YEP Letters: December 23

19 December 2017......    Editor of the YEP, Hannah Thaxter presents over �19,000 raised through the YEP Half and Half appeal to hospice representatives  Kate Bratt-Farrar from Wheatfields  and Tracey Dick from St Gemma's together with the hospices staff members. Picture Tony Johnson.
19 December 2017...... Editor of the YEP, Hannah Thaxter presents over �19,000 raised through the YEP Half and Half appeal to hospice representatives Kate Bratt-Farrar from Wheatfields and Tracey Dick from St Gemma's together with the hospices staff members. Picture Tony Johnson.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Thank you from St Gemma’s

Jason Kirk, Acting Chief Executive, St Gemma’s Hospice, Moortown.

ON behalf of all the patients, staff and volunteers at St Gemma’s Hospice, I would like to offer our most sincere thanks to you and your readers for your wonderful and continued support of our work via the Half and Half Appeal.

This year’s most generous donation of £9,659 will help us to continue providing care to people with life-threatening illnesses living in Leeds. We are very grateful to the YEP readers and everyone who has generously donated to the Half and half Appeal during 2017. It is amazing to see the appeal continuing to raise money for both hospices each year. We would also like to say a special thank you to you and your team who continue to work tirelessly on the appeal.

This year, St Gemma’s Hospice has supported over 3,000 local people and we would like to thank you for the major part you play in enabling us to continue providing our vital services to the local community. It would be remarkable to hit your original £3m target for our 40th anniversary next year and we will ensure we support you as much as we can to achieve this.Best wishes to you for all the festive season and wishing you a peaceful new year.

Increasing gap between ‘haves and have nots’

Tim McSharry and David Cuthbert, Charity Volunteers, Access Committee for Leeds, Osmondthorpe Resource Hub

In response to the excellent interview by YEP journalist Rob Parsons (YEP December 16) as a disability charity that is entirely run by volunteers, we would wholeheartedly agree with Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, regarding inequality and depravation within Leeds and the increasing gap between “those who have opportunity and income and those who do not”.

Our charity has received increasing contacts from families caring for a disabled child seeking support or advice and following nearly 10 years of Government imposed austerity, it is increasingly evident that the poorest, most isolated and often vulnerable families and communities are being hardest hit, carrying a disproportionate price to their health, wellbeing, social inclusion and opportunities.

This shocking reality is further evidenced in a recent Equality and Human Rights Commission impact assessment report (November 17)into the Government’s changes to tax, social security and public spending reforms over the last eight years that highlights by 2022, families supporting and living with a disabled adult and disabled child will face a staggering £5,500 reduction in income per year, which is even more shocking when it’s recognised that it costs three times more to raise a disabled child.

The report noted that the poorest in our society will see their income falling in real terms by 10 per cent whilst the richest will lose under one per cent. The assessment also found that black and ethnic minority families face a five per cent loss of income, which is more than double that for white families.

When considered against a backdrop of continuing Government cuts to Leeds City Council core funding representing a 47 per cent reduction since 2010, it becomes blatantly clear that many of the hardest hit families and individuals may also face losing access to the council services, respite, care and support that is critical to maintaining a degree of independence and hope.

Hilary Benn’s comments are timely and very welcome, throwing much needed light on the enormous challenge presented by continued austerity and oppression of our poorest and hardest hit families, especially if we are to avoid becoming a city of ‘haves and have nots’ simply defined by its number of food banks, growing deprivation, inequality and child poverty.

Please don’t shut factory

Edna Taylor, by email

May I please appeal to the relevant people to not ever close down that wonderful and historic building that is Burberry in Castleford?

That building had millions of pounds spent on it during the years I was employed there - it had Canadian wood floors fitted all over the building.

The firm also employed thousands of people. I worked there for 32 years from 1964 to 1997 as a telephone receptionist and many of my close friends did also. The 800-strong workforce was the salt of the earth. Some people who are no longer with us worked for as many as 47 years, they worked their hearts and souls out and helped to keep the town and all the shops open since it opened in 1937.

I believe it opened as town tailors just before the last world war - they made clothing for the forces to the royal family. If they close that factory down the people who are employed will be devastated and it would have a major affect on the town centre and good people’s lives for ever.

It would cause havoc and heartbreak to thousands and serious financial troubles for so many. The factory is ideal for getting there by transport with the new multimillion pound bus station just across the road. Thousands of new houses and estates are being built all around this area and I believe now there are many Polish people employed there, which is good not just for the town but for our country.

I remember that on Fridays when we were all paid, we went straight into town shopping. We always felt secure in our working lives, year in year out, Burberry was, and still is, one of the main employers. My three adult children all started their working lives there and it gave them all a good start.

To travel to Leeds is quite a long way and transport is very expensive. Petrol would cost more than £40 per week and it would be very hard for people with children because of all those hours travelling.

Please think hard before putting people out of work because those people are the salt of the earth. They have also raised thousands of pounds for people in our area for many good causes.

The factory has a great history and all the shops in the Castleford town thrive on that very factory being there.

Please don’t put so many people out of work and destroy Castleford.

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The former York Road library

YEP Letters: April 27