Letters - October 11, 2018

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Solution to help ease stigma for homeless

I cannot offer any solution to the basic problem of homelessness in Blackpool, but I have a proposal to ease one of the issues.

Blackpool residents, the local council, police and businesses are all upset about the belongings homeless people leave littering the streets and doorways.

The homeless are stigmatised by the luggage they carry; it identifies them as homeless making them unacceptable in many establishments and then repeatedly and constantly moved on wherever they stop. If they leave their worldly goods anywhere it is seen as litter or fly tipping and it is removed. So, what do they do? Carry it and be stigmatised or leave it and have it removed? When it is removed, any chance of keeping warm that night has gone.

I am aware that the town does not want to encourage more homeless to come here because of improved facilities, but one small step would be to offer safe daytime storage for their belongings.

It could operate quite simply if the town has the will, I would suggest:

* Safe storage, open twice a day. This would need to be set, have consistent times, possibly 9am-9.30am to allow baggage to be deposited and 5pm-5.30pm for collection. These times, obviously, will depend on many things including where the storage is located, but, once set, it needs to be consistent. Anyone missing these times would miss the opportunity to spend the day unhindered or to retrieve their sleeping bags for the night.

* I would see it needing staffing by two people per session, and I believe there are enough voluntary organisations, council departments and local businesses who have the will to improve Blackpool and help the many dozen people who are unfortunate enough to be sleeping rough in our town.

If each organisation could guarantee staff specific session/s each week it does not need to be a burden on one group.

Gwen Cross

Fairhaven Close
Thornton Cleveleys

SCOUTING

Helping the young develop empathy

No matter which way you vote or what your world view is, it’s vital that we find better ways to work together in our communities. When we don’t spend time understanding each other’s feelings, cracks begin to emerge in society.

Here in Lancashire, Scouts are developing empathy as part of some great community projects. Empathy is a vital skill in the workplace and at home – leading to better conversations, better team working and deeper friendships.

New YouGov research (September 2018) reveals that over half (51 per cent) of British adults who expressed a view say there is less empathy in UK society as a whole now, compared with 12 months ago. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we develop our listening skills, talk with people different from ourselves and connect with them on an emotional level.

An amazing 92 per cent of British adults believe the Scouts help young people to develop empathy through volunteering and community projects. That’s a testament to the work of Scout volunteers and members across Lancashire and throughout the UK.

To find out more about the Scouts’ work, to volunteer and develop new skills, visit scouts.org.uk.

Bear Grylls

Chief Scout

APPEAL

Step out and help poorly animals

Many runners will be finding out whether they have been lucky enough to secure a much-anticipated ballot place in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, and we’re urging animal lovers to run for us and make a difference to the lives of thousands of pets and their owners. When owners have nowhere else to turn, PDSA is there. But it costs £60m every year to provide our vital lifeline and we’re asking runners to help us continue our life-saving work.

For runners who successfully secured a ballot place, we would be delighted for you to join Team PDSA to help us raise awareness of the vital work our vets and nurses undertake every single day.

We also have a limited number of Gold Bond places available for those who don’t have a ballot place.

Runners joining Team PDSA will be given fantastic support, including a post-race party in London, an after-race sports massage and goody bag, and a passionate cheering squad to help you around the 26.2 mile course. You will also receive guidance and support throughout your marathon journey.

For anyone interested in running for PDSA and helping us continue to treat pets and change lives please go to www.pdsa.org.uk/london-marathon. On behalf of poorly pets, thank you.

Rosie Gibbons,

PDSA

FRACKING

Why are sentences 
so extreme now?

In the 80s environmental warriors would get a slap on the wrist from the courts for the most outrageous disruptive behaviour.

Today three anti-frackers are given lengthy jail terms for far lesser crimes. I wonder why.

Dr H Bromby

Via email