READERS’ LETTERS

A look at what our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, - A fundraising campaign to help my son attend the ground-breaking Peto Institute has brought in more than £2500.

The cash means that my ten-year-old son Keiran, who has cerebral palsy, will have a chance of a bit of normality and support during the summer holidays at Peto Summer Programme.

The campaign was stared this year by Cumbernauld Taxis, who drive Keiran from home in Craigmarloch to Stanmore House School in Lanark.

Cumbernauld Taxis also arranged a fundraising golf tournament in Dullatur.

I would like to thank everyone for their generous support. Both Keiran and I have been very touched by people who have donated money to the appeal, bought raffle tickets and donated prizes for the huge raffle drawn on July 6 at the golf tournament.

The campaign was also given a boost by the Teddy Bear Foundation in Glasgow, which donated 825 euros.

Keiran can now attend Peto Institute Summer Programme and pro-activity join in with his peers without me being right by his side. He really wants to be more independent and this trip will allow this.

I will continue to fundraise, and hope to repeat the trip next year. – Yours etc.,

ANN-MARIE JOHNSTON

Cumbernauld

Help needed for East Africa

Sir, – The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in Scotland is urgently seeking the help of Lanarkshire residents as it works to help more than ten million people in East Africa where some regions are facing the worst drought in over half a century.

Thousands of families across large areas of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan have been caught up in the deepening crisis, with vulnerable children and the elderly particularly at risk of starvation because of this devastating drought. More then 1400 people a day, the majority of them children, have been arriving at the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya, which now has a population of 350,000 - almost the size of Aberdeen and Dundee combined.

This year’s drought follows up to four years of poor rains in some areas which have hit all communities hard. Farmers and their families have seen the crops they rely on fail, pastoralists whose families rely on animals have had to watch those animals die, and people living in the towns and cities have seen food prices soar. Child malnutrition rates in many areas are more than twice the 15 per cent emergency threshold and many children have already died of hunger related causes.

Due to the scale and urgency of this situation, the DEC launched the East Africa Crisis Appeal last week. Agencies in Scotland and throughout the UK are working together to co-ordinate resources in order to provide vital food, clean water and medical supplies on the ground.

Despite the enormous challenges of reaching those affected, we are already helping hundreds of thousands of people across the region, and with the continuing generosity of those donating to this appeal we hope to reach even more of those affected.

But there is still more which needs to be done today, to help us reach others who are suffering.

Even in tough economic times at home, we know that people in Scotland are always incredibly generous when a humanitarian crisis strikes. We urgently need the help of people here in Lanarkshire, and across the whole of Scotland, to save more lives. Every penny will make a difference.

To make a donation to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, visit www.dec.org.uk, donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word CRISIS to 70000. Thank you for your help. – Yours, etc.,

KATHY GALLOWAY,

Chairwoman of the DEC

appeal in Scotland

Notices needed at Palacerigg

Sir, – While Palacerigg Country Park is a nice, and educational place to visit, except for the totally unsatisfactory car parking at peak periods, could I ask those in charge to post the do’s and don’t, at the entrances.

Twice recently, I have been approached by staff for apparently breaching regulations, feeding brown bread to the ducks and then taking my small, Cavalier King Charles dog, near the children’s zoo area. Surely, if notices were in place explaining to visitors the various restrictions, it would save staff having to do so personally. – Yours, etc.,

ALEX BEVERIDGE,

South Carbrain

Cumbernauld

Can you spare an hour a week?

Sir, – Guide Dogs is looking to celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2011 by recruiting 80 new volunteers who will help place and empty countertop collection boxes in villages, towns and cities in each of our regions.

These boxes raise a minimum of £32 each. If we recruit 80 new volunteers, and they each place 12 boxes, that’s a guaranteed annual income of £30,720. What’s more these boxes continue to raise much needed funds year in and year out – hopefully for the next 80 years.

As a Guide Dogs collection box fundraiser, volunteers distribute and empty the boxes, and deposit donated money. Full training and support to undertake the role is offered and any agreed expenses incurred will be reimbursed. If readers think they can spare an hour a week to help, we would love to hear from them.

We also need help finding new counter top locations – perhaps readers know a shop, newsagent, petrol station or other public premises that might be happy to support Guide Dogs by giving one of our collection boxes a new home?

Because Guide Dogs relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions to fund its services, every penny collected helps make a life-changing difference to blind and partially sighted people.

If you would like to volunteer as a collection box co-ordinator, please call us on 0845 371 7771 or email volunteer@guidedogs.org.uk. Thank you for your support. – Yours, etc.,

MICHELLE THOMSON,

District Fundraiser

Guide Dogs

Looking for members

Sir, – I am writing to call on Cumbernauld News & Kilsyth Chronicle readers to join the brand new Cumbernauld Fundraising Group for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which is looking for members.

Group members can make an enormous difference locally by supporting Marie Curie’s Lanarkshire Nursing Appeal, raising vital funds for the local Marie Curie Nursing Service, which provides free nursing care for people with terminal illnesses in their own homes.

The Cumbernauld Fundraising Group will promote fundraising within the local community by organising fundraising activities and collections, encouraging new volunteers to help the charity, as well as supporting Marie Curie’s major fundraising campaigns such as the Great Daffodil Appeal and Blooming Great Tea Party.

To join your local Fundraising Group for Marie Curie Cancer Care, or to find out more about the group and other ways to support the charity, please call Emma on 0141 557 7563 or email emma.hutton@mariecurie.org.uk Thank you. – Yours, etc.,

EMMA HUTTON

Marie Curie Community Fundraiser for Glasgow and Lanarkshire.