READERS’ LETTERS

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What our readers have been writing about this week.

Sir, – I sat in solitude for a while as the final breath of 2011 was being expelled and impressive fireworks displays were being televised just to show our affluence in society and welcome in 2012. It did not shut out the thoughts in my mind where a number of highlighted stories presented by the news earlier in the day had dwelt.

I thought about, what appeared to me, a not so common wedding. I love a good wedding as most do and it is encouraging to see a lovely young couple making a decided commitment to their future. On analysing this celebration I did wonder at the cost along with the money expended on the fireworks on the screen in front of me, as it must have been prohibitive.

I thought about the financial state of the country as this impacted on the common man in the street in all aspects of their future endeavours; not only on weddings. Perhaps in their future plans the question would arise if they would be able to afford a roof over their heads and food on the table. I travelled further in my mind to all the starving people in the Horn of Africa and all foreign places where flood, earthquakes and drought which had made it impossible in their everyday plight to finding any food or a place to find shelter.

As all these disturbing thoughts were travelling through my head and I wondered where our true sense of humanity had gone, and to where it was leading us. Surely with less spent on royal weddings, the bankers getting great bonuses, the exorbitant monies spent on the Olympics and the huge cash amount spent on all these fireworks to greet a new year; a bit of prudence in these instances could have helped all those starving human beings?

The point I am trying to make is, all that money gone in a flash, when if spent on a starving human being the pleasure might just have saved a life and lasted a lifetime!

Trying to lighten my meanderings I also thought of my most memorable memory in 2011 with hope portrayed. It still gives off a beautiful warm glow in its remembrance. The event is of my great-granddaughter Sophie’s pride in her part in her school’s rendition of Macbeth, where she played a brave Scottish soldier. The significance of this event is that it was carried out in a school in Goodleigh in Devon where she was born, and that my husband and I travelled nearly 500 miles from Scotland to witness this pride. You see, we were the Scottish connection that she was so proud of. Not seen so much today in our native homeland.

This definitely shows that national pride does not have to cost the earth, and one does not have to stay home to have ownership of it either.

Have a Happy and Peaceful New Year. – Yours etc.,

ROSE BOWIE

Formerly of Carbrain, Cumbernauld

Cumbernauld at the back of the queue

Sir, – Having had to avail myself of their services over the last few years, I heartily concur with the praise being given to the staff of NHS Lanarkshire.

However, the recent decisions of senior management with regard to the medical services provided to the people of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, seem to suggest that they suffer from the same tunnel vision as NLC (North Lanarkshire Council), in as much as any money available for improvements is channelled into the area of the former county of Lanarkshire.

And while I applaud the efforts of Billy Lees and his Cumbernauld Community Forum, surely they deserve better than to be palmed off with a stock answer from the Health Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, saying she agrees with the health board, and nothing more can be done.

Considering Cumbernauld is the eighth largest town in Scotland, and by far the biggest in North Lanarkshire, is it any wonder that the perception is, if not always the reality, that it is at the back of the queue when it comes to improvements to our quality of life. – Yours etc.,

ALEX BEVERIDGE

Carbrain,

Cumbernauld

Thank you from RAFA and ATC

Sir, – On behalf of Branch 1355 of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and Cumbernauld squadron of the Air Training Corps (ATC), I would like to express our thanks to all who gave their support during our Bag Pack in Asda, Cumbernauld store on Saturday, December 3.

The staff of Asda, along with the customers must be congratulated for their help and support in raising the wonderful amount of £1500.

This amount will be split between ourselves and the ATC and will help us significantly to continue with our running costs and events during this new year 2012.

Once again, many, many thanks to Asda staff and most definitely, their wonderful customers! – Yours etc.,

BILL GREEN

Bag Pack Organiser

RAFA Branch 1355

NSPCC says thanks

Sir, – I would like to say a personal thank you to all of your readers who have helped support the NSPCC throughout 2011. Thanks to the public giving generously, we have made significant strides for children this year.

At the start of the year we began to roll out the ChildLine Schools Service, particularly focusing on seven to 11 year olds. The service visits primary schools and aims to help children understand what abuse is, including bullying, how to protect themselves and how to seek help if they need it. By 2016 we aim to visit every primary school in the UK at least once every two years.

On October 30 ChildLine celebrated its 25th birthday and launched a year of fundraising. Over the past 25 years ChildLine has spoken to over 2.6 million children about concerns ranging from bullying to sexual abuse. New figures show that the number of ChildLine contacts from children troubled by suicide, depression and self-harm has significantly increased since the introduction of the online service, which means thankfully we are reaching more children and young people who need us.

In November we launched our ‘All Babies Count’ campaign to highlight the vulnerability of babies and to call for better and earlier support for new parents. Babies are more likely to suffer neglect and abuse and are eight times more likely to be killed than any other child. Make it your New Year’s resolution to vulnerable babies to help us make All Babies Count. Pledge your support at nspcc.org.uk/allbabiescount. You can also ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/nspccscotland and follow us on Twitter @NSPCC_Scotland <http://www.twitter.com/nspcc_scotland>, for updates on our work with children and families and the various ways you can get involved.

The year 2012 promises to be very exciting for the NSPCC as we prepare to introduce a range of new services in Scotland. These services will help us pioneer new approaches to address the significant child protection problems facing children in Scotland, complementing our existing work which makes a huge difference to the lives of children right across the UK.

We are always extremely grateful to everyone in North Lanarkshire for their continued support and generosity. We wish you all a happy New Year and let’s make 2012 the year when all babies do count. – Yours etc.,

SALLY CAMERON

NSPCC Scotland Fundraising Manager