Letters - May 20, 2016

THIRD AGEIt's great to raise awareness of issueWell done the Tower for lighting up and putting the spotlight on the Silver Line Campaign for older people on loneliness (Gazette, May 17).

Friday, 20th May 2016, 10:59 am
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 12:01 pm
Esther Rantzen with Sophie Andrew, chief executive of Silver Line at the launch of Silver Line

Many older people have been coming to Blackpool for years on holiday and have fond memories. Good work is being conducted by Dame Esther Rantzen and volunteers in Silver Line, especially in highlighting how there is a hidden epidemic of loneliness among older people in society

It is great Silver Line is finding out this new up-to-date information from older people. Their collection of new and important facts from older people may have the potential to influence policy. Especially for the over-90s.

However, we are aware of the cut-backs to council budgets, and also that young people can be lonely.

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In some areas, there is a need for more amenities to bring people closer together. For example the need for more local shops etc. Small shops, banks, post offices are rapidly disappearing. A lack of facilities in some areas is a key issue for older people. A trip to the shops is not all about buying food. For some older people it is their only opportunity to see and talk to other people and get more exercise.

Machines like computers are beneficial for some people. But others want to meet face-to-face, for example with short courses on cooking, crafts, discussion groups (lifelong learning) and luncheon clubs etc. More facilities are needed for older people to meet up. In fact, we lack community centres in some areas.

The friendliest people to us are shop assistants and they always ask ‘how are you today?’ We avoid the machines to check our shopping out.

Some older people have little secrets (problems) that worry them. That is why it is important to be able to talk to someone about their problems, even to the friendly voice on the phone. Good luck Silver Line in your campaign on loneliness in older people.

P O’Connor

Portland Road



Tree cull has made park less lovely

I was concerned about the number of trees culled in Stanley Park (Gazette, May 18).

I am beginning to think that the council are making a business out of culling trees.

It was lovely walking around the lake, now it’s not quite so lovely.

Deborah Grundy

via email


Crying foul over the pupils’ bad language

I was recently appalled by the disgusting language and loudness of around 20 teenagers from St Bede’s High School, Lytham. I got on the No 7 bus at 3.50pm in Lytham and all the way to Squires Gate Lane they were shouting and swearing the F word all the way.

One lady asked them to stop and I supported her. It was disgusting, the girls were as bad as the boys, some got off in St Annes, the others got off along the way.

I have phoned the school and they are sorting it out. On the buses are notices prohibiting smoking, eating, talking loudly on a phone and putting feet on seats. I suggest the bus company puts up a sign prohibiting foul language.

I know they have to use a bus, but they should all go upstairs, it was absolutely disgusting.

Mr Kenworthy



Have a heart and give up your time

I’m writing to appeal to your readers to give the gift of time and volunteer in their local British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop or Furniture & Electrical Store.

Volunteering with the BHF for just half a day could fund a BHF scientist to carry out life saving research for an hour. The BHF currently funds more than 1,000 research projects investigating every aspect of heart and circulatory disease – from causes and safer drugs to improving surgical techniques, including over 50 grants in the North West.

Volunteers are absolutely essential to the success of the charity, and play a vital part in fighting coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.

It takes in the region of 2,700 volunteers to keep our shops running in the North West and we appreciate every minute people can spare.

Giving time doesn’t just benefit the local BHF shops, it can also help in the hunt for a new job and is a great way to meet new people.

Our volunteers can not only use and develop the skills they already have, but they can also work towards qualifications and be part of a friendly team.

BHF shops and stores offer a wide variety of roles from delivering and collecting stock as one of our volunteer drivers or working in the warehouse to working behind the till or merchandising clothes.

To find out more, please visit bhf.org.uk/volunteer.

Debbie White

Area Manager at the British Heart Foundation