Before the fun of the panto season fades for another year, I want to extend my family’s gratitude to the Polka Dot Pantomime company for the uplifting impact on my autistic grandson at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion.
My grandson, who turned 14 this month, is non-verbal but can understand a great deal of what is said to him, and gives the impression he digests elements of his environment.
Having already watched Aladdin with his two cousins, his grandma and myself thought the atmosphere, with its sounds and flashing lights, might appeal to him.
His attention span can be short, so we accepted there was the strong possibility we’d not be in the theatre terribly long. I’m thrilled to report it was worth the gamble.
Right from entering the almost-full auditorium with me and his mum, he was well-settled.
And, apart from wanting to briefly stretch his legs during the first half, he stayed rooted to his end-of-row seat for the entire production. We could sense he was absorbed by the songs and music, colourful costumes and scenery, plus the lively movement on stage.
Capping it was a warm touch from Scott Wright, the genie.
As some of the cast descended into the audience towards the end, Scott made a point of stopping alongside him and exchanging high fives.
It was a lovely moment. Not so long ago interaction with a stranger wasn’t possible.
The experience encouraged us to believe he can feel comfortable in society and can participate in entertainment enjoyed by more able children.
Our thanks, too, to Lowther’s ticket office staff for their understanding when I booked for something my grandson might not have taken to.
The fact that he did means we’ll have no hesitation taking him next time.
How much for police?
In reply to the article in The Gazette – ‘How much would you pay for the police?’ – I think, along with other people, Clive Grimshaw has a motive asking people if they are willing to pay more on our taxes for more police officers.
I do think we could afford more officers if these positions were done away with.
They are a complete waste of taxpayers’ money.
If the Tory party get elected in the next elections, the health service will be on the way out to privatisation.
This government is deliberately starving these services of resources so that privatisation can take place.
I was on the ambulance service for many years in this town, and when you start getting chief executives and shareholders, then things are looking bad.
If the people of this country cannot see what is happening, we don’t have much hope. The country is not our own anymore.
With the festive season now over, no doubt many of us will have put on a few extra pounds and want to shed them as painless as possible.
If this is you, then why not give vegetarianism a try?
It’s one of the easiest ways to lose weight, and it will protect you from obesity, heart disease and diabetes type 2.
It also helps to save animals’ lives and protect the planet because factory farming does not have the animals’ best interest at heart and contributes to global warming and pollution.
If you would like to give it a try but are unsure how to start, then write to: Viva! Health, Top Suite, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol, BS2 8QH.
This organisation is dedicated to scientifically investigating vegetarian health and nutrition and can provide you with all the advice, literature and recipes you will need to make the change.
You can check them out on www.vegetarian.org.uk.
So why not give it a try? The only thing you will lose is some weight and the benefits you will gain are numerous.
Moor Park Avenue
Must pay for bus travel
I understand the cuts in budgets and the need to have a bus service; but one thing I would suggest is why not charge all those who have free passes a flat rate?
This would help lessen the blow, although those who want as much as they can for free won’t be happy. If they want to use the buses, they should be prepared to pay something, not moan at not getting it when they don’t pay anything.
Years ago I was disabled and had to pay 20p or 30p per journey in the 1990s or half fare in other areas before I moved up here.
In 1996, I had an operation and was cured and so don’t need a pass now.
Therefore I never had a ‘free’ pass, and was always happy to pay towards my journeys.
The more I travelled the more I paid.
John R Jones