YEP Letters: January 3

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Among the well deserved messages of deep regret at the passing of former Leeds chairman Leslie Silver, one area is not mentioned.

For 20 years we had been trying to build a new Playhouse. I knew Leslie well and he gave me some advice as a businessman, and a very successful one at that.

He told me: “Never be afraid to make a proposition” and also gave a very substantial sum, more than half a million pounds in today’s money.

We needed one major donation to start our fundraising campaign and without his generosity the Playhouse might never have been built.

His history of escaping from his homeland across two continents is the stuff of legend, as is his war record of more operations as a member of RAF Bomber Command than almost any other aircrew member and finally his business life which saw him move from working in a garage to a multi-million pound business.

This man, who nowadays would be classed as an illegal immigrant, is an example to us all. He deserves the city’s highest honour – the Leeds Award. Is a posthumous award possible?

Honorary Alderman Bernard Atha, Leeds

Reaching out to those in need

Much was made about people being lonely over Christmas. Here in Leeds, about 18 years ago, the Grandparents’ Association charity set up a “friendship phone” idea.

We trained volunteers and they contacted grandparents on our contact list once a week to check that they were coping when life was difficult.

I have now used the same plan to contact the housebound, young mothers, elderly, sick church members and those caring for others.

Just a friendly voice at regular intervals makes all the difference so why not try out the idea?

Beryl Lee, Grandparents’ Association, Leeds

Lessons haven’t been learnt

David Cameron talks of his “Christian values and giving and sharing and taking care of others” (YEP, December 26).

You could have fooled me. His Government’s policies have punished the poor, caused wages to stagnate and the cost of living for ordinary folk has rocketed.

On the other side of the coin, despite bringing the economy crashing down, there is no evidence that financial institutions have learned their lesson.

Large bonuses are still being paid, fraud on a grand scale is still being investigated and no one has gone to jail for their actions which, in any other walk of life, would have been a certainty.

They are being well taken care of by their own kind.

R Pearson, Burmantofts

YEP Letters: November 20