Fundraiser Ben Dobbs.
Fundraiser Ben Dobbs.
Have your say

Here’s what YEP readers have been talking about on our letters pages today.

Teen fundraiser Ben is an inspiration

Mrs M Bond, by email

Many congratulations to the teenager Ben Dobbs for being so selfless in raising such a wonderful amount of money to put a guide dog through its training (‘Ben raises £10k for a guide dog’, YEP, May 3).

He truly is an exceptional young man.

Mchelle Harper, via Facebook

What an inspiration to the young you are, Ben Dobbs.

If only more you people were like you then the world would be a kinder and more caring place.

Well done, you’re a star.

Rules stopped us from using Kellingley coal

Andy Koss, CEO, Drax Power, Selby, North Yorkshire

I WANTED to reassure Judy Goodwin (YEP letters, May 1) about our operations at Drax Power. We have invested £650m in upgrading half of our power station in North Yorkshire to use sustainable compressed wood pellets – biomass – instead of coal.

New EU rules on emissions meant we couldn’t use the kind of coal produced by Kellingley Colliery.

We also recognised some time ago that coal’s role in generating power was limited. The government wants coal to come off the system by 2025, as part of efforts to reduce emissions and meet carbon targets. Our biomass generating units deliver carbon savings of 80 per cent compared to when they used coal.

We are now predominantly a renewable energy generator – last year 65 per cent of the electricity we produced came from biomass. That’s equivalent to 16 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity – enough to power four million households.

We agree that not all wood should be used for bioenergy which is why we require all our suppliers to meet tough screening and sustainability standards set by the UK government and independently audited. We only source from sustainable working forests that grow back and stay as forests.

As well as playing a leading role in helping to change the way energy is generated supplied and used as the UK moves to a low carbon future – we are also supporting jobs in the region.

An Oxford Economics Report showed that Drax Group’s operations support 4,500 jobs in Yorkshire and Humber and generate almost £500m for the regional economy.

We need to break taboos

Linford Christie

A FEW weeks ago I turned 57, placing me firmly in two risk categories for prostate cancer.

I’ve recently starting working with Prostate Cancer UK and I’ve come to learn that as a black man over 50, my risk of the disease is double that of a white man the same age.

One in four black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime compared 1 in 8 white men.

But despite the shocking odds, I find it more concerning that just saying the word ‘prostate’ within many black communities remains such a massive taboo subject.

The disease is simply not spoken about, and if it is, it’s in a ‘hush hush, don’t tell anyone’ type of way.

How can it be that something that affects so many black fathers, uncles, sons, and friends is continually swept under the carpet and ignored?

My physical and mental health has always been important to me.

When I was in the prime of my career, it was the most important thing.

However, as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise that no matter how well I eat, or how fit I am, I am not indestructible – nobody is.

But there are defence measures I can take and arming myself with knowledge is by far the most important.

That’s why I’m supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s Stronger Knowing More campaign and I’m urging all your black readers to do the same. Understand your risk of prostate cancer and act on it.

This challenge is a marathon, not a sprint and if we’re going to beat it, the whole black community needs to start breaking down the taboos and start talking.

Boris not doing himself favours

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

Boris Johnson is always erudite in his use of language but I doubt if calling Jeremy Corbyn a “mugwump” will do him any favours with the electorate.

Most will regard it as an unnecessary insult.

Please stick to outlining Conservative policies, Boris.

Impact is just a fantasy

Paul Hatfield, Otley

How many more ‘fantasy initiatives’ are our non existent traffic police going to deliver?

The last lot regarding speeding and use of mobiles has certainly had a impact hasn’t it?

Don’t bash strike police

Peter Hyde, by email

Once again we have an MP wanting to reopen the wounds the miners’ strike left local communities suffering.

It was over 30 years since that disastrous affair. There were faults on both sides but I fear that Yvette Cooper only wants to indulge in yet another “police bashing”.

The officers were under orders and were under severe pressure to keep the way into the coking plant open.

Equally the miners were 
under pressure from Arthur Scargill’s flying pickets to block the route.

There were only losers and no winners in that incident and I would suggest that MPs let sleeping dogs lie as many of the participants are now long retired or passed on.

How we can all feel hope

T Maunder, Kirkstall

I READ the item on loneliness today (YEP, May 3) with interest.

It fits in well with the item on how our technological connectivity has improved but at a potential loss to inter-connectivity.

It is positive to focus on these issues. In the fairly recent past when I was a lecturer in mental health (nursing), I used to teach student nurses several concepts related to our lives that are relevant to maintaining positive mental health, such as self-empowerment, self care, interpersonal relationships and – central to the issue of loneliness – the concept of hope.

It goes without saying I guess that several mental illnesses are characterised by a loss of hope, particularly in the face of social stigma. Hope is so important it might help to spell out its features for readers.

In order to feel hope we a) need positive, past memories that can signal positive, potential future memories; b) specific, achievable, realistic goals that are not beyond our capabilities; c) a sense of internal and external control and a sense of self-esteem that is not reliant solely on the validation of others; d) a support network and enjoyable relationships; e) self-motivation, being pleased about even the smallest achievement; f) being reality- based, that is, not expecting too much of ourselves – our abilities may be compromised by lower health, for example, so we have to change our pace of living realistically and g) a belief that we can improve ourselves and our quality of life.

So, there you have it, an assessment tool for life in your future.

We must ‘do’, not ‘say’

R Urquhart,by email

When all is said and done, more will be said than done.

Let these words serve as a lesson to us all as we consider the most trustworthy party to get our vote on June 8.

We must think carefully as to who is the best bet to “do” rather than just “say” or promise.