Check out today’s YEP letters
Thank you for generous support
Dennis Fisher, President, Morley Rotary Club
I would like to thank the people of Morley for their generous support on Christmas Eve when members of Morley Rotary Club held a collection in the town centre in aid of Martin House Hospice.
Each year the hospice provides family-led care and support for over 400 children and young people with life-limiting conditions and 150 bereaved families from across Yorkshire.
The collection raised £558.
The hospice requires a minimum of £5 million per year to provide these services to support families when they need it most, and are grateful for any help we can give them.
School offers progressive and rich education
Andrew Whitaker, Executive Principal, White Rose Academies Trust
This letter is in response to the article ‘Leeds and Wakefield Secondary League Tables in Full’ published on January 19.
I would like to take this opportunity to iterate how Leeds East Academy’s summer 2016 results are not wholly representative of the transformative teaching and learning which the school is enjoying this academic year.
I totally agree that Leeds East Academy has underperformed in the academic year 2015-16, however following my arrival as Executive Principal in September 2016, I quickly identified the deficiencies within the school and rapidly initiated an improvement programme that I believe will see the school rated as outstanding by Ofsted in three years’ time.
Part of my programme for improvement, includes forging partnerships with outstanding schools such as Gorse Academies Trust and Cockburn Academies Trust, who are working with us to ensure that Leeds East Academy’s outstanding potential is both met and maintained.
Leeds East Academy is also currently undergoing a transformative term under the inspirational new leadership of Principal Chris Stokes.
In addition to recruiting new teachers and leaders from outstanding schools, Chris has established a bold new curriculum for 2017 with a greatly expanded provision for maths, English and science, which will ensure our students leave us with the best results they can possibly attain.
Both my aims and ambitions and those of The White Rose Academies Trust, are to further the futures of young people. As such, I wish to reassure parents, students and the wider school community that Leeds East Academy is a school which offers a progressive and rich education for each and every child, which we look forward to evidencing in this summer’s results. I invite you to visit our school website at www.leedseastacademy.org.uk, which celebrates our new approach to personal and enhanced learning, and which is wholly centred on the outcomes of students reaching their full potential.
Dr J P Dickinson, Leeds 16
I would like to clarify some details with reference to the article ‘Green light for Headingley’s revamp vision’ (YEP January 13) and the relationship between the now approved redevelopment of the Headingley Arena site and the possible residential development of sites at Tingley and Weetwood, currently owned by Leeds Rugby, Cricket and Athletic Club, Ltd.
Most residents around those sites welcome the prospect of continuing international sporting events at Headingley.
However, objectors to the residential developments pointed out that, in planning law, the linkage and justification for using profits from any development on these sites - which enjoy green belt status and other protections, as well as being “greenfield” - to enable the Headingley redevelopment were very weak.
The applications for these sites were withdrawn when legal opinions confirmed our assessment.
Armed forces deserve dignity and respect
Craig Sweaton, Middleton
On Sunday January 22 on Briggate, Leeds, I had the honour to attend a “quiet protest” in support of Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman, otherwise known as Marine A.
This gathering of both veterans and civilians was an attempt to show some solidarity with a soldier who many of us feel was unfairly treated by the military courts.
More importantly however, it was an attempt to raise awareness of the plight that far too many of our ex-servicemen and women find themselves in upon leaving the armed forces.
So many of our veterans suffer from a variety of medical and mental health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and because this is such a complex mental health problem, it is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages.
Few people know that it is often 18 months after an incident before signs of PTSD surface, which often leaves the affected person often unable to access the professional help and support they need whilst in the armed forces.
I organised this event hoping that successive governments would come to understand that we, the public, want to see the people that serve our country treated with dignity and respect during and after their service.
Indeed, we had an overwhelming response from the good people of Leeds, and many of the those we spoke to believe that if the government are to send our troops into situations where their life and mental and physical health is in danger, then the government should be willing to aid, provide for, and ultimately protect those very same troops.
It was hugely disappointing that none of the local news agencies were willing to attend, particularly after seeing the blanket coverage of a few anti-Trump protesters in the city centre.
Since this is an issue that the families of many people in our city are struggling to deal with, I would have hoped for a sympathetic if not enthusiastic response.
We did have great support from West Yorkshire Police in ensuring that the event went smoothly, and from UK Veterans - One Voice, to whom I would like to offer my thanks for their advice throughout the process.
Water safety compulsory
N Bywater, Morley
Tony Allen from Knottingley writes about the sudden closure of the Knottingley Sports Centre and Castleford Swimming Pool.
Schools in that area need a swimming pool for their compulsory swimming lessons. Swimming and water safety are part of the curriculum, and cannot be skipped.
The national curriculum states that key stage 1/2 children must be taught to swim competently (using a range of strokes effectively), confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.It may be the case that in the life of many children, screen time is their first priority; which makes it more important that fun and exercise is compulsory in schools.
I do have sympathy for councils which have had their budgets slashed by over 40 per cent If there is to be better swimming provision in a more modern environment, perhaps things like free public transport for children should be considered?
Support World Cancer Day
Deborah Alsina MBE, CEO, Bowel Cancer UK
Every day I speak to patients and their families and see the pain, fear and struggle they go through when a bowel cancer diagnosis strikes.
That’s why I’m encouraging your readers to show their support for World Cancer Day on Saturday 4 February.
Bowel Cancer UK is working with nine other cancer charities to unite everyone in a simple but powerful life changing act – wearing a Unity Band® on Saturday 4 February. By joining forces we will make a bigger impact in transforming the lives of millions who are affected by cancer.
The Unity Band is made of two parts, knotted together, to represent strength in unity and the power of what can be achieved when people join forces. You can get an exclusive Bowel Cancer UK Unity Band® on our online shop for a suggested donation of £2, visit: bowelcanceruk.org.uk/shop
Bowel cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Readers’ support will help us ensure more people have the chance of an early diagnosis.