YEP feedback: December 28

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Did you get any unwanted gifts? One of our feedback letters has a solution to the problem, and judging by your comments this time of year is one for reflection and resolutions.

Unwanted gifts? Give them to us and make money for heart research!

Mik Parkin, British Heart Foundation Area Manager

This Christmas, British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops are appealing to people in Leeds to help fund life-saving research by donating their unwanted Christmas presents to charity.

The average person receives at least one Christmas gift they don’t want each year, according to statistics released by the BHF1, and with nearly half (44 per cent) of people in Yorkshire saying they feel guilty about getting a present they don’t want or won’t use, we’re urging the local community to turn this guilt into good by donating their unwanted Christmas gifts to BHF shops.

BHF shops accept all kinds of unwanted gifts, everything from candles, Christmas jumpers, socks, games, handbags, books, DVDs and other items you no longer want.

To locate your nearest shop or to book a free collection visit bhf.org.uk/shops or call 0844 412 5000.

Make us your New Year’s Resolution

Faith Sykes, Belgrave Mount, Wakefield

We are still in the Christmas Season, with all the attendant excitement, expectations and fun. For bereaved people however it can understandably be a bit of a problem.

My younger daughter died six years ago, she was a massive Christmas party person, leading up to her birthday which was New Year’s Day,

I personally find the festive season very emotional, and it is quite difficult for me to cope with.

This time last year my problems were compounded when I found myself in Pinderfields Hospital with acute appendicitis. In the early hours of morning the operating theatre staff arrived to take me for the for the operation, a porter and a nurse, trolleyed me away. Their conversation en route was about their plans for the Christmas period, they both, it transpired, had offered to work the main Christmas shifts so as to enable other staff members with young families to have time off to be with them. They had both opted to do this for more than the past 10 years.

How selfless, thoughtful and generous these people are, and there are so many others like them working in all the departments at Pinderfields.

My experience this time last year prompted me to contact the volunteer dept. at the hospital. I had read in the Wakefield Express volunteers were being recruited in various areas of the hospital.

I am now a regular volunteer and I really do enjoy it. I know that new volunteers are always needed in all sorts of different rolls.

Having enjoyed your Christmas you may thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. You could join us?

Looking back and forwards

Geoff Holloran, Saxton Gardens, Leeds

As one year draws to a close and a new one is peeping over the horizon I’ve been reflecting on the past year and what it has brought us and all in all it’s been a pretty good year one way or another if we look back and see that 2016 saw the back of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Cameron & Osborne), Hilary Clinton’s campaign to be elected as US president hitting the buffers and (unelectable)Jeremy Corburn re-elected as Labour party leader - so even long-term Labour voters now realise that the Labour party is not now considered a serious party.

A time when people stood up to the establishment and voted to leave the European union to give us a chance to re-build our decimated farming, fishing and manufacturing industries and give us a chance to look at a sensible immigration policy and make our own laws. I think people don’t normally like change as it can be very scary, but let’s look forward as change can be good.

I for one am very optimistic as to what the future holds.

Vaccine views are ‘misguided’

Jenny Croston, via email

I write in response to the appearance of Melinda Messenger on ITV’s This Morning on December 14.

Specifically, the views aired in relation to the HPV vaccine and her personal decision to prevent her daughter’s immunisation against a potentially fatal disease. I acknowledge that such matters are decisions to be taken individually and should be based on considerations each parent feels significant and relevant for their child. However I am deeply concerned that such a high profile celebrity, with no meaningful knowledge, was given a such a broad platform to air her, in my estimation, misguided views.

It harks back to the now discredited links made between the MMR vaccination and autism triggered by Dr Wakefield some 15 years ago. He was subsequently described by his regulatory body, the General Medical Council as “misleading” and “irresponsible”. These are words that I would also hesitantly use to describe the views of Ms Messenger.

As a cervical cancer survivor, HPV vaccination is an issue about which I have a deep personal opinion and as such a meaningful understanding of its benefits. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35 with eight women being diagnosed each day.

Nearly 1,000 women die from the disease each year in the UK. It is estimated that about 400 lives could be saved if girls are vaccinated before they become infected with HPV. The explanation of ‘reported’ side effects Ms Messenger alludes to can be simply explained.

Regrettably some girls will coincidentally develop normal illnesses found in adolescents after vaccination, which may be mistakenly linked to the vaccine. I do hope that Ms Messenger’s comments have not instigated a diminution in vaccination rates.

Excusing the pun, her views are certainly not the message that should be publicised in such a way.

Put others first is the message

Martin J. Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge, Leeds

In her letter to the YEP (Tues 20 Dec) Peggy Morris states that the Bible includes the statement “God helps those who help themselves”. This is totally untrue.

The message of the bible is exactly the opposite and argues God will reward those who put others first and themselves last.

YEP Letters: August 18