YEP letters, September 30

Guide Dog in training with a puppy

Guide Dog in training with a puppy

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A thank you to the people of Headingley, opinions on Labour’s recent choices, nursing shortages and mental health are among the topics for today’s letters.

Your kindness means so much to others.

Thelma Wilson, Co-ordinator of Leeds and District Volunteer Fundraising Branch

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our fundraising collection for Guide Dogs held in Headingley on Saturday , September 24 where we raised £317.28

The money will go towards helping to give freedom and independence to the people within the local community, who are visually impaired

Bitter taste as Jo Cox memory was exploited

John Appleyard, Liversedge

Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn’s second huge mandate to continue his leadership of the Labour Party, he has been the victim of so much abuse in the media and by a clique of Labour MP’s who should now do the decent thing and stop complaining and start campaigning for a Labour Government.

I welcome Jeremy’s intentions to give back more power to Labour Party members who do so much foot slogging to get MPs elected but don’t get much appreciation for their efforts.

My local Labour Party had no say whatsoever in the short listing of candidates for the forthcoming by-election in Batley and Spen, it was determined in London and we were more or less told to take it or leave it.

Over the past few weeks we have been subjected to the musings of un named ‘Labour Party Sources’ quoted in the Sun and Daily Newspapers, both hostile to Labour, that Tracy Brabin was favourite to take over from the late Jo Cox as MP for Batley and Spen.

This was carried out very underhanded and there was a feeling that the memory of Jo Cox was being exploited for political gain.

Mike Wood our MP for 18 years prior to Jo seems to have been written out of Labour history, so may I thank him for all his hard work and Jo Cox whose photograph I have framed alongside a letter she sent me two days before her horrific murder agreeing with me on the need to keep our local pharmacies open, I also will be campaigning alongside Tracey Brabin in the forthcoming election for a Labour victory but the shenanigans of the past few weeks have left a bitter taste in my mouth, when will these people grow up?

We need to look to ourselves

A Hague, Leeds

AFTER reading that without EU patient care would suffer (The Yorkshire Evening Post, 5 September) I wondered what is it that puts British people off being a nurse?

If it’s because the work is hard then we should be ashamed of ourselves. With a shortage of jobs around we should be fighting for any job available not relying for immigrants to fill the gap.

Therefore we have brought this situation upon ourselves and can’t blame Brexit for it.

Well done for tackling issue

Terry Mauner, Kirkstall

As a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing I am always pleased to see events like the one you referred to in the Yorkshire Evening Post promoting discussion about mental health and mental illness. The problem is that many people do not differentiate between the two. Mental health is not the same as mental illness but at the same time it is more complex than just the absence of mental illness. Mental health services are still dominated by the “medical model”, which does propose that mental health is simply the absence of the symptoms of mental illness and, indeed, that mental illness IS an illness or disease with mainly biochemical causes.

There are other approaches which have different perspectives. The “biographical” approach argues that these experiences are highly personal and we should focus on the person and not the illness. In this approach mental health also involves having positive self - esteem, good relationships, a sense of purpose, hope and support networks, amongst other factors.

Society can be said to need stigma in the sense that stigmatising, say, mental illness has benefits for society in that it has a normalisation function for acceptable behaviour (however wrong that is ). The sociological factors are often ignored : the old mental hospitals were powerful symbols of normalisation and were often built in certain locations to reinforce this (eg, overlooking the town or city on a hill to show where you go if you’re “deviant”).

Still, well done for tackling these complex issues. I’m not entirely in favour, however, of the “celebrity factor” : is it really necessary to use them when so - called “ordinary” people have their stories

Do they assume prejudice?

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Back in the “experiential learning” 80’s I used to carry out an activity with Mental Health (Nursing) Student Nurses which involved them travelling in pairs on buses in Hackney, East London, with one Student talking to him/herself. The other Student would observe and take notes. Feedback afterwards showed very negative attitudes to the apparently “psychotic” person talking to him/herself.

This showed in mocking comments or verbal abuse. I probably wouldn’t get away with such a learning activity now. The recent “Yes, I Can” preview for the Paralympics and an advert for Scope called “H.I.D.E”, however, both cause me concern.

There seems to be a subtext in them that all so-called “able - bodied” people are prejudiced against those with disabilities, which is no longer the case as in, say, the 60s when a disabled boy on the estate where I lived was called nicknames Also, that all of us without a disability find it difficult to relate to those with a disability and avoid them.

I’m not saying it doesn’t still happen, but I think that these kind of adverts make assumptions which only serve to antagonise.

A party to put Leeds first

DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds

How does a council so short of money as to be unable to maintain basic services like homes for the elderly, find £50M to speculate on commercial property, having recently bought a warehouse and office block?

If money is tight due to austerity from central Government, surely it is not the place of Leeds City Council to play at being a commercial landlord with taxpayers’ money, instead of giving priority to service provision.

Could the answer lie in the hands of the people? With a general election quite possible next year, Labour MPs could be kicked out.

Where Councillors are concerned, years ago Morley rid itself of party influence by forming a group called Morley Borough Independents led by Councillor Finnegan. They put Morley first, not Leeds or any political party, and Morley is better for it. Maybe Leeds needs the same.

Did you lose a purse in Leeds?

Annie Sprung, Cookridge, Leeds

On Wednesday August 3 this year, at around 3 pm, I found a purse which had been dropped at the number 6 northbound bus stop outside Leeds City College Technology Campus (or Leeds College of Technology as people of my generation might still call it).

The purse contained a number of personal items, some likely to have sentimental value, and about £80 in cash, but nothing that could help me to identify rightful owner, so I reported it to the police at Weetwood.

After six weeks the purse had not been claimed and the police told me it was mine to keep. I would still like to return the purse to its owner so if the owner reads this, could they please contact me at anniesprung@yahoo.com? Please give a description of the purse and its contents, and if your description matches the purse that I have, I will see that it is returned to you.

YEP Letters: April 29