enough to secure a place in this year’s London Marathon through the public ballot?

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) are calling for those who have secured their own place in the 2012 race to consider fundraising for us.

It’s really easy to join Team WCRF and in return we offer full support with training and nutritional advice, an essential runners kit containing a WCRF running vest, a fundraising pack and your own personalised online sponsorship page.

WCRF also offers a pasta party the day before the race and a post-race reception with a free massage and shower to soothe away aches or pains.

Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by following a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

So not only will taking part in the London Marathon help you get into the kind of habits that can reduce your own risk, but the money raised will help us continue to fund our research and education programmes.

If you are interested in running for us, visit www.wcrf-uk.org/fundraising or call 0207 343 4200. – Yours etc.,

NATALIE TARRANT,

Senior Fundraising Manager,

World Cancer Research Fund.